Q&A: Dance-Pop Sensation Kimberly Cole On Music, Acting and Twitter
When my friend Jesse Blaze Snider had great things to say about Kimberly Cole during our recent interview, I was curious to meet her. I have a great respect for him, so if he admired her, I figured she was a person I ought to meet.
I wasn't disappointed. Like Jesse, Kimberly is a multi-talented performer, having been not only a musician, but also an actress, TV hostess and competitive roller skater. That's not just multiple talents, but that's a lot of very different skills to learn.
Beyond that, though, she has a wonderful personality that defines the word "bubbly." She's an avid social media user who spends plenty of time on Twitter with her fans and over one million followers. And when someone crashed the auditions for her new music video, she didn't get upset; instead, she put him in the video! (You can see the footage at the end of this post; it's now gone viral.)
Kimberly recently took time out of her busy schedule to chat with me about her new single, her acting career, and her thoughts on comments in the social media.
How did you get to be who you are today?
I genuinely, from like three years old was this girl., I sang in the shower. I was like, "Wow, I have a good voice." I didn't, but I thought that I did. (laughs) I think that I just kind of followed who I Was from the very beginning.
Tell me about this new single, "U Make Me Wanna." What do you enjoy most about it?
What I love about it is it isn't necessarily a sequel to the single I came out with before ["Smack You"]. It's a dance record. This record is more about the beat and having fun. I collaborated with Eddie Amador, who's a legendary house DJ.
For people who haven't heard you yet, how would you describe yourself as an artist? Is there something particularly important to you?
I definitely write a lot. As a songwriter, I really pay attention to lyrics. I care about being funny, witty, emotional. I call [my sound] "swag-pop." For me, if the song doesn't have swag and something edgy, it's not for me. I want to get my music to a place where people are responding to it at a mainstream level and it's getting there.
Yet that's not all you do.
I do feel like I'm an entertainer-performer in general. Singing always was amazing, but I danced and I played piano for like fifteen years and I acted and roller skated. During high school I started to focus on competitive roller skating. I did major at UCLA in theater. I was in musicals. Music is my number-one, but when you're a [performing] artist you're an actress too.
You acted in the "Stage Fright" episode of Dollhouse. What was that experience like?
The Dollhouse episode was an example of the perfect role [for me]. They used like five of our songs and the main one was a song that I wrote. It was just the best experience to put everything [I do] together. Joss Whedon has so many fans and I love him as well.
Do you think you'd consider expanding your acting career, or would you prefer to stick with being a singer?
I would say that music is my one hundred percent focus for sure. It's almost crazy how much passion I have for it, no matter what happens. Every day I wake up and there's nothing that gets me down. I live in the studio doing this every day.
Music will always be that forefront and then those other things are stuff that I love as well. Whatever opportunities come my way, I'm down, but I'm not trying to do everything.
Would you say your hosting experience has changed how you approach being interviewed about your music?
Yes! It's so funny. As a host, you're just being you. You allow people to talk about who they are, and that's what it's about. I love talking to people, I love getting to know people and what makes them tick, [so] hosting comes very naturally to me.
It's much harder to answer the questions. It took me a second to get used to. There's always that fear of "Should I tell them the truth?" When you're just being who you are, that's who people want to see.
You're also very active on Twitter. What is it like to have over one million Twitter followers?
It's the coolest thing ever. It's the most fun for me. I can ask a question or tweet something and I'm getting so many responses.
I genuinely do my best to answer everybody [and] I genuinely have gotten to know my followers. They're like my friends. It's like we're texting each other almost. (laughs) I really am the biggest nerd.
I've been talking a lot recently about the effect of comments made in the social media. As both a musician and an active Twitter user, what do you think? Are you affected by the things people say about you?
Of course. People think that it doesn't affect you. It definitely does affect you. At the beginning it affected me [more]. I had to call my mom and I cried.
On Twitter I read everything. I will always respond to the mean comment with like a smiley-face and nine times out of ten, they apologize. Really what I think they want to do is just to be noticed themselves.
You have to just know that this is part of it. Not everyone's going to love you, and that's okay. We all have opinions and we're allowed to. But I think it's the way you say it.
What music do you listen to as a fan?
I have such an eclectic musical taste. I pretty much love every genre of music. I listen to old-school stuff and I love some early 90's stuff. I love Adele, I love Michael Jackson, and I'm a huge fan of Bruno Mars.
(c)2012 Brittany Frederick/Digital Airwaves. Appears at Starpulse with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.