DJ phenomenon and martial arts expert DJ Kimberly S is not afraid to tell it as it is. She explains her meteoric rise to the top of the DJ pack with a simple, “I’m strong, I’m hot and I can spin my ass off.”
Her legions of fans – including a bevy of some of Hollywood’s best-known celebrities – agree. Each week, thousands of Kimberly S. enthusiasts converge to hear the black belt karate expert play at venues across America. She specializes in soulful houses, pulsing tribal beats, trance, and vocal club anthems. She is also noted for her exceptional mixing skills and superior set programming and credits her martial arts experience with giving her the discipline to succeed as a DJ.
“I am a lover of house music in its purest form,” she explains. “House and Dance integrate all different genres into its flow, and as a result, it enables people to feel an array of different emotions: joy, love, nostalgia, inhibition, passion… I want my sets to serve it all to my fans on the dance floor.” Kimberly began her career in music as a manager and buyer for several Los Angeles retail music chains. The job gave her unlimited access to the newest singles. She struck a deal with a local DJ offering him a discount on 12” singles if he taught her how to mix. He agreed, gave her two lessons, and loaned her two old Technics turntables. She bought a cheap mixer, hooked it and the turntables to her boom box, and practiced. Two months later, the DJ offered her a weekday night gig. Kimberly remained at the club for eight years.
Then, as the saying goes, came her big “big break”. She was the headlining DJ at Girlbar in Los Angeles when she met Jeffrey Sanker, the Steve Rubell of west coast gay nightlife. Jeffrey recruited Kimberly for Factory, LA’s largest gay disco, where she co-headlined “Factory Saturdays”, the club’s most popular night. She played the Ultra Suede room – a room in the back of the club that was smaller than the main floor. The main floor was reserved for the celebrity guest “circuit” DJ that had been flown in, usually from NYC where most of the national DJs at the time resided. Oddly, the main room always closed early because Kimberly would draw everyone to the back.
Kimberly’s first circuit party was White Party Palm Springs, a party produced by Jeffrey Sanker. The party was, and still is, one of the largest gay circuit events in the USA. This year, over four thousand people attended. The single party catapulted Kimberly’s recognition from local to national DJ. Kimberly realized she had reached a crossroads and had an important decision to make. She could remain a local phenomenon at Factory or try her luck at joining the national circuit league. “That was the point I said to myself, ‘I am going to take this to the next level and make this my career.” She was met with some resistance. “I often felt that there were some people that didn’t take me seriously because I was a woman. I definitely felt that I had to prove myself as a woman who could hold her own against the male DJs.”
Today, Kimberly performs at some of the nation’s biggest parties including New Orleans’ Mardi Gras, One Mighty Party in Orlando, Miami’s Winter Party, and Chicago’s Fireball. Most recently, she has concentrated on international headlining appearances including Circuit Asia in Manila, Philippines (2004 and 2005), Snowball in Taipei (2005), Song Kran II in Bangkok (2008), and many performances in Brazil and Mexico. In 2009 and 2010, Kimberly took on Asia with her highly acclaimed “Dharmanation Tour”, which landed her in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Jakarta, Indonesia. It may sound ambitious, but Kimberly believes it’s important that people set goals for themselves. “It’s the best way to get what you want out of life – and it really works!”
Kimberly S has mixed three compilation CDs for Centaur Music, the disc Rapture on Frank Abraham’s AM label, and released her first compilation CD for men’s clothing powerhouse Andrew Christian, titled Music To Wear. Kimberly made her network TV debut in the fall of 2002, portraying – what else? – a club DJ on the WB series Charmed. She was also selected as a celebrity spokesmodel for John Paul Mitchell Systems, appearing in a national color photo spread for the renowned hair care line. Kimberly currently holds one of the much sought-after positions of Club/Dance Chart Reporter for Billboard Magazine, as well as studying at LA’s cutting-edge music production school, Icon Collective. She is also a certified martial arts trainer.