The Kim Jennett Interview...
When three members of the Manchester-based “Blues on steroids” Rock band Voodoo Blood simultaneously left, it felt like a story we’d become all too familiar with in recent months. Vocalist Kim Jennett has now embarked on an exciting personal journey, establishing an auspicious solo career featuring alongside former Skin, Jagged Edge and Red White & Blues axeman Myke Gray, who has described her as “one of the best singers in the world”. Will she be able to pick up the pieces and reinvent her band? Or will she be going it alone from now on? Manchester Rocks speaks exclusively to Kim in her first interview since Voodoo Blood split up, to discuss what the future holds for The Voodoo Woman
Welcome Kim! First of all, please tell us about your collaboration with Myke Gray – how did it come about? When and where did you first meet?
Myke actually came across me through Facebook, from a humble video of me singing some Blues to an acoustic guitar in a Uni house kitchen! We met up and jammed some of his songs and we have been working together ever since! First we recorded Take Me Home and now we are working on this album, which I’m so stoked about! Myke really believes in me, it’s really great to work with someone of such calibre that is such a fan of my voice!
Did Myke write your debut solo single Love Like Suicide especially for you? How do you relate to the lyrics, from your own personal perspective?
It’s actually an older song of Myke’s that has been re-written for me! It’s such a perfect song for me to sing as I have dealt with a lot of my own demons (as most of us bloody musicians do).
I don't want to speak on behalf of Myke regarding what the song is about, but I always try to connect to a song and interpret it in my own way. If I can’t connect to a song I won’t sing it.
You’ve got a solo album coming out - can you tell us a bit about that?
It’s all hush-hush for now – you’ll have to wait unfortunately! You can keep up to date on things from my Facebook page and Instagram though! This album is an introduction to me as a solo entity, it’s my debut into the world of Rock showing that I can stand on my own two feet and showing the world what I can do! Myke has written all the songs on the album though and they are AMAZING and perfect for me! It has a real New Wave Of Classic Rock vibe!
Is there anyone else you’d particularly like to work with in the future?
I get asked this a lot and of course there are tons of amazing artists I would love to work and collaborate with in the future, but I find it a lot easier to just take in who and what I'm working with at the moment. I am really enjoying where I am right now and will be happy with wherever my journey takes me - just enjoying the ride for now!
Do you think you’ve moved away from being ‘The Voodoo Woman’ as your solo career has blossomed? What’s the difference between being Kim Jennett and being The Voodoo Woman?
Yeah, I guess in a way The Voodoo Woman was me hiding behind a persona - as an awkward teenager I was afraid to just be myself and took on this character to give me strength. As I am maturing I am exploring myself and revealing the girl behind the mask. I’m not afraid to be a bit more vulnerable now and this shows in some of the slower tunes on the album. I think that having a tough side as well as a soft side is still rock and roll as hell haha! One thing I have learned from working with Myke is to never apologise for being your true, intense, emotional self - something I’ve maybe been trying to hide from in the past, because, well, I didn't like myself very much. I am learning to love myself and love life now and I think this comes across in the music I am creating.
Photo: Sam Fenton
Can you tell us what happened with Voodoo Blood and why your bandmates left? Was it becoming increasingly difficult for you to dedicate your time to the band?
I can’t speak on behalf of the lads unfortunately… BUT as I understand it, it’s an extremely difficult thing to be in a band and to try and balance jobs, relationships and personalities… it’s a fine art. Not everyone is on the same path in life and people drift onto other things - I guess it’s just a natural part of being a musician. Things change and develop all the time, it’s part of the beauty of life and although it may be very sad to say goodbye I have to keep my head up and drift with where life is taking me next. I am trying to live in the moment and not look back now.
Do you intend to continue with the Voodoo Blood project, and if so, how do you plan on putting the band back together?
At the moment my full focus is on this project with Myke. Maybe one day I will come back to it but for now I am not looking back. I feel awful letting the fans down but hopefully they will stick by me and follow me on my new journey.
This March will see you perform for the first time at Planet Rock’s Winter’s End Festival – how do you feel about your upcoming appearance there and who are you most excited about sharing the stage with?
I am SO excited about performing live again I can’t even put it into words! I've literally been prowling around my room drinking ten thousand coffees and performing the songs to my plants all day prepping for it haha! It’s a real honour to play a festival for Planet Rock and to be honest there isn't one band on that lineup I’m not looking forward to sharing a stage with. Have you seen that lineup?!
You’re due to perform a headline show with Myke Gray in Blackpool, do you have any other joint appearances planned this year?
Oh yes, but I'm not allowed to say anything yet… sorry! It’s very exciting though (TRUST ME)! We are playing a show with the amazing King King on the 11th May too though! It’s at K.K. Downing’s Steel Mill in Wolverhampton. Gonna be a killer show, the venue looks incredible!
You’ve been very open about having BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) – how has it affected you personally and professionally and how do you manage it?
I mean obviously it affects me on a day-to-day basis but I don't want it to be something that defines me. I am working hard on my recovery at the moment and hopefully I won’t be labelled with it forever. I believe I can recover from it or live in a way where I can manage the negative symptoms. I am pretty much straight-edged now; I exercise, do a lot of yoga and keep myself very disciplined - that all helps. I also have to mention my Mum and Dad, who are constantly there for support. Professionally I think it drives me - when it comes to the music I don't think I would be where I am today without my extreme intensity and passion towards things.
6th March – The Waterloo Music Bar, Blackpool
8th March – Winter’s End Festival, Sanford Holiday Park Nr Poole
11th May – K.K. Downing’s Steel Mill, Wolverhampton
Photo: Sam Fenton