IAA SPOTLIGHT: GET TO KNOW – KIM TIBBS – ALABAMA’S HOTTEST STAR!

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IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What city and state are you from?

KIM TIBBS: I am an “original” resident of Huntsville, Alabama. People think I am crazy in the music industry when I say that I am traditionally from Huntsville; Huntsville is NOT a typical hub for industry entertainment AT ALL. And I currently live here as well! I grew up in Cedar Point, right beside the great J.O. Johnson High School, but attended Holy Family Catholic School, Huntsville Middle School, and lastly Huntsville High School! Literally, my old “new school” has my name hanging up in the Gymnasium because I ran Cross Country and Track & Field; and YES, I was a state champion! Huntsville is a beautiful place: Lush green trees, grass, beautiful rivers, wonderful homes, and just a truly wonderful place to live all around. People come here and think, “Wow, I didn’t know Huntsville or Alabama looks like this!” And I always say in response, “Why do you think that I live here and opt to stay in this beautiful place?” I grew up in Huntsville, but on weekends, most were spent in a little rural community called, “Little Elk, Alabama.” Down there, we were true kids! We ran, played, and guess what? There was enough room to do it because it was my Grandparents, Rev. Bennie and Mary Sanderfer’s farm; where my mother grew up. I have several memories of fishing on the family pond all the way to running away from my Uncle Ervin’s German Shephard, Bless. Those were the days. My sister, brother, and I were truly playmates, best friends, but we learned about living as real children. I played with cousins and just grew up in a comfortable life. We weren’t rich, but we weren’t poor. We were a middle class family living in a truly great area.

Huntsville, Alabama is the home to Redstone Arsenal Military Base as well as NASA. When you hear about stories involving Werner Von Braun or the Patriotic Missile, these people and the technology were developed in Huntsville. And Huntsville also houses my former colleges, Alabama A&M University and J.C. Calhoun Community College; but also, other Universities include: Oakwood University, University of Alabama-Huntsville, J.F. Drake State Technical College, Virginia College, and several smaller ones. Why I mention this is because although music is important, my background in Education is just as important if not even more important! Although I reside in Huntsville, I am also currently working on a Doctorate Degree from Walden University. Although it is not physically in Huntsville or Alabama, my other colleges are: J.C. Calhoun Community College, Athens State University, and Columbia Southern University, all of which are located in the great state of Alabama.

But, lastly, Huntsville is partial to me because my mother is still here as well as my son, as it relates to immediate family. My father, the late Pastor Robert L. Tibbs, was an instrumental unit in the North Alabama Area. His gifts, abilities, and guidance largely are what have helped thousands from this area and more to become anything that they actually dreamed to be. My family includes: The Tibbs Family, Turner Family, Hardin Family, Sanderfer Family, Shoulders Family, Weaver Family, and several others are truly what gives me such examples of family. My extended family: Blanche Chapel M.B. Church, Briar Fork C.P. Church, Church Street C.P. Church Family, Progressive Union M.B. Church Family, St. Bartley P.B. Church and St. James M.B. Church of Leighton, ALL are/were places where I made a lot of musical noise and still do. You have to have a village to really learn enough about what you want in life as well as where you would like to be. Although I am from Huntsville, I have so many extensions to the Alabama just because of how many places I have served in a musical entity.

For me, Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, Leighton, Courtland, and Tuscumbia, Alabama hold a dear piece of my heart. Why? These were places that I got lost on purpose just to find myself, my heart, my passion, my goals, my dreams, and to find out what life means. Since I record a lot, I have worked out of Big Star, The Nutt-House Studios, Fame, and several others in the area. My ability to get used to singing  and playing took place in these areas. I was able to understand the necessities of placement in musical composition just because I was able to be sitting there watching legends like the “Muscle Shoals Swampers” or seeing professional songwriting at its best under Hit Songwriter Philip White. But, I am a firm believer that wherever you want to get in life, you will be table to do regardless to the stopping blocks in place. Huntsville is where I was born, but the state of Alabama is my extra parents just because so many great people from this state have groomed me into what I am to, today.

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What’s your music background?

KIM TIBBS: Well, my musical background is one that is simple, yet complex. At age 2, I started playing the piano. My father, the late Pastor Robert L. Tibbs, was a pianist and b-3 organist. He could play anything, sing anything, and was musically one of the most influential persons that I could have had the opportunity to learn from. Daddy was and still is my reason for doing music. Once I developed a liking of music and could actually play songs, I was then sent to Dr. Henrene Smoot: A piano teacher but Alumni Professor from Alabama A&M University.

Dr. Smoot was very strict and very “directive” where she made sure that if you played a wrong musical piece, she would quickly show you just how it was to have been played. Dr. Smoot was always punctual and never played the wrong note! I used to think that she was bionic underneath her skin! After I learned how to read music from Dr. Smoot, my father wanted me to learn the specifics of gospel music. So, I started taking music lessons from Joyce Brown.

