Kemme drags you to hell in her debut single, “Poof”
Right now, women are angry, but they’re also horny. The debut single from music’s newest femme fatale, Kemme, expresses exactly that.The LA-based musician combines her obsession with film music with her love for storytelling (probably influenced by her uncle, Tom Petty’s legendary dexterity for songwriting) to create a tune that completely engulfs you.
“Poof” is sonic liquid latex; it drags you in to the upside down where you are captive to Kemme’s ruthless appetite. Commencing her music career with a song as confident, unique, and pensive as “Poof,” it’s chilling knowing this is only the beginning for Kemme. She’s certainly not wrong when she coos, “If you can hear me, it’s too late.”
I assume Kemme isn’t your real name, how’d you come up with it?
My real name’s Kendall, but Kem’s been a nickname for a minute now. Kem has a few origins, one deriving from a gentleman who owned a company called Chemtainer who had a crush on me, another being my Dad’s friend from college
whose mere presence broke my heart (RIP Kem). Anyways, the name Kem was already taken by another artist, so I went with the femme version of the name: Kemme.
Where did the inspiration for “Poof” come from?
“Poof” is the first song off of my EP, “My First Great Movie,” that basically inhabits the mind of a woman falling in and out of love and all the roles she’s prompted to portray in the process. I wanted to start out with a track that embodies a villainous, femme fatale, siren, Lilith-esque character. She thinks she’s the hottest shit to ever bless this planet and that she’s in complete control, using her sexuality to manipulate people, but it’s not until you listen to the album all the way through that you realize that she was driven to take on this role from past heartache.
There’s something pretty unsettling about this song – what’s the method behind the madness?
Yeah. The track doesn’t really have a home in any key or rhythm, so it’s hard to tell what’s coming next. There are also a lot of animal noises (dogs, cats, elk) that make it feel raw and carnal. I just wanted it to make people feel as on edge and unsafe as possible, as if they were in a scary movie and their life was truly on the line.
You’re clearly very influenced by cinema. Could you talk about that a little more?
I studied music in film with an emphasis on postmodernism (I know) when I was in college at NYU. I ended up getting really into this theory that film embodies experiential reality and music embodies subjective/emotional reality.
I thought if I made pop-ish music that is as weighted in emotion and motive as film music, I could create a platform where emotion and experience combine. My aim was to create music that feels like you’re living in a movie.
And what were your tactics to achieve that?
Well first, it was important for me to tell the story of something I’ve already lived through, so to make the emotion the piece is drenched in feel as honest as possible. So I went through some old cartoons I had made, journal entries, letters, and texts I had written and received and repurposed the candid details of my experiences and mindsets into my music. From there, I’d establish a character for each of the songs, a hyperbolized version of myself, and just let her steep. I also listened to a lot of score and watched a lot of movies while writing these tracks, pulling out sounds and phrases from each.
So you must be planning on releasing some type of visuals for this project.
Oh duh. There’s going to be a very short film that’ll accompany the EP when it drops. It’s great and that’s all I’ll say for now…