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Concerts Help KEM Test New Material

Of the Oakland Press

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A lot of fans want to know what's up with KEM's next album.

So does KEM.

Actually, the Lathrup Village-based R&B singer is certainly in tune with Album III: Intimacy, which he's been working on diligently in Detroit and hopes to have it finished soon and out next year as the follow-up to 2005's gold-certified "Album II." But he's also been using his concerts to hone the new material and debut songs such as "Mother's Love," "Why Would You Stay?" and "Share My Love," the projected first single.

"We try a lot of the new music out on the road," explains KEM, whose real name is Kim Owens. "Part of our template for creating records has been taking the music to the audience and test-driving it, if you will. You learn first and foremost if the audience likes the song, and I learn how to perform the song live and...maybe get some different ideas about what to do with it in the studio.

"That's been going over really well, so far. We always look forward to that part of the show."

The album's title, meanwhile, should give a sense of what KEM's new songs will focus on -- although they're not only about THAT, he says.

"I'm know for making love songs," Kem explains, "so we thought we'd explore that word, that idea -- not only sensual intimacy but the true meaning of relationships and opening yourself up to somebody and allowing them to do the same with you.

"So the song 'Mother's Love' is about maternal intimacy between a mother and child. There are spiritual love songs on the album, too. Life is about relationships -- good, bad or indifferent. That's what we will be exploring on this new album."

KEM and Rahsaan Patterson perform at 8 p.m. Friday (Sept. 26) at the Fox Theatre Tickets are $43-$153. Call (313) 471-6611 or visit www.olympiaentertainment.com.

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