"The blues genre needs to be acknowledged and treated as all other genres."
Kimberly Horton: Blues Muzik 4 You
Kimberly Horton is a hard working promoter and manager in the blues industry with her own company "Muzik 4 You Entertainment" (Mr. Sipp, Kern Pratt, Tas Cru, Big Llou) in Mississippi and part of the Board of Directors for the Blues Foundation in Memphis, TN. Kimberly studied management at Belhaven University, MS. Kimberly talks about the Blues, Mr. Sipp, The Blues Foundation, Muddy, Wolf, Willie Dixon and many more.
How has the Blues music and culture influenced your views of the world and the journeys you’ve taken?
Living in today’s world in the blues itself. Love, music and joy bring people together and that’s what I like to see and feel when I’m around the music. No matter where we are, whether we’re in the states or not, at that point and time all that matters is what you’re feeling right then and that’s the joy that music brings to you. It just so happens to be the blues.
How started the thought of Muzik 4 You Entertainment? What touched (emotionally) you from Mississippian scene?
Castro Coleman which happens to be Mr. Sipp and I started this company in July 2013. We started Muzik 4 You because Castro couldn’t seem to find the right fit for him. I was chosen for the task and we have done extremely well to be a small company with a big stature in the blues. We offer something that other small companies in Mississippi don’t offer and that’s studio sessions, guitar lessons and now coming up a blues club. It has been an emotional journey to make sure that we’re known and recognized. We’ve had great success and we plan to continue to keep pushing.
"As stated previously we are living the blues. Just knowing that music is universal draws all of us together." (Photo: Kimberly & Mr. Sipp)
How do you describe and what characterize The Blues Foundation philosophy, progress and mission?
The Blues Foundation is so very important to the blues industry and I love it!!! I have enjoyed being on the Board of Directors and being a voice to help make changes that are beneficial to the industry as well as the artists. The goal of keeping the blues alive and helping the communities involved is a daily task. Whether it’s providing health screens at the BMAs or making sure our presence is known at a festival, people are starting to see more of us and we will continue to make sure that the importance and vitality of The Blues Foundation will be known. I will say that The Blues Foundation is making great progress under the new leadership of Barbara Newman which is a great person to work with. I am looking forward to all the great things that are coming soon.
Why did you think that The Blues Foundation continues to generate such a devoted following?
The Blues Foundation has a great devoted following because of what we stand for and why we’re here. We are helping to preserve the heritage of the blues and those that are involved.
What do you miss most nowadays from the blues of past? What are your hopes and fears for the future of?
There are certain sounds and artists that I wish I had been around to hear and see while they were alive however, since they’ve since gone on I have learned to love the music of such artist like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and Willie Dixon. Willie Dixon stated it best when he said the blues is the roots and everything else is the fruits. I am loving being a part of the roots. The foundation of all music is the blues. My hope is the blues genre will get the respect that it’s due.
What are the lines that connect the legacy of Blues from the Work/Railroad songs to The Blues Foundation era?
The blues have been around for centuries. The songs of the railroad and cotton fields are how the day was passed for most. They told stories that had meanings and feelings. They have the same meanings today. The only difference is there is great instrumental music put along with it.
"Living in today’s world in the blues itself. Love, music and joy bring people together and that’s what I like to see and feel when I’m around the music." (Photo: Kimberly at BMAs 2015, Memphis)
What does to be a female in a 'male' music industry and circuits? What is the status of women in Blues?
Being a female in a male industry has not been an obstacle for me. We can get the jobs done as well. I have enjoyed thoroughly managing Mr. Sipp and being the lead agent at Muzik 4 You. Women have made sure that our presence is known in the industry and in most cases we are welcomed and accepted. Just look we under the leadership of a woman at The Blues Foundation.
What is the biggest change which can and need be realized in near or far future of the Blues world?
The blues genre needs to be acknowledged and treated as all other genres.
What is the impact of Blues culture and The Blues Foundation to the racial and socio-cultural implications?
As stated previously we are living the blues. Just knowing that music is universal draws all of us together.
Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really want to go for a whole day?
What I would love to do for a whole day is just spend the day with my kids with no interruptions of emails, calls or messages. Although they understand the importance of what I do that would make a grand day for me.
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(Photo: Kimberly, Mr. Sipp & Dexter Allen / Photo by Marilyn Stringer)
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