Perfectly in line with the title of her explosive and eclectic third full length release Southern Heat debuting on Innervision Records, Kim Scott's latest hit, the edgy, brass and funk fired "Sizzle" – featuring the dynamic trumpet of co-writer Lin Rountree – has become a self-fulfilling prophecy, as the lead single from Southern Heat was also a Top 20 hit on the National Smooth Jazz Airplay Chart.
Well known for her unique, hauntingly beautiful tone, Kim amps things up considerably on the new collection, which – like her last CD Rite of Passage – was produced by Kelvin Wooten, whose credits include contemporary R&B greats Anthony Hamilton, Jill Scott, Mary J. Blige and Chrisette Michele.
Southern Heat includes wild, infectious re-imaginings of R&B classics like MJ's "Billie Jean" and Lakeside's otherworldly "Fantastic Voyage," and a fiery Latin jam of Martha Munizzi's gospel hit "Glorious." It also features a batch of soulful, inspiring originals (all co-penned by Kim) that showcase her virtuosity as a flutist and increasing presence as a lead vocalist. Among these are the elegant, spiritual minded ballad "Forgiveness," the exotic, deep bass slow-jam "Two Become One" and the trippy and edgy trance-soul tune "What You STANK About This?" The set closes with a "Stank Remix" of that last song called "Groove With Me" that comes alive with Stephen Strickland's rap and instruction on some new hip-hop dance steps created by Kim.
"My previous albums were chock full of me playing melodies, which was cool – but here my goal was to do a hot album with a mix of uplifting originals and cover tunes people would dance to," says Kim, who released her debut album Crossing Over in 2011 and Rite of Passage in 2013. "As an artist, I love to make a deep connection with people whether they're seeing me live in performance or listening to my recordings. I want listeners to be inspired by what they hear and I want to move them to tears, to laughter, into joy and give them something to remember. For me, making and performing music is a very heart-felt action and it truly comes from my soul. This album reflects all of these things and shows the more spirited side of my personality, the one that likes to dance and sing! I titled it 'Southern Heat' because I am a bit of a southern belle, but I've got a fire lit that forces me to showcase the flute and all of its capabilities in the jazz world! This album brings that fire and charm to life through music."
Kim designed the new project to be different from her first two, starting with the feeling of her playing with no inhibitions whatsoever. "Listeners will find that I'm singing more and delving into more of a fusion of jazz, soul, pop and Rhythm & Blues. It's truly a feel good album with a lot of up-tempo numbers and I believe the growth and evolution of my 'voice' is evident as Kelvin challenged me to just be me and do it without apologies. With my first two projects, I was getting my feet wet and tried to see just where I fit as a classically trained flutist now playing smooth jazz. It dawned on me that I don't have to 'fit' a particular music model/style. I just have to be me and make music that I love because in turn that will speak my truth and pierce the ears and hearts of my listeners."