Where Are They Now: American Idol's Kimberley Locke
It seems like just yesterday that Kimberley Locke joined Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard on stage awaiting the results for the 2003 American Idol finals. Since her time on American Idol, Kimberley experienced a number of successful hits, most notably 2004’s “8th World Wonder.” Today, Kimberley is still making music, but is also sharing her experiences with future entertainers at I AM Entertainment.
Unreality Idols: What was your favorite part of being on American Idol?
Kimberley Locke: My favorite part was hair and make-up. Getting it done every day was fantastic. It was the only time I could sit in the chair and just think about nothing. I wasn’t being pulled in 1000 different directions during that time.
UI: Do you think your experience would be different with the new judges versus the original trio?
KL: Yes, it would have been different. The judges are more gentle and caring, the energy is different, but I think it could have been a very different experience, not so intense. Jennifer lopez is more my generation, so that could have been different. Our season was so great with Simon, Paula and Randy. Everyone was hanging on to every word Simon said.
UI: What advice would you give future American Idol contestants?
KL: I would tell people to focus on the auditions. Auditions, auditions, auditions. The auditioning process is important. Preparation to going in, especially if you haven’t auditioned before. These shows are so intense. If you’ve never been under that pressure before, you don’t know what is going to happen to you, what your nerves are going to do to you, like a nervous tick. Anything can happen. If you can go in with a strong song and make sure that your nerves are under control, you‘ll do well. That’s what I would focus on. I work with people with great voices that sound like Billy Goats in auditions. Nerves get the best of them. It can be disappointing, especially for them when they know they’re talented.
UI: How has your American Idol experienced helped (or hurt) your career today? Was it intimidating once American Idol wasn’t there to guide your career?
KL: Not for me, for me learning and figuring it out was one of the most beneficial things for me. I learned a lot not having your hand held through every process. You need to build your own relationships and create something for you. That’s just for me, it can be terrifying. I feel that I’ve had a great career. I learned a lot on American Idol. It’s entertainment boot camp 101. You learn how to work the camera, create soundbites, complete an interview. You learn so much in a short period of time.
UI:“Four for the Floor“ was released this summer over iTunes. Where do you find inspiration for your music?
KL: This particular project was dance. An important part was writing an original dance song. Dance music is so popular. I had been in the dance world for awhile, but never had an original dance song out there, so that became the focus of this project. I wrote for a year or so and we were trying to figure out what was next. I had four songs ready, so I thought why not give them to the fans? They’re on iTunes, but we haven’t officially gone to radio with these songs. We hope to next year. A goal is an album next year, but I’m very happy with the four song EPs.
UI: Recently you started I AM Entertainment. How has your experiences in the music industry helped shape the company?
KL: The goal for me was to start the company. I had been thinking about it for three years. But didn’t know what it was or what it would be. Finally it came to me and I realized that this is what I want to do. One aspect of the company is consulting with artists helping them to move along with their process. We’re not someone who wants to manage or be an agent, but instead sit down to have a good sensibility of what they want to do, but don’t know the proper steps. I think for me I came to that conclusion because as an artist I wish I had someone to sit down and talk with me about the next steps along the way. I think it’s needed and there are a lot of artists who are doing great things and are well on their way who need a little guidance. I feel like that’s something we can offer. We do (music) production as well, and we’ll develop other areas we go along.
Kimberley Locke’s “Silver Bells” is played on Sirius and select radio stations around the country. Call and request the Christmas classic, and don’t forget it available at KimberleyLocke.com and on iTunes!