Mrs. Brown was a singer and musician. She would sit straight up, hold her head back, and sing, while playing the piano. She was very different from what I was used to from Dr. Smoot, but she is where I learned my earlier chord progressions that helped me learn gospel music. Learning gospel music was important because it was eventually where I was going to be utilizing my talents: As pianist of my father’s church. Mrs. Brown was truly a patient person and she also made sure to share snacks afterward of marshmallow spread and crackers, (of which), I still love today! But once I learned everything that I could from her, I later started developing my ear.

I would sit for hours at a time and practice on our home piano. At those times, there was no internet, no IPad Pro’s, or anything to keep us severely on the inside, so we really utilized playing in the neighborhood as kids are supposed to do! Those hours of forcing everyone to hear me play, (Hahahahah), I taught myself the more progressive chords in which I would later learn were the “numbers system.” I listened to everything, but specifically in the household, we listened a lot to blues, jazz, gospel, those genres are truly what’s heavily the result of why I play the way I do today. People don’t realize that I have a handicap as well: I only have use of 9 fingers…Why?

I was a major tomboy growing up so I would do anything I saw my brother do and he introduced me to football, basketball, and you guess it: I messed my right pinky finger up playing football related stuff with my brother. Instead of ignoring the injury, my parents sought medical help and I had to have 3 major reconstructive surgeries on my right hand, wrist, and arm. To this day, my pinky finger will not bend so people often comment on my playing a lot wondering why I hold my pinky finger in the air. I tell them,” No, I am not doing it for fashion and no I am not an Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority member!” Hahahah. But, instead of giving up and stopping all activities, my father made me play in stitches and staples on a B-3 Organ because he knew it would be easier on my hands. He was testing me out on seeing whether I would be able to learn how to coordinate and play the foot pedals and two keyboards at the same time. Guess what? It would out greatly!

Currently, I am a Hammond Artist, Roland Artist, and Peavey Artist. I am endorsed with all three companies: Hammond Organ USA, Roland US, and Peavey Electronics USA. Being that dad made me play the organ; the ability to play pedals and keyboards helped me to develop a left-handed driven chord style, leaving the right hand for more fill-in/free-style activities. But, I have also attended J.C. Calhoun College’s Music Industry Communications Department under Jimmy Cantrell.

Jimmy was and still is a jewel. A rare jewel is a great description of him. Jimmy didn’t know my musical background, because I wanted to keep that part of my life separate and quiet, but I already had a major music industry connection right at my fingertips; however, I wanted to utilize my hard work and sweat to get where I wanted to go in life. Jimmy heard me sing and play the piano one day, and literally was blown away and made sure that everyone he could speak to, know who I was…and then it happened.

One day, during one of our many Industry Community Board Meetings, where we would have industry representatives and alumni from Calhoun College to come back and speak about their whereabouts and accomplishments in music. I never will forget it: Philip White, Bart Busch, and Paul Compton all came down. I didn’t know who they were, but after hearing all of their accomplishments, it was so amazing to be sitting under them at all. All three of them met at Calhoun from various parts of the state. One was more interested in engineering, (Bart); one was more interested in music business/publishing (Paul); and lastly, one was just interested in songwriting and that was Philip. I remember some 12 years ago, Jimmy walked over to me and nudged me to go to the piano and sing the project that I turned into him just recently in Recording 101. I did. I played a hymn called, “I Shall Wear a Crown…” All I remember is that Bill Gaither of the Gaither Singers came in on Tenor note, I was Soprano, and Latoya, another student, was on alto. After finishing that song, Philip dashed off literately running to his truck, and came back out of breath and simply asked me this: “How soon can you come to Nashville? Can you come tomorrow? I have someone I want you to play and sing for.” I had no idea that he was the Songwriting Recipient several major awards, but all I know was at that moment; he opened a door for me to work with him. Guess what? I went to Nashville the next day and started literately working with legends like Blu Miller, “Skantch,” Mark Beckett, Billie Panda, and so many more. I mean, I was thrust into some of Nashville’s Who’s Who of music and had no idea of all that was about to take place.

I started going back and forth to Nashville and began doing true professional demo singing, playing, and producing with Philip. I also became organist/keyboardist for Amber Leigh as well. I learned the elements of what it means to write a song and even noticed that Nashville had its own number system. I also learned to do my simple demos on my IPhone under my voice notes. But, I also learned about what true sound was to sound like and knew that in order to be considered a great at songwriting, which I discovered I was really good at, I would have to truly stand out.

