Kimberley Walsh’s figure looks like a tiny curvy goddess, slinky and voluptuous. Her shape is as sexy as her voice. The shock is its versatility.
We are more used to her as pop princess, fully fledged member of Girls Aloud than Princess Fiona in Shrek – which she performed in early 2012 – but the truth is Kimberley’s always had not just the music in her but the musical.
Her whole family loved musicals as children. They would perform them at school (Kimberley went to stage school a few evenings a week) and at home. In many ways this album of songs from musicals is the ultimate for Kimberley; songs that she has been singing her whole life put together in a way that is totally her own, totally unique yet connects with everyone who has ever loved an emotional tune.
Her knack has always been to push herself out of her comfort zone and what an incredible zone she is now in. A glitter ball star of Strictly Come Dancing – packing in six or seven hours of dance rehearsals a day. At the same time as preparing to release the Girls Aloud album and rehearse for their arena tour, and on top of all this embark on her debut solo album.
Kimberley is a girl who pushes herself. It’s second nature. ‘I know, I keep getting told you’re too hard on yourself, chill out, but I don’t know how to do that. As a performer, even as a child, if it wasn’t great it wasn’t good enough. How do you improve if you settle for just alright? You have to be able to channel your focus in the right way. You don’t think there’s no point in going on, it’s rubbish. It’s more about I think I can do better.
‘I’m really excited about this album. They are all my favourite songs.’ These are songs that Kimberley has sung all her life, a place where all her emotions found a haven. Growing up she and her siblings would perform versions of some of these songs. They are in her blood.