Kim Berry is a world-renowned celebrity stylist, and creative force, who has worked with people such as Wendy Raquel Robinson and Tamera Mowry.
But she is most widely known for her nearly 30-year tenure as hair architect and confidant to Prince. She currently keeps Katt Williams’ hair on point. She’s also that cousin you’d get in trouble with for laughing with during church, when you were kids. She is funny and warm, works hard, and does whatever she can to help whomever she can. Following is a little of what we discussed in getting ready for the upcoming events set to honor and remember Prince, as we come up on the second anniversary of his transcending.
Violet Brown: What do you want people to know about you?
Kim Berry: That I’m Joana’s daughter. That I’m Sieara’s mother. That I’m a God chick. A prayer warrior. My first ministry is mentoring young women, then introducing up and coming hair stylists to the art of celebrity hairstyling.
VB: What do you want people to know about him (Prince)?
KB: That to know him was to love him. He was funny. He cracked jokes all the time. Music was his first love, and he was serious about his business. He was giving; a philanthropist. Not only did he try to make the world a better place, he encouraged others to do the same. He was human. He didn’t walk on clouds or float into the room, or anything like that, he was human.
VB: How would he describe you?
KB: Loud. But I guess everybody would probably say that though. A mother figure. Caring. In his way. I was in his way all the time; trying to fix his shirt, or hair, style him, and he was trying to do other things. He would be like, “Kim, can you move?” Yeah, I was always in his way. (He would say I am) funny. Charismatic. Like I said, I was the motherly one. If people were fighting with each other, he’d be like, “Kim, fix it.” That was my role.
VB: I know you didn’t start out as a fan. Over time did you develop a favorite era, not in terms of hair, but albums, or shows that you saw?
KB: No. I wasn’t really on the B-sides like that. I do like all the hits though. Now “Face Down” is my jam. He was mocking me when he said, “Bury him face down, let the mother*** kiss a**, OK (said by holding the word as long as possible)? I used to say that all the time back then. Mike Phillips told me, “You need to get some royalties or something for that. You were saying that way before Lil’ Jon.” And “My Name is Prince.” That song. Then there’s the one where he says, “Get Freaky, Let Ya Head Bob,”
VB: Yes, “New Power Soul.”
KB: Yes. He let me in the studio on that one. He played it for me, and I started bobbin’ my head and he was like, yeah, that’s a jam right there. He asked me, “You wanna get on this one?” I was like, “Yeah.” Oh, and “Billy Jack B****.” That’s a jam right there.
VB: So, you’ll be in Minneapolis the week of April 21(the day Prince passed away in 2016). Any events people need to know about?
KB: Yes, we’re doing Glam Slam Beauty day at the Chanhassen Recreation Center on Thursday, April 19 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. We will be honoring special guests from Mary’s Place and The Bridge. Both of those are organizations that he cared about and that the PRN Alumni Foundation continues to support. We’ll be doing hair, makeup and nails for 20-25 special guests. Brother Jules will be in house, and of course we will have Prince music. We’ll have a memorabilia auction, raffles and giveaways.
VB: You have a book coming out soon, right?
KB: Yes. “Diamonds and Curlz,” it’ll be out sometime later this year.
VB: What’s the storyline?
KB: It’s about my time with P (Prince), behind the “Purple Curtain.” I’ll discuss my journey, him, the man, not the rock star, how he laughed, he cried, he got angry. I was with him for almost every era of his career. You know how they say behind every great man is a great woman? Well, I was one of the constants in his life.
VB: If there is anything positive to speak on, what is the most positive thing to come from his transitioning?
KB: Positive things. Well, the links and the love, between the fans and artists he left behind. People are sharing his music with the world, and love with each other. You know how he created “Love4OneAnother?” That’s what’s happening now, real love, and it’s beautiful. Being with people who loved him; meeting with the fans at Celebration, that’s beautiful. Prince once told me, “By virtue of everything I have, you already have it.” Now I can share his philosophy with the world. Everybody is able to give back, all of us who worked with him in our different capacities. That means he’ll never be forgotten. He was a ray of light, the kind most will only experience once in a lifetime.