This weekend, former American Idol Season 2 alumni Kimberley Locke will return home to the Nashville area to headline Saturday night’s Disco Diva Bash, a dance party benefitting not only One Heartland, an organization that helps children with HIV/AIDS, but also the Nashville Chapter of the American Red Cross.
Just last week, I had the opportunity to chat with my former American Idol pal to ask her about the upcoming Disco Diva Bash, her charity work and her latest single, Strobelight.
JONATHAN PINKERTON: The last time I ran into you, you were performing at the annual HRC Dinner right here in Nashville. Now you’re headlining Disco Diva Bashthis Saturday, June 19 at Nashville’s War Memorial Auditorium. Can you tell me more about Disco Diva Bash?
KIMBERLEY LOCKE: The Disco Diva Bash is a party for everyone! With my new single “Strobelight” some have been referring to me as the “Disco Diva” and I thought that was a pretty catchy diva. So in thinking about the them of this party, I wanted it to reflect something about me and my music. That’s how I came up the title. This is a party for charity. We have an amazing local sponsor, Betty Harris, who has her very own skincare line, Issima Skincare and spa, La Bella Farmosa Spa. We are also being sponsored by Vitamin Water (VIP Lounge) and Bonefish Grill.
The Disco Diva Bash is a charity party that I host to raise money for One Heartlandas well as other local charities. We have partnered with the American Red Cross to help raise money for the flood relief in Nashville. Giving back has always been important to me and that what I want this party to represent.
JP: So, it’s not just a big ole dance party, but a benefit. How did you get involved in One Heartland?
KIMBERLEY LOCKE: That’s right. This is a charity event. All money’s raised will be donated back to One Heartland and the American Red Cross Flood Relief. I got involved with One Heartland about 6 years ago. From the first time that I attended camp in Minneapolis, MN I was sold. Attending camp and hearing the stories of the campers really made an impact on me. I had traveled to South Africa a year prior to attending camp but I don’t think I realized at the time that we had so many youth here in the U.S. who were also living with HIV/AIDS. So I decided to get involved on the home front.
JP: You’re tireless work on behalf of children with HIV/AIDS was recognized in 2007 when you received the Red Ribbon Award. What was it like being honored for continuing to shed light on the subject of pediatric AIDS?
KIMBERLEY LOCKE: I was so surprised. I couldn’t believe that they wanted to honor me! I don’t think I realized that I had done so much until I was contacted and they sent me over a list of all the work that I had done. I didn’t realize I had done so much. It felt really good to be honored.
JP: As many of your fans know, you grew up just outside Nashville in nearby Hartsville, TN. Following the recent flooding in Nashville, you decided to also partner with the Nashville Chapter of the American Red Cross for this event. As you mentioned earlier, that partnership will result in a portion of the proceeds from Disco Diva Bash being donated to help fund ongoing relief efforts in the Nashville area. Where were you when the floods came?
KIMBERLEY LOCKE: I was at home in Los Angeles when the floods came. I was watching the news in disbelief. I was on the phone with my friends and family every hour making sure that they were ok. When I saw the footage on CNN, it scared me to see that much water covering the city. My heart dropped.
JP: Since you’re a hometown girl, I gotta ask you…do you think the national media glossed over the Nashville flood?
KIMBERLEY LOCKE: Unfortunately, yes. Between the “supposed to be” bomb in Times Square and the oil spill, Nashville took the back seat. Thankfully, CNN tried to rectify the oversight and Anderson Cooper came to town. This was huge because it gave the people a voice and it also helped the country to see the severity of the situation in Nashville and surrounding areas.
JP: Back to your upcoming Disco Diva Bash, in addition to your performance, you’ve also lined up Doug and Derek Perry, better known as Los Angeles-based DJ siblings, The Perry Twins. Have you known The Perry Twins for long?
KIMBERLEY LOCKE: I have known of The Perry Twins for sometime. We worked together over the past year at the Red Dress Party, an event in Seattle, WA, and that’s when we really became acquainted. They are lovely and talented guys. I am always looking for ways to network with people and I look forward to making some music with them one day in the near future. We’ve actually discussed doing some shows together. Maybe the Disco Diva Bash will be the fist of many!
JP: Did I hear that my pal Intern Adam, from Nashville radio station, 107.5 The River will be there as well?
