Kimberly Locke Dishes On Life After “Idol” And Her New Single “Strobelight”
Kimberly Locke Dishes On Life After “Idol” And Her New Single “Strobelight”
Kimberly Locke may have come into our lives through American Idol, but she has certainly created her own reasons for us to stay captivated by her music. With top hits like “8th World Wonder” and “Wrong” Kimberly has solidified herself as a singing sensation with loyal fans that span the entire world.
Her new dance track “Strobelight”, is due to be released on April 6th. You can also check out Kimberly’s new gig as she blogs during the new season of American Idol for US Magazine. We are very excited to have the opportunity to share our interview with the very talented and beautiful Kimberly Locke.
Maddy: You were a contestant during the second season of American Idol (2002) what was your experience like and would you have done anything differently?
Kimberly: American Idol was an amazing experience and I try to live my life with very few regrets. There’s nothing about the experience I would change. It was a positive experience for me and if I had to do it all again I would.
Maddy: My sister is probably one of your biggest fans and has your picture as her goal physique hanging on her wall. It seems like your fans love that they can identify with you as a woman. Tell me about the connection with your fans.
Kimberly: When I was going into the show my life was very normal and then literally you go from nobody knows your name to everyone knows your name. It was a shock factor for me because you lose your unanimity over night. The beautiful part about this is that you go on the show and you have an idea about what you want, but God has a plan that surpasses our understanding. I had a preconceived notion about what it was going to be like, I thought it would have been over and done before I knew it. What happens with the show is that your in peoples homes 3 days a week minimum, and with this exposure it really is a gift because even after the show is off people still know who you are and are interested in your career.
Maddy: You put out your first album after America Idol. What was this like, to put your own album together?
Kimberly: We understood there was a window of opportunity when the show was over and BMG had the right to refusal and they only chose to work with Clay and Reuben. I had the task of finding my own record deal. I solicited the help of a few of my friends, my lawyer and a couple of people that I met while I was on the show and we all got together and I said “This is what I need and I need it to happen before the end of the tour”. And…. It happened… As soon as the tour ended I was in the studio recording the album.
Maddy: Was the process of putting the album together anything like what you thought it would be like?
Kimberly: (Laughs) No, no, no…none of it is what you think it’s like. You have all these preconceived notions, it’s just best if you are not married to them. It was crunch time, and realizing the window of opportunity I needed to get my album out. At that point the songs are coming in, and we are making selections and everything happens really fast.
Maddy: You went from American Idol, you did the tour , you did the album and then it hit’s the stores. Your first single hit’s the Billboard Hot 100 and your life changes again. Tell me about how you handled the changes.
Kimberly: A week before the album came out I was in the car with the president of promotions, Bob Catania and he looked over at me and said “So Kimberly, you will never be able to say that you don’t have a record on the shelf.” I looked at him and realized he was so right. This was my dream and it was all coming true. For the rest of my life and when I’m 80 years old, if I want to go to Amazon.com or itunes.com and order or download my album I can. It’s a moment in the history of my life.
Maddy: The difference between the first and second album was that you wrote 9 of the 12 songs. Did you find it difficult to open up about your life and pen them down?
Kimberly: I think that it’s easier to sing from your own experiences than to sing what someone else wrote. At times I had to question whether I wanted to put my business on front street but I decided that it was important to relate to my fans and what they go through in their every day lives.
Maddy: Between the first and second album you signed with Ford Models plus division. Tell me about working as a plus size model for Lane Bryant?
Kimberly: All my life I’ve had a wish list of the things I wanted to do, and modeling was one of those things and I was able to check it off my list. Not only did I model, but I was able to do it with one of the best agencies in the world.
The contract I had with Ford and Lane Bryant was a gift to me. I had just come into the business and I was struggling a little bit with my identity in the sense of “Who am I and how do I fit into this business that is so focused on my weight”? Right after America Idol all of the questions that came to me were like “Oh, what does it feel like to be a big girl in Hollywood?”. I was like “Wooo, I did not even realize I was big until you just pointed it out to me!”. It was in the forefront of everyone’s mind and therefore it got placed in the forefront of my mind as well. Right around that time of personal struggle, I get a call from Ford Models and they have a contract for me.
To me this was a way of God saying to me, embrace yourself and who you are because your about to touch a lot of lives. God makes no mistakes and he did not make any with me by putting a few extra layers on my “tushy” and my thighs. (laughs)
I also have the fans to thank. They don’t know how much they have inspired me.
Maddy: You embrace a healthy lifestyle, is this why you decided to go on Celebrity Fit Club?
Kimberly: When I was first approached about Celebrity Fit Club, I needed some time to think about it because by going on that show, I wanted to make sure I was not sending my fans the wrong message. I wanted to make sure I was doing it for the right reasons. Again, this was a gift. It was back to back gifts. Embracing myself was one, and now that you are in love with yourself let’s take it a little bit further and take control of your health. It was more about health for me because I had conversations about my mom’s health and I was concerned about her. I said t myself “what better way than to set an example?”. Right after the show I signed a deal with Jenny Craig.
Maddy: I have to admit that Harvey has been really hard on confident people that come on Celebrity Fit Club. Most of us see him as a curvy hater but long and behold he was not one after all. (we both laugh) How was it that you and Harvey ended up together?
Kimberly: Harvey and I are no longer dating but when we were dating he embraced me. He never once said anything about my weight, he loved me for who I am. That said a lot about him as a man.
Maddy: How do you handle the pressure of being scrutinized in the media spotlight?
Kimberly: You have to put the pressure in it’s place. If you don’t it will over take you. I believe voluptuous women in this business have to be more grounded than any other man or woman. I believe that confidence is key and you should let it come from inside you like a ray of light. I don’t care if you are 200 pounds and walk into a room, if you have confidence, people will wonder who you are and be drawn to you.
Maddy: Tell me about Making The Curve, the reality show we first heard about last November.
Kimberly: We are still pitching it and I actually have a few meetings coming up about this. Making The Curve is about putting a plus size singing group together. It’s for women who are always singing back round vocals because they are not given the opportunity because of their size. The show will consist of the women being prepared to be on the road so they will have to work out but it won’t be about losing weight. It will be about endurance and being able to entertain while on the road and during performances.
Maddy: Tell me about your new music and teaming up with Randy Jackson.
Kimberly: I signed a singles only deal with Randy Jackson so there will be no album. We live in a world where people go to itunes and download the songs they want. My first single is called “Strobelight” and it’s a dance song. It’s fun, its upbeat and I suspect we will all be working out to it at the gym and dancing to it at the clubs. You can check out itunes on April 6th. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the year. This is going to be an awesome year for me.