Rock ballerina KimberlyNichole is taking the music industry by storm. Known for her powerhouse vocals and frilly tutus, the songstress has received critical acclaim as both an indie and international sensation. Riding off the success of her self-funded debut EP The Yellow Brick Journey, the Seattle native has dug her heels firmly in NYC as a force to be reckoned with.
Among those to have taken note include MTV, BET and the legendary duo Ashford and Simpson. In 2011, she was named a BET Music Matters artists and returns to their stage next week to perform at the BET Experience in LA. She is also the 2012 recipient of the ASCAP Foundation’s “Reach Out and Touch” Award in honor of the late Nick Ashford.
After watching a “magnetic” performance, fashion god André Leon Talley even invited her to the VOGUE offices and penned a feature on her, likening her performance to “watching a Meissen porcelain miniature come to life.”
We recently caught up with the Vixen via phone while taking a summer stroll in Harlem to talk about her vintage chic look and getting camera ready for performances.
— Stephenetta (isis) Harmon
VV: You’ve earned your moniker as “rock ballerina” with the amazing tutus we’ve seen in you in over the years. How did that look come about?
KimberlyNichole: It’s funny. I’m not married to the tutu. It kind of just happened naturally. The lady who designs them had reinvented this vintage dress I had and she added these layers of tulle that made it look like a tutu. I loved the look of it and every collaboration we’ve had since then has had some rendition of the tutu.
Your live shows are so full of energy. How do you keep your look camera-ready while still rocking out?
A good primer and good finishing powder. I love Iman’s Primer and use either Black Opal or MAC’s finishing powder.
Nice! If you had to empty out your travel bag right now, what goodies would you pull out?
Besides my vocal and allergy medicine? [Laughs]. I have my iPad, a lot of make-up and my tutu, of course! I also always have some sort of high-waisted lamé pants and either one of my grandfather’s or my grandmother’s hats.
Before you jet west for the BET Experience, you’ve put together an intimate show, “WILD & WONDERFUL,” this weekend with Sophia Urista and Rahbi at the Kazino. What should we expect?
The space we’re playing is a pop-up tent that is made to have an old school vaudeville-slash-cabaret-slash-burlesque feel. So, expect a lot of wild antics, some good singing and showmanship reminiscent of our musical forefathers. We’re definitely tapping into a lot of raw authentic, rock and blues sounds.
Vixen is giving away two tickets to KimberlyNichole’s New York show, WILD & Wonderful experience. Want to win? Email us your name, email and twitter handle below for your chance. Enter by Friday at 5pm for your chance to win. We’ll announce the winner Friday at 6pm.
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