Kimberly Dawn is one to watch in the world of country music. Vocally trained by Martina McBride, Florida Georgia Line’s Brian Kelley, and Sia’s powerhouse coach Valerie Morehouse, it’s no surprise that her recently released single “Slow Dancin’ In The Dark” was nominated in the country genre for the 10th Annual Hollywood Music in Media Awards.
I got the chance to talk with Kimberly about how she first got started in music, the Canadian country scene, what inspired “Slow Dancin’ In the Dark” and much more. Keep reading to see what she had to say!
Tell me a little bit about how you first got into making and performing music.
I first started singing in church while I was growing up, and I loved it. I love singing. As a teenager, I started to hone in on music. It was something where I thought, “I could do this, I like to do this.” Music essentially became an escape for me.
Was there a specific moment or person that made you realize that music is what you wanted to pursue professionally?
After I had my fourth child, I felt like I needed to get back to who I was. I didn’t just want to be a mom. I felt like I was missing a part of me and I really started trying to find out what it was in my life before I had kids and was married that brought me a lot of joy. And that brought me back to music.
You were born and raised in Alberta, Canada and it seems like the Canadian country scene is hotter than ever right now. From your experience, what was/is the country scene in Canada like?
It was actually always quiet huge, the country scene, I grew up listening to it. I remember even as a teenager, Garth Brooks had just come out, Reba McEntire was really big, so I feel like it’s always been pretty significant in Canada. So many Canadians are coming from Canada down to Nashville to make music!
I’m always genuinely curious about what artists want to convey with their music. Your current sound would generally be classified as country, but if you had to describe it without using genre names, how would you describe it?
I love storytelling and I want to convey a positive message in my music. I want my songs to be uplifting. What music has always done for me is make me feel better if I’m going through a hard time. I want to be able to do that for people, make them feel better, make them feel encouraged, not discouraged, you know? Or when they’re excited and their celebrating they might listen to a song of mine, and that’s going to help them hold on to that memory and bring back that happy feeling when they listen to the song again.
Going off of that, who are some of your musical influences?
Faith Hill, Martina McBride, and Elvis Presley. Garth Brooks is was the first country artist that I heard and I started loving country music. And then I started listening all the other great country artists. I’ve listened to so many genres that I think all these people shaped me into where I am with my writing and the kind of music I try to put out there. Elton John and Paul Anka have been huge musical influences for me because they still influence the way I think about music and writing and what I put out there. Both are incredible songwriters and phenomenal piano players.
Let’s talk about your newest single, “Slow Dancin’ In The Dark”. What inspired it?
That song was just an idea that I had when I was wanting to write a fun song. I just wanted to write a fun happy song that you know everybody could kinda listen to whether you are a teenager right now or an adult that could take you back to either when you were a teenager or being a teenager right now.
What was the songwriting process like for this song specifically?
That song actually came together pretty fast. Usually, I’ll sit at the piano and have a guitarist there and we come up with some ideas. Or I usually come up with some ideas on the piano and then play it on the guitar. But with “Slow Dancin’ In The Dark,” I feel like we wrote that within a couple hours. That’s how song writing is, sometimes it just flows and you can just write a song in as little as a couple of hours and there you go! Other times it takes a while.
Were there any major changes to “Slow Dancin’ In The Dark” that happened once you got into the recording studio, whether it be in the lyrics or something sonically?
Actually, no! When I’m in the studio recording and I’m singing, sometimes I’ll change a word because it sings better or just flows better. But no major changes to “Slow Dancin’ In The Dark.”
I know you’re planning on heading back into the studio this winter to record your new EP. Anything you can tease about that, like when fans might expect to hear it or how many songs will be on it?
What are some music industry-related goals or benchmarks that you’re aiming to reach in the next couple of years?
I want to perform at Stagecoach and the Grand Ole Opry, and I definitely want to be heading out on the road and on tour to promote the album. I would love to be at the CMAs next year. Let me be a part of the show, let me present!
Last question — we’re called Talk Nerdy With Us because we all have an inner nerd so what is something that you’re currently nerding out about?
You know what I love to do? I love to do carpool karaoke. I’ll literally do that with the kids in the car. I know they think I’m a dork, but now they’re kinda getting a little more into it. Now they’ll literally say let’s do carpool karaoke.
Photo Credit: Bobby Quillard