The music, the fashion, the television, the lack of bills to pay. The ‘90s was the bridge between the ways of the past and the future with the internet barely in its infancy and smartphones an idea only ‘The Simpsons’ could dream about. As someone who spent their childhood in the depths of the decade, it’s now interesting to watch new artists pull from it the way musicians pulled from the ‘70s and ‘80s when I was a kid. Interesting and definitely appreciated because one listen to someone like KIM! and I’m hooked!
KIM! started out impressing everyone as a contestant on ‘The Voice Kids Indonesia.’ Today, she’s definitely your new favorite with songs like “Care 4 U!” and “All My Girls.” Both beautifully blend the heart of the ‘90s with the style of today seamlessly in a way that she’s an instance where any and all ages will have her high on their playlists. If more artists could take note of what KIM! is doing, that’d be wonderful.
It was a pleasure to chat with KIM! about being in a singing competition, girl power in the 21st century, and of course the ‘90s.
Kendra: Were you the first one to be aware of your talent, or did someone in your family, or at school hear you sing and let you know that your voice was next level?
KIM!: I couldn’t sing when I was little (in fact I was always off-tune LOL) but then I’ve always loved singing so my mom was eventually aware of that and then she put me on vocal lessons since I was like six. Because of my love for singing, I kept practicing and after years of learning and just singing, I decided that I wanted to take this whole singing thing seriously.
Kendra: How much time passed between realizing you could sing and getting on ‘The Voice Kids Indonesia?’
KIM!: I think like around two to three years. Before ‘The Voice Kids,’ I also auditioned for a whole lot of other singing competitions but didn’t get in. So, I just kept practicing and kept trying; I never gave up because of my love for singing and my dream to be a singer.
Kendra: Did you learn anything from being on the show or from Bebi Romeo that still helps you today when you’re working on music or performing?
KIM!: I am and will be forever grateful for that show and for my coach, Bebi Romeo who guided me throughout the whole show and has taught me so much about the singing world. ‘The Voice Kids’ helped me with my singing career and I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.
Kendra: Now let’s talk about “Care 4 U!” If this is what you’re putting out now, I cannot wait to hear what you do in 10 years. But sticking in the present, can you tell us more about how this song came about?
KIM!: Awww thank you, thank you, thank you! We (My producer, NSG, and I) wanted to do a teen bop but also like a heartbreak song. I have been listening to a lot of 90’s R&B and did a bunch of covers like Aaliyah’s “Are You That Somebody” and wanted to create some kind of a vibe. Fortunately, my producer has a lot of songs ready in his bank and we went through some of them and found an old record he made, so we decided to flip it.
We had to put our own spin on it and make it have a pop chill vibe and everything just fell into place like that, and also as I get older, I went through situations with boys so then the song kinda became more relatable and relevant for me…because you know…boys can be cruel sometimes and it’s a normal thing that happens when being a teenager.
Kendra: Some may listen to this and think, this is a pretty intense song for someone that age, but I think those people forget what it’s like to be 14-15 years old. Do you think that happens more often than not – older folks dismiss younger people because they somehow forget what it’s like to be that age?
KIM!: Yes, yes, yes. I mean stuff like this happens to all of us, especially teenagers, and I feel that older people often dismiss us for feeling that way because they might forget what it’s like to be our age and having to deal with stupid heartbreaks when I’m pretty sure that they went through the same stuff that we do now when they were teenagers. So, I don’t really think that this song is pretty intense for someone my age because it’s a normal thing that all us teenagers go through sometimes.
Kendra: The video for “Care 4 U” as well as your return to ‘The Voice Kids Indonesia’ stage this past April were both very heavily inspired by the ‘90s. It’s crazy to me that this is vintage for you as it was just my childhood, but I love to see it. When you look up things from that era, what sticks out most to you when it comes to inspiring your creativity?
KIM!: Looking back to the ‘90s, what I love about it and what sticks out to me the most is its vibe and style. It’s music. It’s fashion. It’s pop culture. It’s movies. Honestly, I just love everything from the ‘90s and I try to pick up inspiration from it the most because, to me, that era was just amazing and super interesting.
Kendra: Speaking of the ‘90s, I was taken back there once more by your latest single, “All My Girls.” It reminded me of singing Spice Girls with my besties in 5th grade on the playground. Only this song definitely feels modern and on par with a lot of the music we’re hearing from artists at the moment, and once it was over (and I hit repeat) it made me wonder how important it is for an artist like yourself to see women like Beyonce and Taylor Swift owning their careers, their narratives because back when Spice Girls were big – that was not the case for many women in music?
KIM!: To see women like Beyonce and Taylor Swift owning their careers and their narratives nowadays is just super inspiring to me. I am so grateful that it’s easier for us women to thrive in the music industry today knowing that this was not the case for many women back then.
Kendra: Lastly, it’s getting a little easier with the vaccine rollouts, but it’s still kind of hard to have a definite answer when it comes to future plans given the current state of everything, but as far as what you can control when it comes to your career and creativity – what do you have planned in the coming months for yourself?
KIM!: OMG okay so in the upcoming months, I have a few more singles to release and then finally MY ALBUM. I have been working on this album for forever and I am just super excited to finally release it for the world to hear. I really hope that people will love it as much as I do.