Singer-songwriter says follow your dreams

We’ve all heard the saying before: Never give up on your dreams.

Many of us do, figuring that we’re too old, too poor or too busy to achieve them. Yet there are some people who just never lose sight of their goals and eventually get the opportunity to live out their dreams.

Take Kimberlee, for instance. This singer-songwriter waited until the age of 30 before she was able to finally devote herself to making music full-time. As she was preparing to leave her job at Silicon Graphics in the Bay Area, the company coincidentally announced layoffs. Luckily, she and her husband had already saved up enough to support herself and fulfill her musical goals.

“You’ve got to believe it’s possible, and with hard work, there’s more opportunity,” says the urban folk musician, who now makes Southern California home. “They say success is preparation leading to opportunity, [and] we’ve been preparing for a while.”

Opportunity has definitely come knocking for Kimberlee.

Last year, she released a five-song EP, Learning How to Love, which has received generally good reviews in newspapers across California for her mix of folk, R & B and her rich, throaty singing voice. She has also been touring Borders Books, Music and Café stores across the West Coast for about a year.

She plans to release her first full-length album in the fall. But before putting the finishing touches on that album, she will be visiting Reno to tape an acoustic performance this Saturday at Big Ed’s for a video/DVD release. Reno-based ESG Entertainment is producing the video/DVD.

“They selected [Big Ed’s] because it’s a smaller, intimate venue,” Kimberlee explains. “It has a nice, kind of retro feel. It will cater well to the kind of production that we’re trying to pull off, kind of in the vein of [VH1’s] Storytellers.”

Reno music lovers are invited to be a part of this event, but because Big Ed’s is a small venue, patrons will need to reserve tickets for the event. Those interested can find out more on the Web site www.KimberleeMusic.com.

Although this may seem like a lucky break, Kimberlee has actually been preparing for this moment since she was a young girl. At age 15, Kimberlee started taking voice lessons from renowned voice coach Judy Davis, who has trained everyone from Janis Joplin to En Vogue. Davis trained Kimberlee for nine years, helping the young singer develop her contralto voice.

Kimberlee credits God and her husband for helping her achieve her goals. Her faith in God comes through on her album, but she says her songs aren’t meant just for a Christian market, because she feels that love and forgiveness are universal concepts.

Her new album will focus on these topics, but it will also send a message to those who may feel like giving up on themselves or their dreams.

"As long as you’re alive, it doesn’t matter what your age is—you can pursue what it is you really believe you must do here," Kimberlee says. "Sometimes you have to do other things in addition, but you can’t lose sight of the things you really believe in and the dreams that are dear to your heart."