Who else is a huge Kem fan?
I have a feeling most of our readers are. When we post his songs to our social media, they get some of the most likes and responses from you all. Knowing all that, I’m sure you’re as excited as we are to know that we had the chance to chat with the handsome Detroit-bred singer, now 44, as he promoted the deluxe edition of his Christmas album, What Christmas Means. In stores now! The new edition features, well, features from legends like Patti LaBelle and Ronald Isley and if you haven’t heard it as of yet, know that it will soon be one of your favorites meshed in your collection next to the Jackson 5 Christmas album and Mariah Carey’s Merry Christmas. We caught up with Kem and talked his favorite Christmas songs and albums, what it’s like working with Ronald Isley and Patti LaBelle (who he’s doing a Christmas tour with starting December 14), how his faith helped him deal with his past addictions, and being single as a dollar bill.
His Favorite Classic Christmas Records:
“I like Ledisi’s Christmas record. That’s definitely an album, a contemporary album that’s at the top of my list. Nat King Cole for sure, that was a staple in our house during the Christmas holiday. Johnny Mathis was a staple. Ray Charles has a good Christmas record as well. There are a lot of albums to pick from.”
What To Expect From His New Album:
“Some of the people that I’ve talked to, I said I had a Christmas record out and they kind of gave me that look like, ‘Oh everybody has a Christmas record out now, they all sound cheesy!’ If you haven’t heard it, if you take the word Christmas and all the holiday references out of the album, it’s a Kem record. It’s sensual, it’s s*xy, and those songs are crafted with great care.
They can look forward to hearing some great classic, soulful Christmas music. I know that Patti and Ron are both excited to all come together for this. They are both featured on a song, on the deluxe version of my album called “Jesus.” As you know, they’re both incredible artists in their own right and to have them both come together on this particular record is a beautiful thing.”
And What To Look Forward To From The Christmas Tour With Patti LaBelle and Ronald Isley:
“I think that in our culture, I don’t remember having Christmas tours like that when I was growing up. The Kenny Rogers of the world and the country artists and the pop artists have been able to do that for a long time. I’m not mad at that. I’ve been to Kenny Rogers’ Christmas thing coming through Detroit every year and I love it. I think that we should be able to enter into that arena as well.”
What It’s Like Working With Patti And Ronald:
“I have a great respect and admiration for them both. Ronald Isley has been my unofficial balladeer mentor all of my life so to have him in the studio singing my songs, words don’t even begin to encompass what that means to me. Ron is really cool, he’s always well dressed [laughs]. Ron is so sharp I don’t even know how he leaves the house he’s so sharp. When you hear his voice, it immediately takes you to that place. It takes you to your favorite Isley Brother’s song.
Patti, we recorded with her in Philadelphia, she came to the studio and she was fly! She had on an orange cape [laughs]. She had on some bad a** shoes, brought potato salad, and she treated me good.”
His Faith And How It Helped Him Overcome Past Addictions And Help Others:
“My faith is my foundation. Without that, at the end of the day that’s really all I have. There are places in our lives where our intellect, our talents, our family, our friends, our loved ones, they can be instrumental and have been instrumental in holding us up. Then there are other times in our life where nothing, nothing but the love of God is going to pull you through. I know that I’m not the only person who shares that sentiment. It’s not something I just talk about, but because of my past, it’s something I’m kind of forced to live. It saved my life. I make it a part of my mission to carry that message and to hopefully inspire and encourage others throughout the entire year and not just the holidays.”
Is He Single?
“I am single, yes I am.”
How Can A Gal Get Close To Kem?
“Music by Kem.com [laughs]. That’s the Twitter and Facebook too, hit me up, hit me up! Let’s talk about it…Do not hesitate to tweet or hit me on Facebook. I’m active in that arena so your posts and all of your sharing doesn’t go unnoticed.”
Love him! Be sure to check out the deluxe edition of What Christmas Means, out now, and check out his Christmas tour, starting December 14. Check out his site for tour dates and more info and follow him on Twitter at @MusicByKEM!