I started my songwriting career in Algebra II, with Andre Wainwright. He and I would sing and write stuff for hours at Huntsville High School, in Huntsville, Alabama. Later after writing mostly poems and melodies with Andre, I actually found my first real teacher: The Late James Bussie. James Bussie was an organist from Atlanta, Georgia that just so happened to play at St. Bartley P.B. Church when I met him. We became truly close friends, but he was murdered by his ex-girlfriend 15 years ago. You can’t imagine what someone is mentally going thru, however, what I did know was that the music we were creating was truly: music. He inspired me to become a songwriter. What is funny is that I didn’t understand how to make live sound at all, but he was patient enough to show me what it takes to truly place great musical melodies together with heart-felt lyrics. We would be working together on everything that you could think of and when he was murdered, it was shocking because you never hear about revenge or a person dying because of rage and anger. And when he died, I lost everything that I had been working on with him. But, he helped me to make my poems that I had into songs.

My background is a simple one: Anything live with a nice, clean Hammond Organ, Roland boards, Fender Rhodes, Vintage Guitar, Bass, Drums, beautiful vocals, and a true message is where you will find me supporting and listening every day!

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Why do you want to record and release your own music?

KIM TIBBS: I could give the obvious reasons that every artist will want to say and that is, for starters, I want to be on the radio and give people real music. Now, people will argue all day long about what is real, or fake, but I am not one to put other artist on blast; or place them in a category that they don’t want to be in. I simply look as a whole at the wave of what and where music has come from. Then I compare it to where it has gone. I want to be that artist that can re-introduce, re-invent, and re-dedicate solely to the art of soul and sound.

A few months ago, I sat down and thought about what music is and what I wanted to do with my music. What I decided to do at that point was to start going to the studio and began to record what I truly wanted, musically, to represent me as a songwriter and artist. Since I listen to and play a lot of genres of music, it was easy for me to find a comparison of what I already did verses what I was trying to do. I know that may not make a lot of sense to a lot of people, but to the real musicians out there, they will know exactly what I mean.

For instance, we just lost the beloved, Prince. Prince was known to have some of the best known and even under known musicians in the world. Why we fell in love with Prince is because he put out everything we wanted to feel; while also giving something truly original, captivating, and from the heart. For me, the very essence of what he did makes me hunger for the ideal placement as a songwriter/artist for my sound. I don’t want to be like him as for his sound, but as for his knowledge as a musician, as a business owner, and as an artist: I truly hope to be iconic as he!

Releasing my music is a dream come true. It allows me to say what I want to say. It gives me a moment to share my wonderful moments, along with the painful ones that people almost think they can’t live thru. Releasing my own personal sound truly helps me adapt daily to life. People often see the outside of a person and think that the whole world must lay between their fingers. Well, I get this kind of treatment a lot because people assume that I have not been thru anything tragic. But, music has a way of making every letdown, setback, or hardship be erased. For me, I try to write about personal feelings, stories, ideas, and center everything on a Hammond Organ of some kind. Once I get the direction of the song in the early state, I am very fast in finishing.

Music opens my eyes and my heart. Sometimes in my past, music made me realize that the person I was in a relationship with at the time may not have been the person that I needed to end up with. My own music talks about positive encouragement as well as building up talents so they could make wealth for me. When I release my sound, I am giving of myself to everyone around me. So, since there is only “one” me, creating the perfect musical works for my friends, family, and fans is my way of giving a portion of me at all times. Music just is what I have to connect me with outside world activities. Most folks that I know within the music industry are very different, but the language of music makes us all connect.

When people hear my sound, I want them to remember where they were when they first heard it. Believe it or not, I can remember where I was when I heard some of my favorite artists. And that is what and how memories are created. When a person hears my sound, I want them to be able to relate and also be able to heal just knowing that someone has gone thru the same thing that they may have been thru or going thru. My songs talk about love, about death, about creating a family, about releasing pain, about making good decisions and choices, about making someone feel special, about supporting family, and especially about loving God. I can do all of those titles and not feel pressured about a genre just because there are so many people in between that need to hear songs touching on those topics. For those topics and possible fans, alone, that is why I want to release my sound.

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your songs about?

KIM TIBBS: Funny that the next question after why I want my songs to be released is what my songs are about!? As I stated earlier, my songs have several messages. They speak about empowerment and being focused. My songs touch on love, and on divorce. My songs are almost like a session with a counselor because some start off with the whole idea about a person not knowing who they truly are inside; as a person and looking to someone else for that extra boost or helping hand. A lot of the time, real issues that I have gone thru or are presently in, come out in my music. There is nothing to be ashamed of when you are truthfully doing something from the heart. Although everyone has a closet, sometimes, people need to know that there are a few people out there that actually aren’t afraid to say that they have been thru some major stuff.

A big part of me and my songwriting died when I lost my dad in 2010. I had just started recording my second album in which I would be dedicating it to him, my mother, and my siblings. Had I known that he was leaving me so soon, I would have smothered him and got on every last possible nerve in his body! There is something about the love that a daughter and father share; but even more, on my last project, I wrote a song called, “Like You…” And on this album that I have been trying to get finished, I have been truly getting my own counseling just from the comforting words in some of the songs.

