Today we’d like to introduce you to Kelsie Kimberlin.
Hi Kelsie, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I am Ukrainian-American with my mother from Ukraine and my father from America so I am steeped in both cultures. My father is a musician and activist so he introduced me to both as a young child, taking me to concerts and protests in support of justice and civil rights. I joined the church and children’s choirs as soon as I could sing, and when I was eight, I participated in Yoko Ono’s Peace Project in Washington, DC, and won first prize in the Creative Nation Contest. I used all the money on music and singing lessons and then started recording in the studio when I was 12.
Since then, I have spent thousands of hours in the studio recording hundreds of original songs. This has caught the attention of many people in the music industry not just in the USA but in Ukraine and other countries. Since 2020, I have released more than a dozen songs and videos, generating millions of views, plays, and streams, and currently, hundreds of radio stations across the globe play my songs every day. I work with Grammy winners on every song I release. I have filmed videos here, in Ukraine, and in Colombia.
Many of my songs have dual meanings, so they are deep while being accessible. Since the war began in Ukraine, I have been very supportive of the people there, speaking out and writing songs about the tragic situation. My family has sponsored many Ukrainian refugees and my wish for 2023 is an end to the war. I am currently working on an anthem for Ukraine called “We Are The Promise” which was produced and filmed in Ukraine and features all Ukrainian musicians and the Kyiv Radio Symphony Orchestra. I hope to release it around the one-year anniversary of the start of the war.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Life is generally not a smooth road, and the music business is very difficult. When I released my first video at age 13, it was posted on Taylor Swift’s fan site and I was inundated with calls from Nashville so I traveled there many times and had showcases and met several people on her team. But there was a dark side to all that attention because people began showing up at my home and school which caused me a great deal of stress. I retreated into the studio instead of doing more showcases, and waited until I was 20 to start releasing more music. I did this during COVID. One of my big supporters is Danny Goldberg who used to manage Nirvana and he strongly urged me to start releasing music during COVID because people needed something new and different. So, I did and my first two releases, “Lobotomy” and “American Guns” racked up over a million views in a short time. This gave me the confidence to plow ahead and now I have fans all over the world.