Kem Brings Smooth R & B with Spiritual Tapestry

In 2002, singer-songwriter Kem emerged on the urban contemporary R & B scene with the hit “Love Calls,” from his first release, Kemistry. Three years later, he returned with Album II, the smooth follow-up to the certified gold debut. Recently Kem released his third project, Intimacy: Album III, which debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 chart. Parlé Magazine sat down with Kem to discuss his love for music and the current projects he is working on.

Parlé: What was the main theme behind Intimacy: Album III?

Kem:  It’s a collection of songs that speak about relationships. The songs were written at a time when I thought I knew everything there was about love in my life and I discovered I was wrong. That is what this album is about.

 

Parlé: How would you say it differs from the previous projects?

Kem:  The content is still love songs as the previous two, but the conception is different. There is a lot of sharing on this record. Jill Scott is on the album, there is another duet on the album as well. This album is more vulnerable, lyrically it’s much broader.

 

Parlé:  Have you always been in music or was there an event or experience that led you to the craft?

Kem:  I’ve always been interested in music and songwriting since as early as I can remember I wanted to do this.

 

Parlé:  What are some of your favorites on the new release and why?

Kem:  “Love Never Fails,” because it’s about a relationship that ends but there is still love in the relationship afterwards and definitely “Share My Life.” That’s a song about a brother who is ready to become more open and have his woman come into his life totally. He is available and ready. It’s a song that shows what men have a hard time saying, but what women want to hear. I’m filling that gap with this music.

 

Parlé:  Now you’ve said in previous interviews that you draw a lot from spirituality, can you talk more about this?

Kem:  Most definitely. My faith is my foundation. It’s everything. Spirituality is purposefully woven through all of my music because love and faith are not separate necessarily. My faith guides my life. I look to it for all things. It is important that I share that in my music. My music is a ministry of sorts. That thread of spirituality is present in all of my recordings.

 

Parlé:  What are some projects that you’re working on currently?

Kem: I’ll be on Real Housewives of Atlanta sometime in the fall. I’m going over to South Africa in November. I am going to do the Bona Fide Intimacy tour after the first of the year. I am looking to go to Europe and Japan in the spring.

 

Parlé: You’ve said before that you used your American Express and waited on tables to get your first album, Kemistry, out to the public. How was that?

Kem:  I sold records to the mom and pop’s stores. I sold music out of the trunk of my car. The people are responsible for me getting a record deal. The record companies count the numbers of the SoundScan and the sales figures and they saw that there was this cat in Detroit that wasn’t signed and so they wanted to capitalize on that and it was a good partnership.

 

Parlé:  If you could sum up your style up in one word or phrase, what would you choose?

Kem:  Traditional R & B.

 

Parlé:  What would you tell up and coming artists that are trying to get into the industry?

Kem:  Stay true to yourself. Own everything if you can. Put your record out yourself. Don’t wait for the opportunity to come to you. Put your music in the people’s hands. If the people dig the music, then record companies will beat your door down trying to get a hold of your music.

 

 

Also Check Out:
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Monica Stands Stronger Than Ever 15 Years After Ms. Thang
Lyfe Jennings opens up to Parlé about EVERYTHING!
Dru Hill: Powerhouse Quartet Returns With New Album and New Sense of Direction
Travelling with VV Brown 

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