Last week, I mentioned a friend who had pointed out a certain phrase in one of India.Arie’s songs. A few
days later, I got a text that he was going to be visiting New York City. I mention this friend because he also introduced me to Kem. We have the same taste in music and when we get together the conversation usually veers towards books, movies, wine and food.
I hadn’t thought of Kem until my blog buddy, Tosh Fomby, featured him in a post last week. I’ve been listening to him again and again.
The first time I heard Kem, I though he sounded very much like Al Jarreau. My friend and I have been longtime Jarreau fans. I couldn’t believe when he said it wasn’t. The more I listened, though, the more I realized that it wasn’t Jarreau. Different phrasing, different sound all together but just as enjoyable. Kem can sing for me any day of the week.
Born in Nashville, Tennessee, Kem was raised in Detroit where he still lives. He’s a self-taught musician who began playing the piano at age 5. Unfortunately, Kem got into drugs and hit rock bottom several years after high school, but thankfully pulled himself together.
In 2002, he produced his first CD, Kem Kemistry, which sold 10,000 copies and got Universal Motown interested. His latest CD is Intimacy.
Take a listen to Kem’s Why Would You Stay. [youtube]X-H8xf-gtME[/youtube].
Bonus track, Love Calls [youtube]9Pl_Y5A-ieI[/youtube]
Good news: if you’re in the New York/New Jersey area, Kem will be performing at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark on August 12th.