Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Featured Musician Interview

What is the name of your group?

Keyona Renee Ham

Your Website URL: http://www.reverbnation.com/#!/keyonareneeham

How long have you been in the music business?

I've been officially in the music business for 2 years now.

What Genre is your music?

I'll probably be labeled as R&B/Soul but I'd preferred to be known as a great singer able to deliver great music across genres.

Describe your musical style and inspirations.

I love all kinds of music. My first love is R&B/Soul, but I love good Funk with a strong bass line and groove. I love when a lead guitar can come in and kill it and make you think the vocals were just the accompaniment. I do sing Gospel, Jazz and some Pop but I don't like my music to have a watered down feel. I think Gospel should hit hard like Hip Hop, Jazz should have strong instrumentation and Pop should have great lyrics and metaphors. As a trained dancer, I enjoy the intensity of a good Opera, the fun of Bollywood and I absolutely LOVE salsa too so I'm working on a Salsa song and I really hope it is well received.

Have you released an album? If so, provide some details.

I have released one single, "Lost and Found" written by Monty Wells who is now with Def Jam/Island Records.

Monty and I were at a meeting with The Collective, a group of singers that work together to promote each other's music and business ventures and Monty played the chorus for me on his acoustic guitar and I cried. I cried because it spoke to that part of life when you're standing there wondering, "What am I gonna do now? Let life just happen around me or make a move." And having took so long to really declare myself a performing and recording artist, the song just really hit me at my heart. It also reminded me of my friends that feel like their lives have been derailed and need the arrow to just tell them where to go.

Singing at the Capital Hill Premium Tobacco and Cigar Bar
— with Capitol Hill Premium Cigars.
I decided not to release an entire CD but instead release the singles one by one, as people don't buy entire CD's anymore unless its an established artist. Besides, that's the way we hear them on the radio even after a CD is released if you don't buy it on the release date; every month or few weeks, you hear a different single off the CD until you've been sucked in, right? I figure if I get you to like every single, you'll come to every show and not feel like you got jipped. It also requires me to make every song HOT instead of having a CD with a few good singles and then some fillers. I hate that!

Where can we get your music?

My first single is on iTunes, Amazon.com, Spotify, Napster, all the major digital music retailers. You can also check out some of my performances on my YouTube channel, username MissHam2001 or just search for Keyona Renee Ham. I love performing live; I think that is the true test of a good vocalist.

Do you have any upcoming gigs? If so, where?

I will be singing at the Pre-Reception for the Executive Leadership Council on Thursday, October 20th at the Gaylord National Hotel at the National Harbor in MD. The ceremony will also feature Diana Ross and Kool and the Gang. On November 18th, as a part of the closing ceremony for the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. 100 year anniversary, I will open for the Godfather of Go Go, Chuck Brown at Howard University in D.C. I am also working on finishing my CD project and raising money through kickstarter. The link is: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/search?term=Keyona. The project will be up until November 1st. All donations receive a gift, either free download, copy of the CD with a specially designed T-shirt or at the highest level, copy of the CD, T-shirt and entry to one of my live shows after the CD is released.

Which of your songs is your favorite?

My favorite song hasn't been released yet; its a tie between the dance track and the rock and roll song, so hard to decide. But I do love "Lost and Found."

In your own words, why should people check out your music? Provide any other info you think we should have here.

I think music lovers will enjoy the choices I make in terms of releases. I will release a CD and it will be titled "Her Stories" as the songs will be the thread that runs through the life of every woman discovering how to love, live, be powerful, run her world and somehow not lose her mind. To hear a real voice instead of music that is loaded with autotune is what the music world needs. We need to stop accepting garbage.

I also have a slew of other things going on. I am a Licensed Zumba Fitness Instructor and love promoting a healthy life which is why I started my blog Pixie Dust Potent - One More Dress Size at http://keyona-pixiedustpotent.blogspot.com. The camera does not hide anything! And you can tell when a is gasping for air so I am determined to stay fit and healthy and try to be an example for those trying to life a healthy life and lose weight. It's title, Pixie Dust Potent from a label I was given by co-workers saying that I must have some kind of pixie dust that keeps people (especially men) intrigued by my presence. The first installments are about my journey to lose one more dress size. So far, I've gotten a good response especially from those that can relate to the struggle with weight and image. With my new body, I've discovered a love for modeling and styling so I am loving that! And, as if that wasn't enough, my wonderful make up artist, Evie Thompson and I will be launching a new Internet Radio show in the Fall called "Speak on That." We have begun taking responses to the topics on Facebook under Speak on That so anyone can join in on the discussions. They absolutely get heated. We'll be talking about everything and also feature indie artists and small businesses.

Keep up with Keyona on her facebook page or follow her on twitter @SweetMsHam


  1. GO KEYONA!! Great interview!

  2. Keyona, your vocal abilties are incredible, love the music. Plus props for the lovely natural hair!