[EXCLUSIVE] Kem on What R&B Taught Him, Pays Homage to Greats

Kem’s velvety voice and melodic tunes has been wooing audiences for years now. His music, which is deeply rooted in soul elements, still incorporates strong R&B influences. The self-taught singer-songwriter recently spoke on his connection with R&B and the lessons the genre has taught him.

“I don’t know what it’s taught me, but it has definitely served as a great vehicle to allow me to talk about love,” Kem tells Singersroom. “I’m grateful to be able to follow in the tradition of great balladeers, like Luther Vandross and Marvin Gaye and all those cats. It’s definitely a great vehicle for me to express myself.”

Continuing to pay homage to the R&B greats like Vandross and Gaye, Kem admits that his sound is not uniquely his own. The performer expresses that his style is a gumbo of classic and contemporary musicians. He says, “I think every singer is a confluence of all of his influences, from Al Jarreau to Michael Jackson, Anita Baker, and Chaka Khan. All of those names are in the hat. If you listen closely to my music, my hope is that you hear a little bit of all of that in what I do.”

Still high of last year’s hit album Intimacy and his subsequent tour by the same name, Kem is positioning himself to be just as legendary as the icons he models his voice after.


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