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Featured, Indie Focus Published: June 18, 2013

Keep It Moving – Tree Kemm

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Exclusive Interview

Tell us about where you are from and how you got to this position today.
I’m a military brat-born in upstate NY, raised on the island of Oahu since I was four, and pretty much spent some time in NC, VA, CA, NH, London (where I studied for a semester in college) and now planted, thus far, in Denver, CO. My goodness, how I got where I am today? Let’s say a brother’s suicide, another brother’s incarceration, a father as a pastor, a divorce two years ago, three beautiful kids, and the grace of God. Life brought me where I am today.

Tell us more about the current song you are promoting to everyone.
I’m promoting Keep It Moving because, like I said, life brought me where I am today. It’s so easy to wanna just quit, to just stop, give up and say, “forget it.” But I’ve been writing since I can remember and singing just as long. I know my vocals don’t touch half the great artists out there but my words might pierce.

The lyrics I write, I hope, will be the moving force behind my success; God willing. I feel I can relate to everyday people going through everyday stuff and with this song I’m just wanting people to know that they can’t let that stuff keep em’ paralyzed; they got to keep moving!

Also, what I like about this song is how it incorporates a bit of rock, pop, hip-hop and soul. Plus I get to show my rap skills, something I knew in my heart I could do but never really tried on any of my songs. Now I can’t help but to throw a little piece in every once in a while.

Tell us about one of the hardest challenges you had to face in the industry?
I think my biggest challenges are trying to write songs that are meaningful, powerful, fun, without using foul or perversed language, and yet still be able to captivate an audience. In addition to this I don’t really like the labeling: am I R&B, hip-hop, soul, rock? I’m just an artist, I create songs.

What was one of the biggest set backs in your career and how did you bounce back?
I really can’t speak on this at the moment. I don’t wish to humiliate or embarrass anyone. How I bounced back though? I’m remarried to a man who is constantly encouraging me to keep it moving. For real though, I bounced back because I have an amazing partner gently pushing me and making sure I don’t stay down.

What are some things artists need to be careful of?
Oh my gosh. I’m far from being established as a full blown artist. I’ve been doing this for years, though at first with a few bands performing on the island of Oahu every now and then. I just went solo in 2005, meaning I started writing in preparation to become a solo artist but I have yet to perform my first gig as a solo artist, although that’s coming up in the near future. But what I have learned is that you need to make sure you put your money in the right place, places that are going to advance you and not leave you in debt.

What suggestions do you have for other artists like yourself?
Take risks! Cautious, careful, calculated risks (ha ha). Don’t be afraid to showcase what you got. My children (10, 12 and 13), are always saying to me, “Mom, I would rather hear your songs than most of the songs they keep playing. They all sound the same.” True and not true, but their words remind me that we can’t assume we don’t got what it takes just because one or four hundred people don’t think so.

Someone out there is bound to dig your craft. You can’t let the negative vibe and chit chatter of others tell you you aren’t good enough or you’re not gonna make it. Okay, true, some people might want to listen to that chatter. On the real, keep doing what you believe you have been purposed to do until you no longer have it in you to do it. Hope that makes sense.

What is one of your favorite ways to promote yourself and your music?
Basically I haven’t been promoting myself. I’ve been testing the waters, I guess you can say. But now I’m getting serious. Serious as a heart attack and I’m about to promote everywhere I can. It’s time y’all.

Where can people visit you?
If anyone wishes to hear additional songs you can visit me at www.reverbnation.com/treesrus.

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