February 13th, 2009
February 13th, 2009
The patrons of Billie's Black were eager with anticipation to hear the young lady gracing the stage tonight. People were trickling into the quaint venue, searching for a spot to catch the show. Kimberly'Nichole has been billed with sensational R&B artists such as Bilal, Rahbi, Eric Roberson, Dwele and Darien Brockington over the past few years. It was only a matter of time for this songstress from Seattle to get her chance to shine, as Patti would belt out - on her own. She has been waiting for her moment, patiently, adrenalized, sassy and petite in her little blue shorts jumpsuit. Kimberly'Nichole was ready to leave her mark on New York City and tonight was her night.
Kimberly'Nichole's whole set was acoustic, which definitely brought a richer, more crisp tone to the evening. Not to take away from a full live set; however the sparse arrangements do allow you to hear the depth of the artist's voice and you tend to walk away with more of an appreciation of what the artist can do with her own interpretations. The opening song to Kimberly's set was "Peace of Mind," which was originally a very uptempo rock alternative ditty. She slowed down the track and made it a fun and bubbly piece. In between songs, Kimberly'Nichole interacted with the crowd sharing where she was from (Seattle), song origins and her love for her favorite artists (India.Arie and Andre 3000). With that said, she jumped into her favorite track from Outkast, "Prototype," and turned it into a slow and sensual groove. She claimed that for a while, she wanted to add a Sade song to her list of melodies, but was not sure if she could. However she most definitely proved with "No Ordinary Love," that the choice made was a wise one.
One song after another, Kimberly'Nichole sang straight from the heart, swaying to and fro with mic in hand and the crowd responded back with "sang it gurl!" Debuting a few new songs from her upcoming debut short album was of course, a treat for everyone. The sugar infused mantra to "Carnival" - "cotton candy, candied apple, sugar coating me with your love..." draws you in. While the story of centering your life around your loved one and having nothing resembling a life of your own once you break up is told in "Disconnected." After delivering her tracks with ease, Kimberly'Nichole dove into a few covers that blew everyone away. Jill Scott's "It's Love" was sung with the help of Gordon Chambers and Jaiden on background vocals and a call and response with the crowd. Similarly strong was India.Arie's "Brownskin" again, with Mr. Amazing - Jaiden - on background. And just when we thought she was done, she ended with what is now her signature cover, Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy."
With the recession buster price of $1, almost everyone left the venue with a CD laced with a taste of what's to come from Kimberly'Nichole. We look forward to what the self proclaimed alternative soul indie lady has to offer, for we are well aware that this is only the beginning.
By Ann Marie Collymore