Not everyone is capable of showcasing their true feelings and I am happy that I can. My songs are ways to get to know me. They also are ways for people to understand that I don’t like to broadcast my time by being out, as well. How I am able to write is by literally sitting down, clearing my mind, and the first subject that pops in my head is usually what I take into consideration and run with!

Too often, I have been super critical of my sound and sometimes I even over analyze the songs so much, that they just get locked away. What I have learned as I have grown into my abilities is that I had to go thru some extremely harsh situations to appreciate my gift. Going thru hardships caused me to appreciate all people and give when I can. As a Christian, I do write about God’s love. I can’t stop that part of me. I was born into the church and even baptized at such a young age, but guess what? You can hear some of that too.

All in all, my songs are stories and ideas all in one. I love Soul music, so a person will hear elements of early soul music with a twist of something totally new. I love all types of music, so, it will not be uncommon to bump into country music or even dub step. But, the main message in the music is always an undertone of finding yourself so that you can be what the entire world needs you to be!

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Who are your musical influences?

KIM TIBBS: That is a truly wonderful question to ask me! Who are the folks that influenced my sound? Well, to start, I mentioned my father, the late Pastor Robert L. Tibbs. Daddy, was patient and made sure that if I needed him to do anything, he would run in the speed of lightning. He was the very first teacher that I had and when I had mastered what he was showing me, I then went to Dr. Smoot. After finishing with Dr. Smoot, I then went to Mrs. Brown. These were my classical and gospel influences, but they are not my only influences.

Because I listen to a far great amount of music, that spans the entire world, I have learned to incorporate everything that I like into my sound. One thing that I did though was I did my own little research about early soul music. Since I play a loud “B-3 Organ,” I took the time to study some of the all-stars of music. What that means to me is that I literally took some of my favorite music, artists, and albums; I turned them over to see what names I recognized or had not recognized; I next googled all the names and was so overjoyed that several were still alive, writing songs, producing, and playing! So what did I do? I started my networking.

On the day that I contacted Rev. Charles Hodges, I was nervous. I was actually scared. You see, “Uncle Charles,” was the original B-3 Organist for Al Green: In which, you guessed it! I am a huge Al Green Fan! I remember seeing Al Green as a little girl back in the early 80’s. I was too small to stand, so my father put me up on his shoulders and there he was with the beautiful background singers and full band! At that moment as a child, he became my favorite artist and wouldn’t you know that today some 20 plus years later, I have a deeper love because I have worked with so many soul artists and Iconic names in music?! Al Green’s music included the organ, which Uncle Charles explained to me how the organ came to be at Hi Records under Willie Mitchell. It is such a humbling story, but even more humbling that even though Charles and his brothers are all iconic musicians, they all had time for someone like me. But my love doesn’t stop there.

Outside of my father being my total influence and first musical love, I am a fan of Prince, Billy Joel, Sade, Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Najee, Louis Armstrong, Robert Glaspers, Norah Jones, John Fogerty, Credence Clearwater, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Isley Brothers, Victor Wooten, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Little Dragon, Maroon 5, Lauren Hill, Natalie Cole, Gladys Knight and the Pips, The Supremes, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, John Lennon, Glenn Frey, The Allman Brothers, Bobby Womack, Johnny Taylor, Percy Sledge, Rascal Flatts, The Roots, Van Hunt, Joe Sample, Chick Corea, Hezekiah Walker, Willie Banks and The Messengers, The Mighty Clouds of Joy, Take 6, The Bond Brothers: Andrew “Bear” Bond and Chris Bond, Bon Jovi, The Staples Singers, Stevie Wonder, The Eagles, America, The Mamas and The Poppas, Heatwave, Klymaxx, The Temptations, The Who, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Mahalia Jackson, The Hi-Rhythm Section of Memphis, The Muscle Shoals Horns Section, The Swampers of Muscle Shoals, Lynard Skynard, Lionel Richie, The Commodores, The Clark Sisters, The Caravans, Sam Cooke, The Rolling Stones, Ben Howard, Patrice Rushen, Queen, Heart, Fleetwood Mac, Roberta Flack, Donnie Hathaway, Steely Dan, Bruce Springsteen, Scott Tibbs, Art of Noise, Toto, The Dramatics, James Ingram, Patti Austin, Patti Labelle, B.B. King, The Bee Gees, Chicago, Kiah Victoria, Rance Allen, Yolanda Adams, CeCe Winans, BeBe Winans, Divinity “Divi-Rocks,” Dr. Reginald Jackson, Sting, The Police, Freddie Joachim, Lianne La Havas, and so many more. As you guessed it: I am a fan of old rock, soul, jazz, blues, gospel, and new age contemporary music! All of these artists that I listed above have some kind of way been instrumental in showing me how to be a better musician, a better songwriter, a better person, and a better artist. If some of these people never pursued their dream of music, people like myself would not exist today and that is why it is so important to travel a little back in time to figure out how music became and evolved.

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How would you describe your music to people?

