Singer-Songwriter, Kari Kimmel, Talks Walking Dead, The Fosters, Singing with Al Pacino and A Whole Lot More!
Posted On 15 Jul 2014
Tag: 10 Things I Hate About You, Al Pacino, Beach House, Beatles, Black, Carole King, Daft Punk, Dreamgirls, Ella Enchanted, Etta James, Florida, Hollywood, Hotel Cafe, Imagined, Kari Kimmel, Lola, Michael Jackson, Natural Woman, Shall We Dance, Sigur Ros, Stevie Wonder, The Fosters, The Gilmore Girls, Walking Dead, WALL-E, Where You Belong
Shall We Dance?, The Gilmore Girls, 10 Things I Hate About You, WALL-E, Ella Enchanted, Dreamgirls, The Walking Dead and The Fosters are just a few of the many TV shows and movies that Ms. Kari Kimmel’s singing/music has been used in. Pretty impressive list, right?
Kari Meredyth Kimmel is an American singer-songwriter whose style is generally classified as pop with rock, country and R&B influences. I recently got the chance to interview this very talented young women and learn a little more about it’s like being her!
When was the first moment that you realized that you wanted to be a performer?
When I was really little, probably 4 or 5 years old. I started daydreaming about being a performer. It didn’t stop there. I would be in class at school, and in my head I was in a completely different world. I would be thinking about music and singing and creating and writing songs instead of school work. It was pretty obvious, that’s what I was meant to do.
I still have family and friends in Florida. I do miss it, but my home is in LA now, so I can’t imagine being anywhere else.
I know that you have a young son. What does he think of your career?
My son is 4 and he loves music, but I am not sure he loves that I do music. Right now he wants all of my attention, and when I play music he gets a little upset. If I play the piano, he typically tries to pry my fingers off the piano. Haha But, he does love hearing my songs on TV and seeing me on TV. I guess he thinks that part is cool.
How have you grown as a musician since you started?
I have definitely grown. I have evolved and changed so much as a musician and as a person. My music is an extension of me, so when I change, my music does too. I love exploring new directions musically, lyrically and emotionally and that’s part of what keeps it fun.
If you had the opportunity to work with any artist/band from the past, present or future, who would it be and why?
Well, I had the amazing opportunity of singing with the remaining Beatles, so that one has been checked off the list, so to speak. Other than the Beatles, I would have loved to work with Michael Jackson. And I would still love to work with Carole King some day.
You have written and sung on a ton of movies and TV shows. Which has been the most rewarding for you so far?
I think the most rewarding so far has been the theme song I did for The Fosters, “Where You Belong”. Mainly because that song has connected with so many people. The show touches on so many sensitive as well as controversial subjects such as fostering children, same sex marriages, interracial relationships, etc and I love that the whole message comes down to love.
I had written the song “Black” about a year prior to the show using that song as the trailer. It wasn’t written for anything specific, but it seemed to work perfectly. I got the call that they wanted to use my song, but at the time, I wasn’t super familiar with the show. I soon realized it had a huge cult following and there were die hard Walking Dead fans. That was pretty cool and I felt honored that people loved the song so much.
You wrote and sang the theme song for the ABC Family Drama, The Fosters. How did that all happen? I see that you are avid watcher of it now.
I, along with a ton of other writers received a brief on the show. I read the brief and was immediately inspired. I wrote the song in about 30 minutes and it just felt right. It was one of those songs that sort of writes itself. I later found out that they chose my song for the theme!
He’s awesome. It was great. He’s such an easy going, off the cuff kind of guy. No two takes were the same, so each time we went through the scene, it was like watching it for the first time. He did something completely different each time. And in between takes he would sit with us and chat about who knows what. We shot in the middle of the night, so I think we were all getting a little delirious around 4am…
When do you hope to release your next album, Black? And what would you like new fans to take away from the music?
I’m aiming to release the next album this October. It’s been a long time coming and I’m excited to finally release it. It’s different than a lot of my other music. It’s much moodier, darker, harder. I hope some of the music takes people to a place of reflection and stillness while some of the other more uptempo songs help put people in a fun, relaxed mood.
My favorite song to perform is probably Black. I love how it starts out mellow and small and gets huge and intense at the end. The song is like an intensity that’s building and building and finally explodes at the end. My favorite song to cover is probably “Natural Woman”. It’s fun, I do it a little bit differently than the original, and the songwriting is genius.
When you aren’t performing and writing new material, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to garden (when it’s not super hot outside), I love to build things with my son, and watch movies with him. I love remodeling. I’ve sort of run out of things to remodel in my house.
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making? Who are some new bands that you are loving now?
It’s so broad. I love everything from Sigur Ros to Daft Punk… I can’t listen to one type of music for too long- I love variety. Right now I might listen to Beach House or Lola and then turn on the oldies station and listen to Stevie Wonder or Etta James.
Thus far, what’s a favorite memory or something silly that’s taken place (in-studio, onstage, or elsewhere)?
The first thing that comes to mind is when I played a show 7 months pregnant. I went to sit down at the piano which had a folding bench for a seat… Well, it wasn’t fully locked, and as I sat down, it collapsed underneath me. The whole audience gasped at the same time. I was fine- just a little embarrassed… now I can laugh it off 😉
Where can people see you perform next?
My next show is July 25th at 9pm at Hotel Cafe in Hollywood! It’s gonna be a good one with my amazing band. Hopefully the bench won’t collapse this time. 🙂