An Interview with
Prolific is just one way to describe Kari Kimmel, who has just released her sixth studio album, Gold & Glitter. She’s also composed over 650 tunes for commercials and video games, and theme songs, such as “Where You Belong” for the series “The Fosters.” Add her to your Spotify playlist, and let the music play.
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions! And congratulations on the upcoming release of your album (what do we call releases now? CD’s? records? albums?)
Thank you! I think I’d go with album, although everyone seems to call them something different these days.
Your music is everywhere. How do you keep track of it all?
It’s tough and I’m not the most organized person in the world. Many times, I completely forget songs of mine are airing on a show and I’ll be flipping through and hear my song on TV and be completely surprised. That’s happened more times that I should probably admit.
Do you ever get a project where you’re already a fan of the show/director/game?
Good question! I don’t watch TV all that much (or go to the movies for that matter.) When I do watch a show, it’s usually years after it went off the air. That was the case with “Sons Of Anarchy,” my favorite show ever. Michelle Kuznetsky was the music supervisor on SOA. And she recently licensed a song of mine for Cobra Kai. I think I was more excited that the music sup of SOA was licensing my song than that it was on the show!
What are some of your most recognizable theme songs?
“The Fosters” is probably the most recognized theme song. That show has had a really good run, and is sadly coming to an end this summer. I loved being a part of that show. In the kid world, I do a theme song for a show called “Spirit Riding Free” (parents with littles might know that one). I have a two year-old and she loves that show, so it’s super fun to be a part of something my daughter watches. Very soon “She-RA” will be premiering (a remake of the show from the 80’s) and I cannot wait for that. I wrote the theme song (I’m not singing it) but it’s all about girl power and I’m so excited for that to be the next theme of mine to air!
Between working for all these clients, how do you find time to come up with your own material?
That has been a struggle recently; way too many things to do and not enough time to do it all. I try to find a little time to be creative in the midst of repping bands, pitching their material and mine, and being hired to write, sing and produce songs for specific projects. I try to steal a few minutes here and there, even if that means I can only start an idea and have to come back later to finish it.
“Gold & Glitter” is your sixth album! How has your music (songwriting and taste) evolved over the years?
I feel like I’m always growing as a writer. I’m influenced by so many things, so many genres and styles of music. My writing and production varies based on what I’m super into at the time. Whether that be pop rock or EDM or more organic based music. I love the freedom of not being confined to one genre.
Where were you, headspace wise, on your first record compared to now?
Every album has taken on it’s own genre. My first album “A Life In The Day” leaned pretty pop-country, my next album “Out of Focus” was more singer-songwriter. The album after that “Go” was more dancy pop. Then there was “Black”, which was much darker and leaned more dirty country/rock. “Poppyfields” was made up of mostly uptempo pop/rock songs. And now my current album “Gold & Glitter” is more in the pop electronica vein with big choruses and hooks.
What is your favorite song right now (that’s not your own)?
Hmmm… can’t say that I have a favorite song at the moment. My only time to hear music seems to be when I’m in the car. I drive in silence when I’m by myself (it’s the only quite time I get lol), I listen to kid’s songs when I’m in the car with my kids, and when I’m home or in the studio, I’m listening to mixes of my own music! If anyone has suggestions though, bring em on!
What are your three favorite albums?
Carole King/Tapestry, Michael Jackson/Thriller, Prince/ Purple Rain (I’m old school)
Are you planning on going on tour?
I’ll probably be doing some West Coast shows, but I don’t have any plans to do a nation-wide or int’l tour just yet!