People

Susie's hauntingly beautiful song inspired by lockdown becomes an anthem for our times

Susie Kimber: “It’s important to tell people that you love them.”

By Staff Reporter [email protected]

Published: March 23, 2021 | Updated: 26th March 2021

“Don’t wait, don’t wait to say you love me,

“Couldn’t bear for it to be too late.”

The opening lines of a song born out of lockdown.

Words that will strike a chord with so many who – on this anniversary of the first lockdown – tragically found it was too late to say goodbye.

They come from the debut single of singer/songwriter Susie Kimber.

Her lyric and hauntingly beautiful vocal delivery has led to the pop ballad receiving airplay across the UK.

So far more than 20 radio station have featured ‘Don’t Wait’.

Susie’s biggest champion to date has been BBC Radio Solent’s Alex Dyke, presenter of the station’s Wall of Sound.

His reaction on hearing the track.

“Wow.

“What a gorgeous voice.”

The popular DJ, pictured left, gave it a second play within minutes – and has now featured it four times on his Solent shows.

He told Dorset Biz News: “The song is breathtaking.

“You get sent lots and lots of songs but I felt this had the potential to be a worldwide smash.

“Beautiful, haunting, lovely.”

Susie said: “Don’t Wait is a deeply personal song for me.

“It’s a song written in, and inspired by, lockdown.

“It struck me as very pertinent in these times when we haven’t been able to see, spend time and hug tightly loved ones and friends.

“It’s about not always having the time that we think we may have with life’s twists and turns.

“It’s important to tell people that you love them.”

Susie, who moved to Christchurch with her partner and two children seven years ago, worked with songwriter and producer Caroline B on Don’t Wait.

She said: “I was always more than content to perform covers and interpret other people’s songs but lockdown gave me the opportunity to focus on my own material.

“I’ve only been song writing for just over a year during the pandemic, but I have been incredibly lucky to collaborate and co-write on my debut single with Caroline B.

“She is incredibly talented and the process of writing together has felt almost like second nature.

“We seem to creatively understand each other and bounce ideas really well despite only meeting twice before lockdown.

“It has been a joy.

“Writing seems a natural progression for me and now I’ve taken the plunge I am hooked!

“Caroline and I have been working on a number of songs together.

“Don’t Wait was a relatively quick process.

“We worked through the lyrics and Caroline had an idea for chord sequence and it went from there really and the song evolved naturally.

“As a collaboration we tap into each other’s strengths to create a meaningful song that will touch people.

“I find song writing cathartic and empowering.

“I have been amazed by the feedback to the single and I can’t wait to release more material.”

Susie has built up a large and loyal following.

She is normally seen performing at venues across the South including Larmer Tree Gardens near Tollard Royal on the Dorset/Wiltshire border, and Bournemouth’s Hotel Miramar.

Known for her style in soul, funk and jazz, one of Susie’s favourite gigs is at the Swanage Jazz Festival.

But she came to sing professionally much later than intended even though music has always been a feature of her life.

Susie said: “I’ve always loved music from when I was very young.

“My dad and my older brothers would play just the greatest albums on the record player and an eclectic mix at that.

“Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, Herb Alpert, Burt Bacharach, Kate Bush, Abba, Pink Floyd, AC/DC, Glen Campbell, the list goes on.

“My love of music – all types and genres – stemmed from this.

“I appreciate the fact that I had the chance to listen to such an amazing variety of genres growing up.

“It has definitely shaped my eclectic mix of good quality music that spans the years.

“My father was an amateur drummer and Mum used to love singing and humming around the house before she passed away when I was 14.

“One of my older brothers has the voice of an angel but doesn’t sing publicly as he’s quite shy.

“After the move from London, I first started performing in care homes in Bournemouth with a pianist friend.

“It was just to gain some experience and get a feel for performing live in front of people.

“I found it daunting at first but with time and practise I found it easier.

“That was at the end of 2016 so it’s been five years.

“I’m a humble person so, to me, I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot in that small amount of time.

“I’m enjoying this journey and thankful every day that I can do something I love for a living.

“I sometimes have to pinch myself that I actually do this.

“I get nervous on the rare occasion but in the main I just love performing and singing and dancing along with an audience.

“It’s the best feeling in the world.”

Susie worked throughout the three lockdowns, performing virtually to care homes locally online via Skype and Zoom.

With the brief moments of lockdown eased, she also had gigs in hotels and bars taking up most weekends.

Susie said: “I’ve considered myself to be lucky during lockdown.

“The most important thing is that the people I love and hold dear stay well and safe.

“It’s also provided me with an opportunity to song write and record whereas I would normally be busy performing and not having so much time, so I feel incredibly thankful for this.

“That said I cannot wait to perform live again and just see and be with people again.

“I have missed it and I miss people.

“Now more than ever I will never take a gig for granted ever again!

“I don’t think I will stop smiling at my first performance after lockdown.”

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