KIM TIBBS: If I was sitting in a restaurant and someone came up to me wondering what my sound is like, I would explain it like this:

“My music is just like your favorite breakfast dish: If you like Waffles, Syrup, Sausage, Bacon, Ham, Scrambled Eggs, Fried Potatoes, Hash-browns, Fried Onions, Mushrooms, Peppers, Toast, Apple Butter, Fried Apples, Fried Peaches, Stuffed French Toast, Cereal and Milk, PG Tips Tea, Freshly grounded up coffee, Homemade Strawberry Preserves, Peanut Butter and Biscuits, Oatmeal, Cheese Grits, Vegetable Grits, Pancakes, English Muffins with Butter or Cream Cheese, Crepes with fresh fruit and Cheese, Plate of Special Cheeses and pears, Champagne, Spritzer Water, Cantaloupe, Strawberry’s, Watermelon, Peaches, Grapes, Honey Dew Melon, Papaya, Grapefruit, Oranges, Tangerines, Bananas, Blueberry’s, Nectarines, Kiwi Fruit, Figs, Fried Wontons and Cheese, Boiled Eggs, Eggs over easy, Eggs all the way, Water and a lemon, and a table overlooking a beautiful ocean, filled with luscious blue waves. This breakfast is all the way over the top which is exactly how my music is…over the top!”

The breakfast that I just explained went all the way into touching boundaries that truly aren’t ‘t always associated with breakfast foods, but in order to give a great description of what my sound is like, you got the idea about it from the breakfast description, correct? My music is full of surprises, emotions, love, happiness, joy, peace, positivity, empowerment, but yes, I have had a few songs to cross the borders of pain, hatred, anger, and rage…I think that I write according to how I feel a lot of the time which means if there are happy songs everywhere, then I am extremely happy!

For the first time listener, I am sure that someone would compare it to other artists that are out currently. However, the person will gain a true signature sound with Hammond Organ being definitely present. Plus, none of my songs sound alike so I think I would win over some listeners by actually being truly original. And I am happy for that moment to truly show what I am made up of. Sometimes, I wish I were able to go to an island just for a few days with nothing but my portable recording gear, plenty of songwriting materials including notebooks, a portable keyboard, a vintage studio microphone, and then let my ability speak for itself. Creating music doesn’t have to be so hard: The hard part comes in how the music is delivered and that in itself is a whole different conversation!

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What makes you stand out from other artists?

KIM TIBBS: I believe there are several things that make me stand out from other artists. (For one, I am not bragging so please don’t take my answers as such because I am a humble person). There are not many females in the world that are actual B-3 Organist, but I am and actually wear the title as a Hammond Artist. I play one of the loudest instruments on the stage. It’s an item that is kind of like a lion. Although people can tame lions, they can still come back and haunt you in the end. Well that is the same for a B-3 Organ: You can tame it and play it ever so gently but in the end, it will come back and scream at you!

Another reason I stand out from other artists is because I am seasoned. I just didn’t start working in the music industry yesterday and when people see me, they think I am management or something else industry related. I have always had a great love for the music industry, but I have done my homework and balanced my career with my active life. What makes me stand out from other artist is because I am a professionally endorsed musician with multiple endorsements and with that, I have been given the most humbling experiences because of playing for a large selection of Who Who’s in the music industry of today and yesterday. So, when people see me on stage supporting those artists, sometimes they go and research/ google me, and guess what? The next thing they find is my music; thus I have another fan out of just doing what I love to do!
Lastly, what makes me stand out is because I am actually putting heart and soul into everything single song! Every song has a message that has a true connection to everyday life. Artists lose the connection with fans when there is no substance or when there is never something that a person can gain from listening to what your sound is. For instance, I am a female, a woman. That in itself means that I go thru things a lot different than the average male counterpart. And those differences are what I write about…So, when you sum up the amount of character, choice of instruments, and things to say, you then have my songs.

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Tell us about one of the hardest challenges you had to face in your music career and how did you overcome?

KIM TIBBS: Wow! What a question?! I believe as an artist and songwriter that there are several hundreds of challenges that we have to deal with on a daily basis. One of my hardest challenges was actually being able move thru doors or actually having the necessary amount of “help” that it takes to really get an artist off the ground. You can have great music, but if you don’t have a good team that takes care of the logistics that are always within the picture, you don’t have the full potential and amount of support that is needed to leap off to the next point!

A second challenge has been trying to maintain what I want to sound like. Years ago, I worked with a producer who never wanted to pay attention to anything that I wrote, but instead, wanted me to sound the way he projected that my music should sound! Bad taste! It would bother me that I would be paying for sessions and getting his sound. I also didn’t have the courage to tell him that I wanted to sound the way my demos sounded at the time. Instead of him being supportive, (considering that he was getting thousands of dollars from me) he was always very negative, critical, and almost like an esteem blocker. People rave about his talents, and yes, he was talented, but what is talent when you are only listening to yourself speak and no one else? Anyway, when we parted ways, at that moment, I gained my sound and have not changed it one bit. I am proud of who I have become because it has not been without a full struggle.

