Singer, songwriter, music prodigy, soundtrack maven and composer…all these terms can be used to describe the incredibly gifted Kari Kimmel, whose music has been featured on countless soundtracks including Jane By Design, The Lying Game and most recently on The Fosters. Here, Kari describes having her new track selected to be the hit show’s theme song, “Where You Belong”.
Young Adult Magazine: How old were you when you first started singing?
Kari Kimmel: I was singing before I ever started talking. Singing has always been a huge part of me and inside me since I can remember.
YA: What do you most enjoy about your career choice?
KK: I love the whole process. Creating something that never existed before is such a rewarding feeling, and then when it touches other people, it’s unlike anything else. I love writing, singing, playing, performing.
YA: When did you first learn that your song would be played as the The Fosters theme song?
KK: I wrote “Where You Belong” intentionally as a pitch for the show. I knew that many other writers were also writing something for the show as well. I read the brief for the show, and an hour later, the song was finished. The song almost wrote itself in a way. I got the call that they were going with me pretty soon after I sent it into the network!
YA: How did that make you feel? And what has been the result?
KK: It was so exciting. You never know how a song or a show is going to impact people, so I never expect anything. It’s been amazing to see how many people feel like they can relate to the song.
YA: What was the process like in them picking your song, and how were you approached?
KK: I got an email from ABC Family that they were looking for a theme song for this new show “The Fosters”. They had a description of the show as well as some musical references. Quite a few songwriters were sent this same email and they received a ton of song submissions. I just got lucky!
YA: Did you get to work with the producers in creating the opening sequence?
KK: No, the two are usually pretty separate.
YA: When was Where You Belong written? Is it about anyone specific? (For me, after watching The Fosters and hearing the song I picture syrup being poured on pancakes and hands being held by loved ones. It is really a beautiful thing.)
KK: Lol—well, that picture was definitely not what was in my head when I was writing the song. But, I think it works great with the footage. “Where You Belong” was written about 2 months ago… after reading what the show was about and trying to put myself in the character’s position, what I felt was put into lyrics and a melody.
YA: Where does the inspiration for this song come from and what is message are you trying to spread?
KK: The inspiration comes from simply wanting all people to feel loved and cared for and like they have a place in life. The message is that nobody’s situation is ever perfect, but if you have people around you that love you and accept you for who you are, you’re exactly where you belong.
YA: Where can we hear more of your music, is there a tour in the works? What else can we look forward to from you?
KK: I have music on itunes and on my website (www.karikimmel.com). I also have a new album called “Black” coming out at the end of the year. The new album is a bit darker and has soul and a lot of passion behind it. I don’t have a tour in the works at the moment, but that could change…
YA: Do you watch The Fosters? Do you have a favorite character or storyline?
KK: I do! I think it’s a really great show. I like a lot of the characters for all different reasons, but I love Jude—he’s so incredibly sweet and not afraid to be himself.
YA: How do you pick what music you listen to? And what music do you listen to?
KK: I listen to a lot of different styles of music. I listen to oldies music mostly…Elton John, Carole King, Stevie Wonder… But, I also love music like Sigur Ros, Adele and Fun. It all depends on what’s going on that day and if I’m feeling happy, introspective, on edge… and if I need to smile and laugh, relax, or cry. That’s the great thing about music. It can make you feel things and change your mood in an instant.