KIMBERLEY LOCKE: YES!!!!!! He will be introducing me the night of the party! I actually spoke with him just before this interview. He seems like a fun and lively person and I can’t wait to meet him and hangout! SEE YA SOON INTERN ADAM!!!!!!
JP: I understand for this weekend’s dance party, there are General Admission tickets ($35 Advance/$45 at the door); A limited number of VIP Tickets ($75 Advance/$89 at the door, which includes admission to the Vitamin Water VIP area, beverage tickets, a meet and greet with you, as well a gift bag; and even more exclusive Super VIP All-Access tickets ($1000) which include all the amenities of the VIP Ticket and a private dinner with you at Bonefish Grill! Are you sure you know what you’re getting yourself into? ;-)
KIMBERLEY LOCKE: LOL!!!! That is correct. The Super VIP tickets are being sold for $1000 each but there are only 10 tickets. I am not sure how many are left at this point but I am really looking forward to this dinner! I wanted to give the fans a personal experience with me, something that they will remember for a lifetime. As you said, the dinner is being sponsored by Bonefish Grill and each SUPER VIP Ticket ticket will get you a special gift basket from Bonefish Grill, entrance to the party on the 19th of June, as well as access to the Vitamin Water VIP Lounge, which includes ANOTHER gift bag from Issima Skincare and La Bella Famosa Spa–Everyone loves GIFT BAGS!!!
I KNOW MY NASHVILLE FANS WILL SHOW ME A GOOD TIME AT HOME!!!!!
JP: Of course so many of your fans first saw you on American Idol, heck that’s when we first met. I was working the auditions for the show and you were well-on-your-way to becoming one of American Idol‘s most famous alumni. Gotta ask…Do you watch the show?
KIMBERLEY LOCKE: I watched this past season because I was writing a blog for US Weekly Magazine. I had to keep up!!! I am on the road a lot so sometimes I would have to record it and watch it later but I definitely watched!
JP: On your Idol season, you finished third. I said it then, and I’ll say it now, you were robbed. ;-) I feel the same way about this year’s results…actually the results from the past three years. Any advice for 2010’s third-place Idol, Casey James?
KIMBERLEY LOCKE: I think Casey will have a career regardless. That’s the beauty of Idol…you don’t have to win. Casey is handsome and he’s got a way with the ladies….I think he will make a big splash on the country music scene. He may even move to Nashville!!!
JP: Of all the American Idol alumni, you are the sole artist to have achieved major success in the Dance Club genre, having topped the Billboard chart with 2007’s Change and Band of Gold and 2008’s Fall. Have you always been a fan of dance music, or did the stars simply align three times in a row?
KIMBERLEY LOCKE: The stars simply aligned 3 times in a row. I think they are aligning for a fourth time with Strobelight. Growing up, I was a fan of almost all music, but as you know, dance music had not quite made it’s way to Nashville. It wasn’t until the first remix of 8th World Wonder that I realized there was a whole new world out there for me to discover in dance and I went for it. I am so glad that I did because it has proven to be a great path for me.
JP: Speaking of dance music, your latest single, Strobelight was recently released and is climbing the club charts. The single was produced by Cutfather & Paparazzi. Cutfather, aka Mich Hansen has worked with everyone from Kylie Minogue to Santana. What was it like working with Cutfather & Paparazzi?
KIMBERLEY LOCKE: You know, with modern technology, we don’t all have to be in the studio together. So, honestly, I haven’t met them yet, but I so want too. I need to give them a big hug and a kiss! Along with the writers of Strobelight. It takes a team to make it happen and they are a part of my team!
JP: Strobelight is your debut recording with American Idol judge Randy Jackson‘s Dream Merchant 21 label. How is Randy as a label head, vs Randy as an American Idol judge?
KIMBERLEY LOCKE: I’ll be very honest and say that Randy Jackson was my favorite judge and now that I am working with him his is one of my favorite producers. He was so easy going in the studio and made me feel so comfortable. I was actually nervous the first time we worked together, then I finally told myself that he must really believe in my talents or he would not work with me. After all, he could work with anybody he wanted too….right?
JP: I love the Tony Moran & Warren Rigg Remix! It’s got a decidedly classic disco feel, what that a conscious decision, or just a natural progression for the track?
