November 29, 2005
Andy Kim gets into the holiday spirit
Remember the hit Sugar Sugar? Well, he's back with a Christmas song and is preparing to tour
By -- Toronto Sun

Andy Kim is experiencing something of a renaissance these days. The Montreal-born singer-songwriter enjoyed massive success in the '60s with hits like Sugar Sugar, Baby How'd We Ever Get This Way and Rock Me Gently before disappearing from view in the '70s. But while the music industry may have told him he'd become "insignificant," Canadian musicians who grew up on his insanely catchy pop hits thought differently, and their interest has helped him return to the charts and even the concert stage.

In 1995 Kim appeared at the Kumbaya AIDS benefit with the Barenaked Ladies, which eventually led to him co-writing a hit song, I Forgot To Mention, with the Ladies' Ed Robertson last year. Then in March he was named favourite solo artist at Canadian Music Week, and earlier this month Sugar Sugar was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall Of Fame. And now Kim has written a Christmas song with Ron Sexsmith, What Ever Happened To Christmas.

"It's really been an incredible year, ever since I Forgot To Mention came out," said Kim over coffee last week. "I owe so much to Ed -- he insisted that there was still a life for Andy Kim. Working with Ed and Ron has been a treasure, and I've also been writing with Haydain Neale and Andy Stochansky, and soon Danny Michel. It's an interesting combination of spirits, but it all seems to work.

"I feel overwhelmed by all the love in the music community for my music. It's something I've not experienced before, and it's come as a complete surprise."

To celebrate the season, and the release of What Ever Happened To Christmas, Kim is presenting The Andy Kim Christmas show at the Mod Club Friday. It's a benefit for the CHUM/CITY Christmas Wish with guests including Sexsmith, Neale, Stochansky and Michel as well as Esthero, Jully Black, Shaye and The Hidden Cameras.

"Everyone will do a Christmas song and then one of their own," Kim explained. "And we'll all get together at the end for a carol or something. It's going to be great.

"It's been a wonderful learning process for me, because I'm responsible for everything from making sure the musicians are OK and the songs are chosen to the design of the room. I'd like people to walk away knowing that their money is actually going to charity, 'cause I'm making sure of that."

Kim isn't sure whether he'll make an album of all his songwriting collaborations, but he is preparing to record something, and he promises a full-blown Christmas album for next year, plus an extensive tour.

"It's such a creative time for me," he said. "I feel like I'm 16 years old again. The difference is that I still don't know what I'm doing, but I'm having more fun at it."