Not since the heyday of Deborah Cox in the mid 90’s has a voice hit the dance floor (and charts) like Kimberly Davis’. Her latest track, “With You” has scorched the dance charts and her time on the stage with the legendary Nile Rodgers and Chic is turning her into dance floor royalty. Kimberly spoke recently about the whirlwind since “With You” was released and her performance at the Grammy after-party, and who made her absolutely starstruck!
Many of your fans from New Jersey first got to see you live at Paradise when you performed atSundayTea two summers ago.
I had an absolute blast there! Paradise was great, I’d love to come back.
You’ve been such a consistent name in the dance music scene for years now, but with the release of “With You”, you have definitely hit the mainstream. How does it feel?
You know, I can’t tell you how long it took for me to get “With You” exactly right. It was like a chef cooking in the kitchen, always just trying to get it to be perfect and after some work, I think we finally got it right.
“With You” brings back the true feeling of that mid-90’s house/dance music vibe that really helped bring dance music to the attention of the mainstream. Is that what you were looking to accomplish?
I am so glad that you said that! I really wanted to bring back the whole dance music vibe that had started to slightly fade, to the way it really used to be. I had a great gospel house song, so I was hoping to accomplish that. You know, the music is one thing, but you had to know the vocals were going to be there also, and I think they matched up perfectly.
You performed with Tony Moran at XL in New York City this season; what was it like to perform at such an amazing venue with such an iconic name in the business?
It was absolutely amazing! You know, Tony is amazing. He is so funny, and very particular. We started with a big acapella over one large beat, and it was incredible. We had great dancers and the crowd was so receptive. I really loved it.
You also are working with Nile Rodgers, the legendary artist and producer of “Chic” fame, who just won a handful of Grammy’s. What is it like working with a true music industry icon?
First off, Nile is funny as hell! When we are all together, the group of people who have been on tour together with him for months on end, we just have a blast. I have literally been home about three months out of the entire year. You learn so much from Nile, and he has so much background and experience to share. Nile is completely approachable with people, fans come up and take pictures, and he is just amazing with them. One of the best things is, Tony Moran worked with Nile in his early days, and Nile was really a mentor to him, and they have a great relationship to this day. My ultimate goal is to get the three of us to collaborate together on something; Tony is ready to do it, so it’s all about the timing.
What was it like being at the Grammy’s this year for the first time?
It was incredible. I performed at the Grammy after-party. Just seeing the people coming in, all the celebrities, it was so much fun! I got to see Bruno Mars, who is my absolute favorite. I love his energy and all of his music; I definitely got star struck with him!
Who is inspiring you now musically?
Right now, real singers are really inspiring to me. Besides Whitney Houston, who we will never forget, it’s all about the Patti LaBelle, the Gladys Knight, the Aretha Franklin; anyone with really strong, big vocals. I love the guys too; Luther Vandross, Teddy Predergrass, Barry White; people who have voices that I truly appreciate.
What’s next for Kimberly Davis?
You know, since “With You” so many doors are opening up for me. I was on stage with Chic in Los Angeles and a woman approached me. She told me I was “awesome” and that she puts people in movies, and that I had everything she wanted to see on the big screen. So I may be collaborating with her, that’s definitely opening a couple doors as well. I’ve been singing since I was two, so anything I can do involving that I’m up for.
There is definitely a follow-up to “With You” coming. DJ Escape is talking about putting a tour together with Inaya Day, Deborah Cox, Robyn S, and myself, so that would be incredible. I actually went to school with both Robyn S and Inaya Day, so that would be awesome to do together.
You know, everyone has that one hit that they say “changed everything”, like Robyn S had with “Show Me Love”. I’m getting such great feedback from everyone on “With You” and I really think this is mine.