The Detroit-born crooner with the sultry voice has surely helped many couples with family planning. This winter, Kem, whose brand of soothing, sexy, jazz-laced R&B is already winning, released his latest Christmas CD entitled What Christmas Means.
For Kem, a deluxe re-rerelease means five holiday classics and five original songs including a duet with Ledisi on “Be Mine for Christmas.” Four bonus tracks have been added to the CD, including “Jesus” with Patti Labelle and Ron Isley.
As for whether he prefers singing new songs or his own work, Kem says he only chooses music he knows he can bring something to.
“As long as I can do it right, as long as I can lay it in there and put my stamp on it, I’m cool,” Kem told the Tom Joyner Morning Show. “I didn’t choose any songs just to have them on the record. I didn’t want to do ‘The Christmas Song’ by Nat King Cole. But then my guitar player was like ‘Why don’t we just break it down and do it like this? We really set out to make a classic Christmas record. If you take Christmas and King and Jesus and all of that out of it, it’s a Kem record.‘
As much as Kem enjoyed re-doing classics his own way, he is a songwriter first.
“Publishing is the gift that keeps on giving,” he says. “Songwriting starts at the keyboard, then the melody is next, then the words come last. It just depends on the song, it can take from a couple of minutes to a couple of months.” The song “Jesus” was an exception – Kem says it took several years to finish but turned out to be perfect for this release.
“That’s probably one of my favorite songs right now. To have these legends – Patti and Ron – working on it is not just the highlight of this album, it’s the highlight of my life.”
What Christmas Means deluxe version track listing:
Track 1: Glorify the King
Track 2: What Christmas Means
Track 3: A Christmas Song for You