Photo by Karsten Holberg
Story by LB Rogers / Contributing Writer
Like most artists who come to MTSU for its Recording Industry Management Program, Chloe Kimes saw her education as a vein of study she could align her passion with. After graduating high school, she packed up her things and said “I’ll Be Going” to Scottville, Michigan, nearly 700 miles away.
“I didn’t apply to any other schools,” Kimes said. “MTSU was the way.”
Fast-forward to 2018 and Kimes is gigging weekly in Murfreesboro and Nashville, and students on campus are beginning to recognize her curly head in a crowd.
In January, Kimes released her first official single, “I’ll Be Going,” which she wrote and recorded on MTSU’s campus.
“This one is one that I wrote in the fall of my freshman year and I put it out only a year and a couple months later,” Kimes said, “I feel like when I wrote that song people connected to it very quickly and very naturally. I super-identified with it and I felt like it was just a really good reference for me as an artist and my sound.”
Kimes was heavily involved in the song from its inception to its release, even getting her feet wet in some production alongside Michigan producer, David Claire, and Murfreesboro producer and MTSU graduate, “Moose” Miller.
“I just felt like I was really in control and I liked feeling that it was turning into exactly what I wanted it to be,” Kimes explained, “so the mix and everything on the production end and engineering is super personalized. I’m so pleased and grateful.”
Whether you’ve heard her music digitally or you’ve been able to see Kimes live, her rafter-reaching vocals juxtaposed against her tender and intricate songwriting is enough to leave you thinking that maybe MTSU really does harbor stars. The folk-singer certainly knows how to put on a show.
In addition to her own solo project, Kimes has involved herself in multiple collaborative acts. She makes up the estrogen-carrying half of a duo called Sawyer+Kimes with another MTSU artist Austin Sawyer, and she performs alongside yet another local artist, Daniel Nunnelee. When she’s back in Michigan, Kimes gigs with her sister, Olivia Kimes. During the summer of 2017, the Kimes sisters played 50 shows across the state.
Needless to say, Kimes is very much at the helm of her career.
It’s not uncommon to find Kimes the only woman on stage at the shows she plays, the only one in the co-write making a song and the only one in the studio when she’s recording. But instead of letting that intimidate the 19-year old, she holds her own and thrives.
“I think you can be in control (as a woman) by just being really clear and communicative with how you feel about things and what you want,” Chloe explained. “But you can do all of those things and maintain a really gracious, poised attitude about it all. I would say my sense of control just comes from having a really strong vision from the genesis of a project to the finish line.”
“I’ll Be Going” is available now on all platforms and you can catch Chloe at Media Rerun in Murfreesboro on February 23.
To contact Music Editor Hayden Goodridge, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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