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Former Lead Singer of THE BAND PERRY Goes Solo

Kimberly Perry Releases "Bloom" EP, Featuring "If I Die Young Pt. 2"

When Kimberly Perry sang at the Chevy Vibes Stage at CMA Fest last month (June 2023), it was the first time since she was a teenager that she took the stage without her brothers, Neil and Reid. As The Band Perry, the sibling trio had eight Top 10 singles, including the #1 ballad, If I Die Young, in 2010. Now, more than a decade later, Kimberly is embracing a new season as a solo country artist and mom-to-be (with a baby boy due in August).

Photo by Laurel Moore

“I think there’s a lot of perspective that’s grown as my life experience has grown over the past decade.” That maturity is reflected in the five songs Kimberly co-wrote on her new EP, BLOOM. The title comes from a line in one of the songs that says, “I’ve had time to bloom.” Kimberly uses the analogy of planting a flower to describe the process she has walked through in recent years. “You’ve got to gather the seed, bust out of the earth, and then grow a couple feet to stand on your own two before you can really show what you’re made of and show all your colors.”

The seed for Kimberly’s new music was planted during Covid when she was living on the West Coast. “I felt ready to come back home to Tennessee and get reacquainted with the core of my creativity — which for me is an acoustic guitar and a poem.” At the suggestion of a mutual friend, she reached out to Nashville songwriter Nicolle Galyon. After a two-hour phone conversation about the state of the music industry, the two agreed to write together once Kimberly relocated. Not long after that, Kimberly and her husband, Johnny Costello, moved from LA to Nashville in October 2021 after eloping to Las Vegas a few months earlier.

Kimberly grew up in Mobile, Alabama, and then moved to eastern Tennessee with her family to be closer to the mountains and the music scene in Nashville. For a few years, she and her brothers lived in LA when they were experimenting with a more pop sound.

Kimberly says she dreamed of moving to Music City ever since she was in high school and saved pamphlets from Belmont University (known for its music program). “I always wanted to build life, community, and friendship with the people I was creating with.” She says that writing music with friends creates a level of vulnerability that “feels like the most genuine way to make music.”

Once back in Nashville, she dug into her country roots and began collaborating with other songwriters, most notably Nicolle Galyon and Jimmy Robbins. Together they wrote If I Die Young Pt. 2 as a follow-up to the original crossover hit. Kimberly explains her inspiration for writing a new version of the beloved song. “I felt like the story wasn’t finished. There needed to be a sequel that talked about where my head is these days now that I’ve experienced so much life ­— I’m having a baby, I’m married, I’ve moved to Nashville. I’ve seen all of these dreams come true since writing the original version.”

If I Die Young Pt. 2 is similar to the original version with its melody, instrumentation, and chorus; however, it features new verse lyrics. The sequel tells a more optimistic story and is written from the perspective of someone who is older and wiser (and pregnant in the music video) who has come to cherish even the simple things in life. Instead of surrendering to the idea that “I’ve had just enough time,” the new lyric states, “Now I know there’s no such thing as enough time.”

The nostalgic ballad is the first single from BLOOM and is getting airplay on country radio. Watch the music video below.

Plans to promote the new EP are in the works. “I can’t wait to get on a tour bus. We’re gonna have a little bus baby, and just hit the road.” After her son is born, Kimberly will ease into her tour schedule with radio shows and smaller performances.

Kimberly told 615 Notes how she and her husband chose the baby’s name — Whitaker James. “We decided on ‘Whitaker’ on New Year’s Eve while we were eating nachos. Instinctively, I just knew I was having a boy. So, we googled ‘handsome southern boy names’ and Whitaker was the name that both my husband and I were drawn to. We’ll call him ‘Whit’ for short.” His middle name, James, is in honor of Kimberly’s maternal grandfather.

Photo by Claire Schaper

Echoing the name of her album, Kimberly’s life is coming into full bloom as she is welcomed back to the country genre by her fans and the music industry.

“Over the years, I’ve enjoyed getting to know different sides of the craft and different corners of music. But it’s always good to know what feels the most grounding, and for me, that’s country singer-songwriter and folk music.”

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