brit n that: resurrection- interview with kimberly anne

October 11, 2012

Alright Darlings Afro Punk-ers, its about that time again. I was all set this week to tell you another story about my adventures. Deadline closing in and ting. Last minute I was sent the EP of Kimberly Anne a South London Resident. She began her journey at The BRIT School describing her time there as “ultimately surreal but quite a daunting place for someone still figuring out what their about”.

Upon graduating Kimberly embarked on a convoluted journey of self-discovery ending in a period of self imposed musical exile. ‘I was like a kid in a sweet shop before I really pinned down my sound. I’d spent a long time not really knowing who I was and feeling quite lost in it all. I’d rely a lot on others to steer the end result of my songs.

In 2011 I took 9 months out of music and promised myself that I wouldn’t pick up my guitar again until I knew exactly what it was I wanted to say and how. Deciding it was time to go back to basics, she bought a simple home recording set up and got to work. She stripped her sound back in a spare room at her Dads house (“I had no money”) she began to re-build this quite delectable EP. So keen to give a fellow South Londoner a shout out and having listened to her EP for the 5th time I made a few calls and not too long after found myself on Skype, interviewing Ms Kimberly Anne.

Zinzi: What does your music say about you?

Kimberly Anne: In my music I just lay it bare, I’ve got nothing to loose and nothing to hide. The biggest pleasure I get out of live dates is when people come up to me and say they can relate. Creating music, you have to be vulnerable; it has to be a bit scary to tap in to something that is real. When people say they like my EP its just one human relating to another, that’s the simplest for of a connection you can have with someone and a stranger. It feels quite meaningful on that level. The main thing is I am real, it’s embarrassing, its uncomfortable but I think you have to go to those places to be a true artist.

Does that mean that you feel that art is related to pain?
Not just pain, I think art is related to direct emotion. I get approached a lot about writing for other artist. I don’t feel capable of doing that unless I’m in the room with the artist. I wanna connect; to know the angle the artist is coming
from. Otherwise I don’t’ understand how it can be delivered. If I just wrote a song straight off, for someone else to sing, I’d feel like, it was like someone else wearing my underwear [we both crack up]. So yeah, not necessarily just from pain but you just write about what is real and what is true to you.

Who are your influences on your music?
It’s of old and a bit of new. I was brought up on strong singer/songwriters, like Tracey Chapman, Joan Armatrading, and stunning vocalist like Billy Holiday; you can just hear her heart breaking on every track. They are all storytellers. That’s what fascinated me being brought up on a strong staple diet of emotive, strong and passionate women who were very vulnerable and so it makes you feel a bit human, that someone else can go through something and share it with you. Also big indie, rock roots from my dad, he used blare our Jimi Hendrix, The Cure, The Police and The Beatles. That’s where I learnt about what pop music was, The Beatles perfect pop formula. My sister was blaring out old skool RnB, Mary J Blige and, Aaliyah. It was a very musical house, three different playlist blaring at
one time. More recently people like Think from Brighton, Ben Howard, and Lucy Rose.

Tell me what the EP is about? You say your “made of different stuff, I wanna know what that stuff is”.

The EP should probably be called “Friend Zone”, its predominantly driven bya tricky situation I had with a friend of mine, that I fell for. It was a difficult situation since it was always a bit shady as to whether there were no feelings, or
some feelings. Sometimes things were said and then actions were different. It’s sort of like, when someone says “nothing can happen here” but they are still poking you but giving you every reason to indicate otherwise. About being teased and getting messed around. It’s a song to myself saying give up on them and telling them that you can’t play with me anymore. So its just saying, I must be made of different stuff then what your love is gonna be made for someone one day. So let’s just bury it there and never talk about it again.

Talk to me about the video, what inspired it?
When I came back to music, I’d been away such a long time, it was kind of like I had died. I went through a hard process, when I was leaving of saying to people, “Look, I just need to be by myself right now and do me”. Some people agreed with that and some people didn’t. A part of my past had been cut off and died. When I started doing music again it felt like I was being brought back to life, emerging from the rubble. The dust represented coming out of storage and being dusted off. For the video I used that concept to represent resurrection. Also to represent that feeling of melancholy that get when you get a bit self indulgent, a bit depressed when you have been turned down romantically. As much as you try and shake it off, the more it surrounds you. It has a double meaning for me and I thought it was a strong creative concept. I wouldn’t want to make a video that is trying to look like a major label funded it when they blatantly haven’t. Work with in your means. It was shot in my mums shed with some bottles of talc powder.

So, what’s the plan now then?
UK tour at the beginning of next year. I had a mini tour this summer this summer. In peoples living rooms. I started getting lots of request from people to come and play but didn’t have he connections. I took request, on Facebook and twitter, which said, “If you’ve got 15 friends and a cool space then we will come play in your living room or garden.” The tour was called Out my Yard. It was really cool. That has prepared me for life on the road, the beginning of next year. I am working on an acoustic sessions EP as well as and EP for next year April some time. Just planning on staying active. I am writing all the time.

The EP that I have just put out is an introduction, anything I had online before I don’t think was a true representation of me. I just wanted to make a statement say, “This is who I am”. Get to know me, share me, come see me. Enjoy me on this journey.

Kimberly Anne’s EP Bury it there is available now for download here. Check out
her site to see her up coming dates.