Thirdly, my final challenge has been trying to stay encouraged even when it seems like days, weeks, and months go by without phone calls to do work. People can see the outside and think that there are so many wonderful things going on for a person, but don’t have a clue on the real truth. As an artist, I get hungry just like the next person. As much as I love music, being an artist and songwriter is very taxing. But, guess what? With prayer and sacrifice, I have been able to remain in good spirits at all times, financially met all my responsibilities, and been a hand on parent! I do believe that as an artist and songwriter, my duty is to always be responsible and making the right decisions that will help in the long run. But, real life kicks in and makes adjustments all the time. I am a real person and know that life for me has not always been easy. As a matter of fact, it has not been easy at all. But, I am thankful for where I am today.

Lastly, people don’t realize just how much I do. I am currently working on a Doctorate Degree at Walden University. Most would think that a college degree would be sufficient, but not me! I have always dreamed of having a Doctorate since being a little girl and while some may call me crazy to be in school and working in my dream career, I think sometimes that I am not doing enough. My mind is a lot different than the next person. I could have a full conversation with you while sitting in front of a keyboard, piano, or organ, and be playing wide open! I do things a lot different than the next person so making the decision to go back to school has been a rewarding one for me. It shows proof that single moms, with zero help, can finish anything they put their mind up to. I am living proof of that!

These are just some of the challenges that I face. Parenting is a whole different subject, but again, I am where I feel the Lord wants me to be. I also am trying to keep a level head because there are so many things out there that are not truly the best for me to be a participant in; I have challenges all the time and though my challenges might not sound as harsh as the next person, keep this in mind: I have rent due, groceries needed daily, have to drive, have to pay insurance, have to pay cell phone bills, have to pay utilities, have to pay water, have to be available for my son’s needs, and have to live. These are the same across the boards for everyone in today’s standards! Everyone has challenges!

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are some upcoming projects you are currently working on?

KIM TIBBS: I am always busy doing something! But, I recently started working in the department of film scoring and composition in films, and again, I am humbled. My original, “Completely,” a simple love ballad will be featured in the film, “Zodiac Sign,” directed by Christopher Nolen. Secondly, I got another placement on the film, “The Boss,” that recently just came out. I am happy for this one especially. Thirdly, I worked on a project with an artist, King Khan and The Shrines. The project was an original soundtrack for the movie, “The Avengers.” However, this is not the avengers as super heroes, but that of the Memphis group of men and women that risked their lives for freedom, equality, sanitation and jobs rights, and for the right to vote. This film, The Avengers, was also voted and picked up as an HBO Original and I am hopeful that it does take off!

I will be working on a film called, “Baby Driver.” The film has not been rated just yet, but I am excited for the roll I will be playing. I also will be working on my second project in the near future. Also, I supported the artist, Raheem DeVaughn on a studio project that should be coming out later this year, which is also great. I recently just got back from London, three weeks ago. While I was there, I literally spent a few days in the studio just writing. And the more I wrote, the easier the songs came to me. So, I have 3 full albums that I am working on and recording all at the It has been a while since I went into the studio to just focus on me and my sound. I mean I did little bits and pieces here and there, but it is such a humbling experience to know that when you are about to be in a studio, you are the artist being supported! Also, I have several films in the future that I will have placement toward which I am excited about as well! I can honestly say that I have a lot going on and can’t wait for even more opportunities to share even more with you all!

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

KIM TIBBS: My career goals are simple: I just want to be successful at what my heart desires! I love being a musician and I know that in 10 years, I plan on at least keeping up on my organ/keyboard skills! 10 years is a lot of time! So, in those 10 years, I would have already finished my Doctorate Degree and started working as a Professor of a college within the Music Industry Program; teaching a class on songwriting, professional responsibility, or one about accessing the tools that get you to the desired locations in life. Since I am also a motivational speaker, I would be speaking full throttle by then. I also love to encourage others, so I would be in full throttle again trying to make sure that my one-on-one sessions were moving as well.

I could see myself starting a major musical festival of some sort. Yes, me…A promoter! Where I am from, Huntsville, Alabama, there are some beautiful, luscious greenery and I could see something so major coming to Huntsville. We have a few concerts here and there, as well as a festival here and there, but I would love to have something that is major and constant such as the Coachella, or others.

As a graduate, I would definitely see myself opening a professional studio/entertainment hub that has an actual entertainment lawyer on site as well as other entities. Artists need to have dance studios, choreographers, and musicians, bands, and songwriters as well as practice rooms that are stage quality, while also having the intimate setting of a writer’s session. Having these present, would in fact allow my presence to be known even more. My degrees all surround themselves around Business in some form. And they all have helped me to make smarter moves as well as transactions. They don’t make me better than people: They make me smarter!

