There’s a first time for everything. Kem, one of the smoothest debonairs in R&B and soul music, makes his NPR Tiny Desk series debut from his home in Detroit.
Kem, aided by seasoned guitarist Michael “Nomad” Ripoll and saxophonist David McMurray, performs a three-song medley from his Love Always Wins album. He begins the under 14-minute set with “Friend Today,” an affecting tune that depicts the distress across the world while bidding for love for one another to help conquer it all.
Speaking to Rated R&B in August about “Friend Today,” Kem said, “That song is special because when I sat down to write it, I didn’t get up until I was done. It’s just guitar and vocal. It makes a really powerful statement.”
The love ambassador follows with “Not Before You,” a romantic ode to his wife, and ends with “Lonely,” where he controls the keys and gets soothing saxophone playing from his longtime collaborator McMurray, who worked on his first three albums.
Last month, Kem scored his 13th top single on the Billboard Adult R&B Airplay chart for his duet “Live Out Your Love” featuring Toni Braxton. He previously topped the same chart earlier this year with “Lie To Me,” the lead single from Love Always Wins.
Watch the performance above.