Kima of the girl group Total is ready to step out on her own. After years of living in the group’s shadow, Kima has found her confidence and is releasing new music. We recently chatted with the New Jersey native about her new single and video “Luv Me Back,” the importance of putting passion back into R&B, and if there will be a Total reunion anytime soon.
EGL: “Luv Me Back” is your new single. Was this based on a time-period in your life?
Kima: The single, I could say, is based on an experience in my life. I recorded the song about a year ago. I’ve been married. It will be 21 years now. It more so resonated in the area of things that I was going through with the group, us really not being able to work things out and move forward. I’m like here I am in a space giving it my all, and it’s not really loving me back.
(“Luv Me Back” presents an underlying message that is deeper than what the song and video projects. It gives the scenario of loving a man and the love isn’t reciprocated. However, according to Kima, the song is not just about a man, but when you put your all into anything, whether it’s a relationship, a business move, your kid, your dog and you don’t get back what you put in.)
EGL: You put a lot of emotion into the video. You walked out with a gun at the end, and left us hanging with “to be continued.” Can you give us a clue on what happens next?
Kima: The songs that I have recorded show a lot of emotion. Lyrically, they may not relate to what I was going through in my life, but they did relate to an emotional place. Like, I have a song called “Flatline” and it’s about relationships. If it’s not real, I don’t want it. That’s some of the lyrics. The song made me think about my mom who had just passed away. The lyrics were so emotional. I can’t give away what the “to be continued” is going to be, but all of my songs are emotional types.
What the Future Holds for Total Reuniting
Total made their debut on Biggie’s “Juciy” record. The group would gain momentum in the late 90’s receiving several platinum singles and awards. They collaborated with artists such as Missy Elliot, Biggie Smalls and Raphael Saddiq before parting ways.
Kima says she loves and appreciates her sisters Pam and Keisha, in the group, and is open to a reunion.
“I’m never going to say never,” she said referring to a reunion. “I know I’m definitely for it. I can’t keep concerning myself with the when, where, why and how. I just need to move forward with Kima right now.”
She continued, “I’m definitely open and for it anytime. I would love for Total to be touring. It makes sense business-wise. But it’s not where we’re all at. We have to respect it and move on until the time comes again.”
Kima said she wishes them well.
“Pam actually wanted to put her solo project out and that’s why we didn’t move forward,” she said. “We definitely support one another and love one another outside of Total. Total is a part of who we are.”
Kima’s Current Projects
The experience of pushing her single and getting great reviews as well as working on another totproject has been extremely empowering for Kima. Her projects include a reality TV project and she’s working on a book about her experience in the industry.
“I felt like I couldn’t exist outside of Total. Now, the Kima today is pushing forward and proving to myself and others that no matter where you are in life, and how long it’s been, you can pick up the pieces and move forward,” she said.
The singer says she’s grown 110 percent.
“I’m no longer that shy little girl that is scared to step up,” she continued. “In the recording process, I didn’t really lead a lot of records. It was because, I was not confident in myself. So, a lot of time when it came time to record, I would just shut down knowing I could sing and everything.”
Because the market appears to be over-saturated, an album isn’t something Kima plans on doing soon. However, she expects to drop a single every six months, so that they coincide with one another.
Kima wants everyone to know,
“Don’t give up on yourself. Always believe in yourself. Don’t ever think It’s too late. If you have the will, there’s nothing you can’t fulfill.”
Written By: Taylor Bennett, Shesourrock.com