KIMBERLEY LOCKE: We when got the track, Randy was so anxious for me to hear it. He kept telling me that it was hot. So when I heard it for the first time it took me back to the same place of classic disco. I think that is exactly what we had in mind. To have that Donna Summer vibe….who doesn’t love a good Donna Summer song!
JP: Already named by Billboard as their #1 Breakout Club Track pick for their June 19 issue, Strobelight is already so hot. A remix collection of Strobelight just dropped Tuesday, June 8. All 11 remixes are available for digital download from iTunes and Amazon. Besides Tony and Warren, who else remixed the single?
KIMBERLEY LOCKE: That’s right, we’ve just released Strobelight -The Remixes that includes remixes from Tony & Warren, as well as mixes by DJ Renegade, Donni Hotwheel and Ray Roc & Gabe Ramos.
JP: It always amazes me how different remixes can change the feel of a song. Now, you know Tony, Warren and the others won’t be reading this, so just between us, which is your personal favorite version of the song?
KIMBERLEY LOCKE: I can not answer that question! I’ll tell you at the Disco Diva Bash! LOL!
JP: As a successful Dance Club Diva, coupled with the fact that your Disco Diva Bash is by no coincidence set to take place during Nashville’s LGBT Pride Weekend and in addition to you, The Perry Twins,Intern Adam, the Disco Diva Bash will also feature some of Nashville’s favorite drag performers, including the reigning Miss Kentucky Continental Plus Taje’ St. James, Mya Campbell, Sasha Dereon & Nece Sexton. You’ve obviously got a huge gay and lesbian following. This may seem like a silly question, considering it is 2010 after all, but have you experienced any backlash for your unwavering support of your LGBT fans?
KIMBERLEY LOCKE: I am happy to say that I have not. I believe that the one thing in this lifetime that we are meant to do is love one another. My mother taught me at a very young age not to judge others; it is not my place. I try to live by that. Not only do I have a huge LGBT fan base, I have a lot of gay friends who love me to no end. That’s all I care about.
Growing up as a biracial child I know what it feels like to be discriminated against, I wouldn’t want to do that to anyone else. I love the NOH8 campaign….the message that they send is so strong and very much needed.
JP: As I mentioned earlier, critics are loving Strobelight and your fans are looking forward to more. Is there a release date for your next single?
KIMBERLEY LOCKE: Right now we are solely focused on Strobelight. Once it’s made an impact then we get to working on the next single. So for now enjoy the remixes!!!!!
JP: Beyond the single, remixes and this weekend’s Disco Diva Bash, what’s next for you?
KIMBERLEY LOCKE: I am currently working on a TV show called Making The Curve. I will be hosting as well as the Executive Producer. This is a show about putting together a plus-size super group. These are all the talented women who don’t get the opportunity to be in the spotlight. They are always the background singer. We will tell their stories as well as give them the opportunity of a lifetime.
JP: One last question before you go. Having grown up in Nashville myself, there are two things I crave on a regular basis: coconut sushi from Sunset Grill and the occasional authentic cherry coke from Rotier’s. What’s your Nashville guilty pleasure, or something off the beaten path you recommend to friends when they visit Music City?
KIMBERLEY LOCKE: First of all, let me say that I have been very homesick….I miss the country!!! I miss my mom, my friends, riding my motorcycle and playing with my kitty cats. I miss going to the Bourbon Street Blues & Boogie Bar in Printer’s Alley, and I miss going to hear Stacy Mitchart play his guitar with his tongue! Yep, I still stop by B.B. Kings to see him when I am at home. I recommend those two places to all of my friends who visit Nashville. I miss Dairy Queen….ice cream cones dipped in Chocolate and Butterscotch!!!!!! YUM!!!!
Kimberley Locke will headline this weekend’s Disco Diva Bashon Saturday, June 19 at Nashville’s War Memorial Auditorium. For more information, or to purchase tickets, CLICK HERE. For more on Kimberley Locke, CLICK HERE.
Can’t make it to the Disco Diva Bash, but want to donate to the charities? CLICK HERE to give to One Heartland. To volunteer or donate to the Nashville Chapter of American Red Cross, CLICK HERE.
Kimberley‘s Strobelight Remixes are available for download from and Amazon.