Singer Songwriter Kimra hails from the Joplin, MO area. A shy teen, Kimra found her voice at age 14 when she started writing music and playing guitar. Soon, she grew more comfortable performing and started doing open mics in her hometown. Kimra says, "I'm thankful for the opportunities I've had and the people I have met along the way. I'm so happy to be able to share my music with the world and I know God put me on this earth to affect people in the most positive way that I can...and I think it’s great that it’s through my music." Kimra ’s current musical influences are Kacey Musgraves, Miranda Lambert & Maren Morris. She loves writing songs and admires other artists who do the same and aren’t afraid to have a different sound or write outside the norm when it comes to music. Kimra was discovered by Winter Records in Nashville, TN who were very impressed with her voice and unique writing. In December 2014, she recorded and released her debut EP, then went on to record and release a debut album Forgive & Forget. Her second album Songs for You followed in 2016. Kimra has accomplished a lot the past 3 years. She has booked numerous shows and festivals in the 4-state area as well as in Nashville, TN. She has opened for Bo Phillips Band at JB's in Joplin, MO and in 2016 for The Zerkapalooza Music Festival she played alongside other artists such as Bo Phillips Band and Lanco. Kimra has also opened for Bart Crow Band and sang live duets with Bart. Kimra’s first music video was recorded in the summer of 2017 for her single off her first EP In my Little Town. She recorded her second music video in 2018 for Forgive & Forget. She is set to record her 3rd music video for "Stand Up" the single off her latest album released in arch 2018 "Songs For You."
Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.
Growing up, I always listened to ALL kinds of music. My parents were divorced, so being in separate households a lot, I was exposed to different genres and eras of music. I would stay summers with my grandma & grandpa in Wyandotte, OK, and we would listen to musicals on cassette tapes and watch movies such as Singing in the Rain, anything with Bing Crosby, and I owned & wore out EVERY Shirley Temple VHS! My mom and step dad were both really into 80’s music, so I love ELO, The Eagles & any 80’s rock. My dad listened to country, and I loved singing Shania Twain karaoke tapes at his house. I joined Choir in 7th grade, and I was extremely shy (believe it or not)! By then, I was listening to Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, all those great pop artists we all grew up with. Then I went through my punk girl phase, listening to Linkin Park, Good Charlotte, Finch, Taking Back Sunday and I definitely thought I was Avril Lavigne. I guess you could say she was actually a huge influence because I could relate to ALL of her music. My parents bought me my first electric guitar at 14, and I taught myself a few chords. The first song I learned to play on guitar was “Tomorrow” by Avril Lavigne, which is a very powerful song. I think it’s amazing how certain songs can take you to another world on such a deeper level and help you through whatever you’re going through at that time in your life. So shout out Avril Lavigne, your first 2 albums that got me through my teens & inspired me to start writing music! My country music influences were definitely Shania Twain, Deana Carter, Miranda Lambert & Kacey Musgraves. There’s just honestly too many great artists to mention that I was influenced by. If you were to look at my cd collection back then, you would’ve been impressed with the variety! I just love a song that tells a great story that anyone can relate to. At the end of the day, I love ALL music. But I feel like I put my own twist on “rock country” to tell my story.
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career?
I honestly think the craziest thing was in the beginning/the start of my music journey. When I met producer Michael Edser through a friend of mine, he said I should come to Nashville to record an EP. I thought he was absolutely crazy and didn't know why anyone would want to listen to my music, but he had faith in me from the very beginning and has helped my music come to life and heard by more people than I ever imagined. Without his faith, I would've never booked as many shows, recorded as many songs or met as many awesome people and artists as I have. Thanks to him pushing me from the start, I can look back and say "I'm glad I did this!"
What has been the high point of your music path?
I would say the high point would be just how far I've come in the past 5 years. I have the best support team from my husband and friends and it's great to have people who are there to push you and who believe in you. I think it's important to remember to keep going and to keep reaching for that "high" until you can't reach anymore! I think more people should push and believe more in their selves because sometimes it is just easy to stay in our little box that we feel safe in. You've gotta do what makes you happy in life!
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like?
So how I approach song writing is definitely not the norm. Songs come to me at the most random and sometimes inconvenient times. LOL. I've woken up in the morning and had a song in my head that I recorded on my phone. I've been taking a shower and had to get out to write down lyrics so I don't forget them! Here recently it's been while driving. I have an hour commute for band practice every week with my guys, so that always gives me time to think about a melody and then put words to it. Sometimes I can sit down with a pen and my guitar and figure out what story I want to tell and sometimes I can start a song, then adjust and finish it the next day. It's bizarre, but so far it's worked great for me.
Check out Kimra's video about her songwriting journey:
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be?
This is a tough one, but I think we see artists more and more nowadays making it on their own without the help of major labels. It's not always the easiest road but there are many artists out there that have the drive. It think it's inspiring and helps the little people like me keep pushing to stick to my music, my sound, my lyrics and keep my nose to the grindstone to get my music to as many ears as I can.
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why?
I would love to share the stage with Kacey Musgraves. Her music is so unique and I think it's amazing how she constantly stays true to herself and doesn't care how others perceive her or her music. I think it takes guts to do that and I just think she'd be a fun person to perform with on stage.
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?
So my band and I have practices once a week and will generally practice for a little over a couple hours. My guys are so easy to get along with and they make making music a lot of fun. For live shows I guess there's not much to it. We just like to make sure everyone in the crowd is having a good time.
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!
I don't think I have one song that was "challenging." I tend to write songs based off of other peoples experiences or stories, along with throwing my own personally experiences in there. A lot of times I'll write a song and then find out it's not exactly what I want or what I want it to sound like, so it just kind of sits in the KimraArchives. I really enjoy writing music and it's one of my favorite things to do. I think when you enjoy something that much, it just comes naturally.
What's coming up in the future?
Our goals this year are: March-April – Release music video & book band photo shoot May–Sept – We plan on booking shows/festivals with other headlining bands all around the area & competing again for Nash Next 2019! July – Record new music in Nashville to release in 2020 Oct-Dec – I want to record a Christmas album Hope that isn’t too specific! I’m sure we will be adding to that list as we move throughout the year!
Tell us where fans can access your music?!