Three-time GRAMMY®-nominated multiplatinum R&B icon KEM, one of the most vibrant and vital voices in music today, is consecrating his impending 20th anniversary of signing to legendary label Motown Records with an eagerly anticipated and historic homecoming at The Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre in Detroit, MI September 9th and 10th. KEM will return to his hometown following his recent sold out Full Circle Tour to record a live album that will commemorate his 20th anniversary of signing with Motown Records in the city that gave rise to both the legendary record label and his soaring musical career at ‘The Aretha,’ which has played host to numerous KEM shows over the years, and continues to showcase some of the biggest names in music.
The two nights of momentous performances will be recorded live in front of electrifying audiences drawn to his musical mosaic in the city that shaped and nurtured his life and his musical artistry, and is set to be released on Black Friday, November 25, 2022.
KEM has penned a two-decade-long string of chart busting #1 hits including: “Love Calls,” “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” “Share My Life,” and “Why Would You Stay,” that will be performed at the two live recording shows, alongside an array of other fan favorites. The historic taping will mark KEM’s first-ever landmark live album showcasing the musical mastery and artistic journey of one of the world’s most treasured musical artists.
KEM stepped into the musical landscape as a premier singer, songwriter, lyrical master, producer, and performer. His distinct and captivating vocals and the gravity of his expansive musical oeuvre and independent success have catapulted him into becoming a dominate force and magnetic performer who has amassed a global fan base, and a number of record-breaking milestones fueling his continued success and longevity. He would ultimately find himself among the legendary icons etched atop Motown’s marquee of music history.
His journey to success included an ascension from the deep grasp of addiction and homelessness on the streets of Detroit as a young man – in and out of jail and serving his addictions on the banks of the Detroit River. While bouncing around to several homeless shelters and drug rehab centers, KEM would perfect the songs that would revitalize his spirit. These songs that would guide him through the darkest valleys of despair to sobriety on his birthday – July 23, 1995 — a milestone moment where KEM’s inner strength and dramatic depth propelled him toward his destined future as one of music’s most important and cherished voices. Those same songs that KEM crafted during his journey of homelessness and addiction, would appear on his first album, KEMISTRY.
Prior to signing to the Motown label, KEM
independently released his KEMISTRY album on February 28, 2002, but it wasn’t an overnight success. Driven more than ever to succeed in the music business, the artist sold an impressive 15,000 units, literally out of the trunk of his car, which led to Detroit and Chicago radio picking up the “Love Calls” single, and the record started picking up spins and building an audience as fans requested the song.
The momentum of the independent KEMISTRY project, arising from the grass roots campaign in Detroit, piqued the interest of major labels, including Motown Records then-President, Kedar Massenburg, who quickly met with, and signed KEM to a five-record deal in 2002.
KEM kicked off his career on the Motown label with his first single, “Love Calls” from his debut album, KEMISTRY. The enormous popularity of the song catapulted KEM and his music into the hearts and souls of R&B/Soul fans across the world and “Love Calls” would become KEM’s first #1 hit. The hypnotic single became a critical and commercial triumph that jetted to #1 on the Urban Adult Contemporary chart with rapid speed. The song continues its reign as one of the most requested and remains in heavy rotation on R&B radio stations to this day, cementing its stature as an undisputed genre-defining classic and KEM as an undeniable musical force.
Since the debut of the KEMISTRY album, KEM has released six albums and an EP on the Motown label and has achieved the incredible fete of posting eight #1 hit singles, with at least one #1 record on each album he has released.
Most recently, KEM released his magnetically introspective EP, entitled Full Circle, on Motown Records. The aptly titled five-song project gives listeners the perfect accompaniment to reflect on the full-circle nature of their lives, loves, and relationships through honeyed lyrics that telegraph his inner emotions with piercing intensity. Listen to the EP HERE.
Paving the way for the Full Circle EP, lead single “Stuck On You,” quickly dominated airwaves to become KEM’s record-extending
eighth #1 hit on the Billboard Adult R&B Airplay Chart. As the song soared up the charts, he notably achieved the record for ‘Most #1’s on Billboard’s Adult R&B Airplay Chart,’ tying with Maxwell and Charlie Wilson.
The EP’s second single, “Right On Time,” featuring hip-hop heavyweight, Rick Ross, is driven by a slick, head-nodding beat and funky combustible bass line. “Right On Time” reveals KEM at the height of his power as one of music’s redefining voices, as his signature vocals flutter from sultry verses into a soaring hook.
The EP’s title track “Full Circle” resounds with lyrical entreaties: “Will we come back around full circle? Will we forget what we found full circle?” The flavorful mélange culminates with the luminescent “Lonely.” Piano glimmers under an emotionally charged refrain as KEM asks, “Are you lonely?” with enough intimacy to make you feel like he’s in the room with you!
In 2010, with the understanding of his ability to use his platform and stature in music for local impact and global change, KEMfounded Mack and Third, Inc., a grassroots charitable movement committed to fostering sustainable development for the underserved in the personal, social, education and economic sectors. The foundation’s vision is to raise financial support, marshal resources, and spread awareness via concerts, fundraisers, food drives, and civic programming designed to inspire compassionate action, establish meaningful partnerships, and promote public advocacy at local, national, and global levels.
Since his arrival on the music scene, KEM has stretched the fabric of music, translating human emotion and piercing hearts through KEMISTRY — his global entertainment and relationship brand which serves humanity through the universal and multifaceted language of love.
© 2022, Seth "Digital Crates" Barmash. All rights reserved.