With a wealth of “real life” experience behind it, his music fills a void that the once-popular genre of soul singing has been experiencing. Now, Kem has worked that same magic and poured that same experience into a Christmas project that’s sure to make that fireside blaze a little brighter and those Yuletide carols a little more meaningful – and sexy.
The Detroit resident has released his latest and fourth album, the 10-song, What Christmas Means, just in time to see his fans through the no-doubt-frenzied remaining days leading up to Christmas. On the project, Kem takes on some of the classics that have served as the soundtrack to the holiday season for many throughout the years: “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas;” “The Christmas Song;” “Christmas Time is Here;” and “We Three Kings;” as well as throwing in songs, “Be Mine for Christmas (featuring Ledisi)” “Merry Christmas Baby,” both meant to spice up the holiday nights with more than just spiked eggnog. He rounds out the set with the spirited street-corner/quartet reminiscent “Doo Wop Christmas,” that captures the essence of what makes Christmas the special day that it is.
EUR: What made you decided to release a Christmas project, joining some of your R&B cohorts who already have?
Kem: What Christmas Means was at the behest of my management and the record label. It started out as an EP and I was just gonna do a few songs and maybe put it on the internet, but the more we got into it the more we realized it should be a full Christmas project and I’m glad that we did.
EUR: What does Christmas mean to you?
Kem: To me, Christmas means spending time with my family and relaxing for the day. I do all the family time early in the day, then kick everybody out and watch games, football on television, and just enjoy the relaxing time.
EUR: What makes What Christmas Means different?
Kem: I think it’s different because it’s coming from my heart and creativity, but I’ll leave that to the fans to answer.
EUR: What are some of your “must hear” Christmas songs?
Kem: “Merry Christmas Baby,” “The Christmas Song…” there are so many.
EUR: You have Ledisi on the project with you. You two make great music together … what is it about your chemistry that makes for such great collaborations?
Kem: We just have that connection. She’s a beautiful person and we just make beautiful music together. She’s joined me during some of my shows.
EUR: You can’t think of Christmas without thinking of Christ and spirituality… how did you come to embrace your spirituality?
Kem: I embraced my spirituality long ago … it helps get me through life. I always take a moment to acknowledge it during my shows.
EUR: Will you be performing your Christmas songs around the country this season?
Kem: I have shows coming up, but I’ll be in Atlanta at the Civic Center on December 29th with Fantasia and Charlie Wilson.
EUR: How does it make you feel to touch people the way you do during your performances?
Kem: It means a lot to me … I’m always grateful for the energy … we put a lot of hard work into our shows.
What Christmas Means is in stores and online for purchase now.
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