I just want to have a career that lasts. I want to be that artist that people say, “Wow, Kim has an amazing band and sound and has since she started!” Those that have them also have songs that reach everyone. And by reaching everyone, then I will have the ability to unite worlds together! I want to make music and simply be heard on the radio.

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How can your fans access your music and contact you?

KIM TIBBS: My fans can connect to me via my website first: https://www.KimTibbsMusic.com.

Second, my fans can go https://soundcloud.com/kim-tibbs and listen to some more music.

And if you still need more, go to http://www.reverbnation.com/KimTibbs

My Hammond Artist Page is http://hammondorganco.com/artists/organ-and-leslie-artists/kim-tibbs/

Lastly, my Facebook Fan Page is http://www.facebook.com/KimTibbsMusic

Between all of these, I can be reached! I hope that you find everything that you are looking for and more. Thank you for your support and for following me! I love you all!

 

 

 

 

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240 COMMENTS

  1. Kim,

    You’re hard work is paying off greatly. Your example as a mother and a musician shows us that all things can happen no matter any circumstance. Keep giving God his praise and continue to walk into your destiny. God bless you.

    ~TP

  2. Woooooooooowwwwww!!!? I am so beyond humbled! Thank you for the encouragement and for believing in me! Blessings to you!

    Kim Tibbs

  3. Kim when I first heard your music, I thought this is not real! How can an artist of today give real sound and do it from the heart? Keep moving forward!

    • Anytime someone is glad to have read anything from or about me, I am humbled completely! Thank you for your support!

    • Thank you so much Liza. I am only human, but again want anyone to follow their dreams just like I have and continue to do…

  4. I found you on another site and am glad to have found this article about you. It makes sense for why you sound so great!

    • Joshua, I don’t know where you are from, but Alabama IS great and dear to my heart! Thank you for your support!

  5. I saw the video of you playing with the Blind Boys of Alabama and you truly can play an organ. I wish you total success.

    • Samuel, what I did was nothing truly great. I play however way I can, make the artist have their moment to shine, and am in it for the love of what I do: Not for anything else! Thank you for looking for me!

    • Emery, I am currently in the process of recording a new album as we speak and will be releasing a single soon. I hope that you will go and find it! Blessings to you!

    • Bradford, yes, I am currently working on an album as we speak. I thank you for the confidence truly and cannot wait to get music out to you all!

    • Bertrand, that is simply me. I am full heart and when it hurts, it hurts, but when it loves, you can’t stop it at all! Thank you so much for the support!

    • MIranda, thank you! I could say Girl Power but that would be so out of order! Hahaha. I can’t help that Hammond Organ just so happens to be an instrument that I like to command!

  6. There are so many festivals going on down here in Australia. Are you gonna be on any of them mate? I know I would love to hear you live!

    • Trudy, I am always trying to advance my career and move to the next stopping place! Who knows what the future holds, but I can assure you that I would love to play down there!!!

  7. I hope you keep moving forward in your dreams. This inspired me to keep making things happen on my end. Thank you.

    • Mark, even when no one else is cheering for you, you have to be your own cheerleader. I know I get down sometimes because the support that I should have falls short, but instead of getting discouraged, I turn around and encourage myself. For one, it helps me push on and keep making it to the other side while also keeping my head straight so that I don’t turn to see any negative mess. People will either support you or not and though you will have those that openly do it, there will be more folks against what you have going on than anyone supporting you. Truth is that there are a lot of people chasing after the wrong dream, basing goals off of the wrong stuff, and not really living. If you can’t live, love, and breathe peacefully, then you have world’s to experience. That is how you can know that everything is working. Because if the worst of the worst events happen to you, and you can look at it and not be bothered, you are truly headed where you are supposed to go and this is where I am. Nothing bothers me anymore. Nothing surprises me anymore, but one thing I had to stop doing and that was letting outside people connect to me and my dreams. Can’t do it at all and if you do, you are setting yourself up for downfall! Anyway, I don’t know why I said these things, but maybe this is speaking to you…Take care and thank you for the support you have given….

  8. Very proud of you my friend! Truly you are a gift to the world and have been to me as well. Thank you for all that you do and keep making great music!

    • Charles, Ham Fam!!!!!! You already know I appreciate you!!! You are part of an elite family that I am a part of…Not many people can play an organ, let alone A HAMMOND! You are also a gift to the world and have done something that many won’t have the chance to do: Back President Barack Obama up on an organ!!!! I am so done!! Can’t wait to see you at NAMM!!!!

