This entry has been a bit longer in the making since some “left on read”-mails but now we’re all set. Kima is a British songwriter who contacted me due to a lovely pop-song that would fit perfectly on the “Love Actually”-soundtrack, it has this great epic Christmas/Winter-pop-ballad feel (think of Natasha Bedingfield or Leona Lewis) and that orchestral arrangement is the kind of pathos I adore. The song was written during lockdown and is supposed to give a little hope to everyone who felt/feels down like a clown in a drown pound during this time of isolation.
(Honestly, this is the kind of pop song that’s on my morning-playlist)
Kima has recently released a song for a charity project for homeless people (Shelter). It has been a hard year for all of us due to the pandemic but homeless people have suffered immensely because there were fewer people in the cities to give them some money but also, due to social distancing measures, etc. it was a lot harder for charity organisations to work with the people in need, since they often could not afford all the measures that we could take in all our privilege.
I also did a small mail interview with Kima, which you can read here because why not?
Did staying mostly at home influence the way you write songs? Did it change the way you look at your music? Was it harder/easier?
Staying at home actually did change the way I write songs! I think it made the process a lot easier, because I had so much more time to just ‘be’. Since I was reflecting so much on things that have happened in my life, my values and priorities, and the world seemed to be crashing and burning around us all – there was so much content to write about and so much time to write. I also found it really therapeutic, because the beginning of lockdown was quite scary. I’ve had to shield for 5 months because I’m considered to be at ‘extreme risk’ to getting coronavirus. At first seeing all the news headlines about the virus was absolutely terrifying! So writing music at my piano was my escape.
Your new single “If nobody told you” is a total bop! I wondered whether you had a specific person/audience in mind when you wrote it? (Like a person you want to adress)
I wrote my new single, ‘If Nobody Told You’, as an inspirational piece to help lift people’s spirits after long periods of isolation during lockdown. While shielding in my house and with so much craziness is happening in the world, (coronavirus, the Black Lives Matter protests), it’s so easy to feel powerless. This song is written from God’s perspective and it reminds me of how God sees me, and how He sees you too. It was a reminder to me and everyone that we’re still loved, we’re still powerful, we’re still heard. We can make a lot of impact from our own homes.
Also, how did you produce it? Can you talk a bit about the process from first idea to finished song? Was it all home produced (aka lockdown-studio?)
Thankfully I have a home studio set up! It’s suuuper basic and is essentially just a laptop, microphone, audio interface and reflection filter but it’s good enough that I can record full on singles from there. I work with a producer who lives in Birmingham, so for this song I did a first draft on Logic Pro of what I wanted it to sound like, with the strings and the orchestral feel. Then I sent it to him and he added his magic to it!
If you were to write an album, would you want to stick to a genre or rather explore different musical avenues?
I would definitely explore! I’m planning on releasing an EP in early 2021, and it will definitely be ‘multi-genre’, I have been described as ‘genre bending’ and I absolutely love that title. There are so many different sounds that influence my music. Being in the Welsh National Youth Opera when I was younger made me fall in love with classical music. Then at home, the sounds of Motown music and gospel defined my childhood. So I have a wide array of influences, which definitely reflects in my music. I did previously struggle with the thought of not having one specific “sound”, but I think that’s such a closed and archaic way to approach music. I think a degree of variety within an artist is authentic and also really interesting for listeners too! They’ll never know exactly what to expect.
I am also super interested how performing for youtube differs from performing on stage. Does it change the way you sing, do you have to prepare differently?
This is such a good question! I think performing for videos is a lot more laid-back and relaxed. I’m aware that if I’m doing too much, or too expressive, it might come across strangely on camera and I might look like a bit of a psychopath. But in real life, on stage, there are no limits. I can literally be as crazy as I want (well, nearly as crazy as I want to be!).
Also, I am obsessed with Wales (spent an exchange year there and will never shut up about it), what would the three hot spots in Pontypridd be? Just in case, we’ll ever get to travel again.
Oooh what a cool question! I think it’s awesome that you spent a year in Wales! I mean, Ponty is a small town but there are still some things to see and do. If you go, check out the Old Bridge which, when it was built, was the longest single spanning bridge in Europe. Pontypridd has a lot of beautiful countryside, which I think people forget, so do take the time to go for walks.