Write where she lives
Kimberlee, who plays Costa Mesa's Borders this weekend, says her music is spiritually inspired
By Young Chang
Kimberlee, who just goes by the one name, sings about things she knows -- loving people well, loving them not so well, forgiving and having a hard time with forgiveness.
The 32-year-old performer is the first to admit she's not a pro at loving and letting go. This is true for most of us, she thinks. In her opinion, people throw around, misunderstand and misuse the word "love" too often.
But she said one source -- the Bible -- got it right.
"My favorite verse is I Corinthians 13," Kimberlee said. "It's a passage, a definition of love, and that's what we're all craving. Love is patient, love is kind, it is not proud. It perfectly describes what we're all looking for."
Her debut album, "Learning How To Love," refers often to spiritual lessons such as "love your enemy" and "love others as you love yourself." Kimberlee will perform her songs at Borders Books, Music & Cafe in Costa Mesa on Saturday.
When asked if she is a Christian, she hesitates.
"I'm a struggling Christian," Kimberlee said. "It's not easy to be a Christian, but I've been inspired a lot by the Scripture."
The singer/songwriter has also been inspired by almost every musical
genre-- rock, country, folk, blues, and R&B. Her musical influences include Wynonna Judd, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Chaka Khan.
When it comes to her closet, social consiousness inspires Kimberlee's fashion sense. Recently, she went shopping and bought a pair of red leather-looking pants with a white stripe down the side of each leg and blue stars on the stripes.
"I'm kind of into this whole symbol of freedom right now," she said. "In comparison to other countries, we have the ultimate freedom in terms of a country."
Kimberlee admires performer Janis Joplin for her "unbridled ability to communicate her heart."
Her own goal is to communicate the process of learning how to love. And the message is for everyone, not just for Christians.
"In the Bible, Jesus came for everybody," Kimberlee said. "God is for everyone, and it's not a classist or separatist type of deal. It's not supposed to be something that's marketed. It's just supposed to be something that is."
She compares herself to such artists as Peter Gabriel, Sarah McLachlan and Jewel. They refer to scriptural principles through music, without preaching a religion.
"There are just so many spirit-conscious artists trying to make a difference with what they know in their hearts, that what is right is right," Kimberlee said. "I just write about what I live."
That includes relationships -- with her husband, with family members and with loved ones who have abused and abandoned her in the past.
"But I don't just write about the pain--I write about the problem and the solution," she said.
Paul Laurence, a producer for Kimberlee's next album, says his client has the right approach. She's in the business out of love for creating music.
"She's very humble," Laurence said. "You know, it's refreshing to see somebody that enters music from a pure level, instead of with all the money everybody has and thinks about now. If you have that approach, I think you're ahead of the game."
When asked to describe her music in a few words, Kimberlee offered, "It's ever-evolving, like me."
WHAT: Kimberlee (seen above)
WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Borders Books, Music, & Cafe, 1890 Newport Blvd., Costa Mesa
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