      Kim

    • Jermaine, thank you so much for your kind words and congrats on your big Grammy wins and successes with D’Angelo and as a Vanguard. Blessings…

  9. It’s the Lord that causes us to triumph! We are so empowered and blessed by your many, many experiencea in life. It’s right to give honor to God, your parents and your legacy. You have taken all of our dreams and hope to the highest expo of faith for generations to come. Stand firm, be wise through the Holy Ghost, and give away as often as possible what’s been given to you so that your legacy will be a part of history in Alabama, the world and the legacy and heritage of your family.
    Time and life fades but the word of the Lord never will.
    Give the word that saves sinners through it all. Your Dad and Mom gave that, Jesus. Make his name the greatest in all you do for that will be all we have to carry home.
    Dad passed, and in his passing 3 weeks hence, God has exposed so many things about him I could not see until now. Dad gave what God gave him to so many others beyond his family. He left a mark, imprint and deposit in everyone on his path. People are daily telling us how much he changed their lives by his experiences, intellrct, wisdom in life and business and a man of great integrity and honor. Dad made every life important and he took time to talk, laugh and share all God gave him. God gave 93 years to live out the great deposit. So, I know that it’s true that God expectations are transferable into eternity: “Well done! Thy good and faithful servant. You’ve been faith over a few things “.
    Enjoy, love, give and celebrate all of him in you. We are so proud and glad that you are our famimy.

  10. Cousin Elaine,

    I appreciate so much that you are family first. Support from family is something that anyone needs because when everything else is gone, family will always be there in the end. Just like your father, my father installed work ethics and to keep the Lord first at all times. I memories that he left us, and I know that you are discovering even more and more about your father even in the precious absense that he has now taken. Stay strong and know that you are loved. Your father left a rich legacy and so many people showed just that and you also are a legacy so keep pressing forward. I love you dearly……

    Your cousin,

    Kim Tibbs

    • Eric, I appreciate that. I believe you are correct. Dad was proud of all three of his children and we loved him!

    • I have several guest appearances as well as a couple of co-producers because I want to establish an “un-classifying” album full of multiple genres of music. I just hope that you will support the project though when it is released!

    • Thank you for that. I wrote “The River” one day based off of how I felt about a particular person that I was dating. I was comparing the way I felt to that of the river. Water flows and there seems to never be an ending of where it will travel and that is exactly what I wanted to showcase to this person at the time because I wanted him to know that I loved him beyond what could be the end of time…I am not sure if you have felt that way about someone, but it was a really deep moment, but that is something in the past now. However, I wrote it, recorded it/singing playing only once, and this is what came of it. I am truly excited about what is taking place in my career right now….

  11. When I hear your music, it sounds like someone broke your heart a time or two. It is sad but I relate to you so much. Please continue writing and showcasing your sound.

    • Yes, I have had a mishap with love before. It hurts when you are everything you could possibly be to a person and get rejected or pushed away afterward all because of someone not being sure as to what they are or want in life. I look at how things have turned out and time is my best friend actually. The more time I have on my side, the better off I can be and better off I can move in my own skin. I try to write songs that people will actually appreciate and relate to…I will and than you for your support.

  12. Kim,

    I remember when your grandmother and the Tibbs Family used to come to Ohio all the time when I was younger. Your family were all able to sing and it is no wonder that you would also be able to play AND sing so well…Don’t be afraid to place your sound out to the world because there will be people to support you and those that won’t. KNOW that you have a lot of supporters! Big ones at that! I love you and know that you are doing some amazing things!

    Pastor A. Morning

  13. Sometimes when you are doing so well, people will not be able to take it and will then showcase hatred. Huntsville is way tooooo small for your growth, as well as your ability. I have always seen you and known that you would be a star. Keep rising…

    • Carol,

      I receive the words you spoke. Huntsville has it’s ways. Although it is home for me, I do see where I am going to be going away because of my career. I see that all the time, actually, but I thank you for seeing me as a star. I am just a person and that is it. Anyway, thank you…

      Kim

  14. Whatever you do or whenever you come out with a project, I will definitely support it and support you because you are an artist with true talent! I love you Kim!

    • Amanda, that was the sweetest way to catch a person’s attention and I want to thank you for being kind enough to support me. Please have a wonderful day!

      Kim

  15. Will you be coming to Europe at all, because I am truly interested in listening to you. I heard your song, “The River” on BBC Radio 6. I truly love your ability as a pianist and songwriter all the same. We need to give your sound a go!!! Cheers!

    • Robert,

      I will be coming to Europe. I am and have been working on my touring areas and I am excited that you were able to catch my song “The River” on BBC Radio 6! I was told that it was submitted and listened to, but had no idea that it was played and played enough to grab the attention of listeners like yourself! U are truly appreciated! Thank you to you and Cheers as well!!!!

      Kim

  16. You are truly my personal inspiration! I can see you playing on the major stages with already mainstream artists! You are a diamond and it is starting to show just how much you are worth! Keep on doing you baby girl!

    • Bobby, I appreciate your vote of confidence! I am trying hard to stay on top of things and one day soon, I will be there! Blessings to you!

  17. Everyone, I would really like you to know that I appreciate you all for being so supportive and for being so kind to me! I am not where I want to be, but I am trying to get to where I want to be in life, soon! Thank you for the encouragement and I can’t wait to introduce my sound to you! Blessings to you all!!!! Kim Tibbs

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