Birmingham musician, Kenneth D. Rembert Jr. talks about his career in music

Birmingham, Alabama is known for a lot of things. Mostly the civil rights movement. Birmingham currently has a growing live music scene and numerous musicians in night clubs, brunch spots, and churches that are all making a name for themselves. There are musicians like Kenneth D. Rembert Jr. that are shifting the city’s culture forward.

When did you become interested in being a musician?

I discovered musicians like most musicians of my particular upbringing. I was a kid in church, slowly learning what my interests were. While most kids would touch an instrument and move on elsewhere, I stuck around for the long haul.

When did you really start to take it serious?

I dare say it, not begrudgingly, but with a sense of thankfulness. When my parents and other adults started paying attention to me, it was then that I started taking piano. I didn’t start with gospel music like most of my friends. I initially started with classical music after I grasped enough music theory. My parents’ investment in my craft caused them to push me at a young age. So I suppose that I was probably 6 or 7 when I started taking music seriously. I just never knew I could be paid to do it. But then I got my first music job at 8. It was at my family’s church. I made $15 a Sunday. That $15 turned to $20. That $20 turned to $50. Those amounts meant the world to me, and it was enough justification for me to take music seriously. I always loved the craft, but pursuing as a career really took place when I learned that it could actually be a career.

What roles do you now play in music besides playing an instrument?

Eventually instrument turned to instruments, which is why I’m able to cover as many roles as I can. But additionally, I actively consult and counsel other musicians on their nexts steps and plans. I’m a musical director, meaning I assemble, rehearse, and lead bands whether I’m on an instrument or not. Most recently, I find myself handling more bookings for other musicians and bands. I also produce, compose, and arrange. There’s also the occasional du-wop or two. Ha!

What has been the highlight of your music career?

The highlight is definitely my present. I get to see this beautiful country at ever single corner, nook, and cranny while touring with Smooth Jazz Guitarist, Nick Colionne.

What’s next for you and your music career?

I’ve been really slowing down to focus and manage what I have on my plate now while being a husband and a new father. I still pray for direction on what to do next.

Do you write?

As crazy as it may seem, no! I’m not a songwriter by a long shot. That part of my calling hasn’t activated yet. But yet and still, I love helping other writers and artists bring their songs to life; contributing to their lyrics with compositions and arrangements.

Do you offer any private lessons?

I typically accept students over the summer break. My life gets pretty active after that. So I equip students with what they need, and I send them to another, much better teacher.


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