Written by Brandon Wint
Nguyễn Anh Thư, better known by her stage name, King Kimbit, is a versatile, devoted and deeply sincere Ottawa-based spoken word artist, singer and instrumentalist. King Kimbit is best known for her ability to blend gritty personal narratives with compassionate social consciousness. She articulates the spectrum of her thoughts and feelings in a way that is consistently poignant, musical and heart-felt.
As a spoken word artist, King is interested in telling stories that are authentic to her experiences and identities. With nearly equal measure, and always with her characteristic grit and musicality, King Kimbit’s poetic work details, with striking honesty, the realities of her upbringing as the daughter of Vietnamese immigrants, the truths of her social vantage point as a young woman of colour, and her stance on social issues regarding racism, de/colonization, and gender inequality. King’s striking honesty, lyrical acuity, empathy and versatility as a singer and guitar-player have earned her a reputation as a welcomed and necessary voice within the landscape of Canadian spoken word.
King Kimbit has also had the honour and pleasure to connect with poetry and music enthusiasts in communities as far away as Washington, DC, Anaheim, California and Dallas, Texas, and more recently, Kingston and Mandeville, Jamaica. Within her hometown of Ottawa, and her home country of Canada, she is respected as an artist of note and acclaim. King Kimbit is the 2012 Urban Legends Poetry Slam Champion (the first woman in her city to be the seasonal champion of a major slam series), she has also represented Ottawa at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, been a featured performer during Ottawa’s internationally-regarded annual poetry festival, VERSefest, and a notable alumni of the Ottawa Youth Poetry Project. Staying true to her roots, King is currently coordinating Urban Legend's YouthSpeak! program providing writing and performance workshops for teens interested in either. In October of 2018, King along with 4theworld (rapper/producer/singer) and Kevin Bourne (Shifter Magazine) founded Cap City Cyphers, a space for rappers across the city to unite and celebrate love and unity through Hip-Hop.
By now, King Kimbit is emerging as a veteran of the local and national communities in both the spoken word and hip-hop scenes, as her brand of spoken word leans poignantly on accents of rhythm, lyrical vibrancy, word-play and the power and elasticity of her distinctive singing voice. For her array of talents as well as her consistent devotion to raising consciousness and culture within every community where her art can be heard, shared and felt, King Kimbit has garnered respect and admiration not only for the sincerity and skillfulness of her art, but for the empathy, resilience, social consciousness and dedication she embodies as a community member and creative contributor.