KÉ | Life and music of the vanished singer of Strange World
Reading Time | 6 min
Listening Time | 15 min
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Ké Trembol Card
- 🗿 Name: Ké’s real name is Kevin Grivois.
- 🎂 Country: Ké was born in New York, United States of America. The exact date of his birth has never been made public, although it was around 1979.
- 👫 Genres: Pop.
- ✍🏽 Logo:
- 💿 Discography: Ké released 3 albums: I Am, Shiny and Better Way of Living.
- 🔗 Soundcloud page: Ké Soundcloud
- 🗣 Social Media: Facebook
There’s always a second chance. There has to be. Sometimes your purpose is to remind people, ‘Don’t give up.’
My life has taken so many different twists. I might just end up being a jazz singer in Beijing.
Ké | Biography and Music
Ké first came to prominence with his 1995 debut album, ‘I Am‘, which included his biggest and only hit, ‘Strange World‘. Although he released 2 more albums, ‘Shiny‘ and ‘Better Way Of Living‘, both had little impact and Ké disappeared from the music scene.
Although he still sings in a small band, he lives in the countryside and devotes a lot of effort to animal welfare issues 🐶
Chapter 1 | From Cherokee reserve to model
- His father and mother divorced when he was a child, and he moved with his mother to his grandparents’ home on the Cherokee Indian reservation in Oklahoma.
- He spent his days riding horses 🐎 playing with rocks and water.
When he turned 7, his music teacher saw a special talent in him. He persuaded Kevin to join several children’s choirs, one of which even took him on tour all over the world.
- Kevin was still too young to realise how big this was, so he took it as a game.
Thanks to his androgynous appearance, slim and with pronounced features, he would begin a career as a model. It would eventually become a steady job, which he would combine with music.
- He was smitten with Kevin’s voice, so he invited him to perform the song he had written for the end credits of the film ‘The Ref‘, called ‘Broken Circles‘.
Ké Broken Circles
Chapter 2 | Following Madonna’s advice
- Kevin moved in with her soon after, and they became close friends, but just friends because Ké was gay.
- The photographer was well known and had many friends in the entertainment industry, so she introduced Ké to some of them. They soon recognised his talent and encouraged him to pursue a recording career 📀
Ké used to record himself a cappella, doing the rhythm tracks with his voice and then singing over it. People liked it a lot, because it was different. That’s how Ké built up a catalogue of songs, becoming a songwriter.
- He was also introduced to the president of Sire Records, who recommended that he go for Jazz and R&B.
- Kevin had a lot of self-confidence and didn’t want to go in that direction, in fact, he still wasn’t sure which direction to go in.
- He kept getting offers from major labels. He finally decided to go with RCA.
The nightmare started after I had made a decision. I just unfortunately went for the largest machine available, instead of understanding that sometimes the smaller one works better.
The label fired half of the company, changed direction by focusing on artists who were making music that was very much geared towards the Caucasian American audience.
- For Kevin, they decided that the first thing to do was to change his stage name to Ké
Where does the name Ké come from?
Ké is simply an abbreviation of his name, Kevin. Some members of his label didn’t like it because they thought it sounded too gay 🌈
- A few years later, George Michael and Elton John would go public with their homosexuality and become more accepted by the general public, but in the early 1990s, a singer with an almost feminine voice like Ké was too much for the US label bosses.
- His label, RCA, only released it in New York and Los Angeles, not in the rest of the US.
- Kevin decided to go and promote it internally to the RCA subsidiaries in Europe. They loved it and decided to release the album in several European markets.
- Ké put up his own money to hire a band and went with them on an extensive promotional tour of Europe, where his androgynous voice and almost feline stage presence charmed the audience 😼
Ké Strange Wolrld
Strange World is a song against war, or in other words, an anthem for peace ☮️ as the lyrics say:
Strange world people talk and tell only lies
Strange world people kill an eye for an eye
Strange world dream one-day we’ll see the light
Strange world believe and everything will be alright
- The remix reached the Top 5 on the Billboard Dance and Club Play Charts in 1996.
Ké’s modelling career also continued, so much so that in the mid-1990s, he would become Dolce & Gabbana’s muse.
- He would also earn the title of ‘Uomo Vogue (Vogue Man)’ 👨🦰
Despite the bad taste in his mouth, his first album had been a hit in Europe, with ‘Strange World’ being the most requested song on the radio in the UK, Germany and Italy in 1996, so in 1998 he released his second album, ‘Shiny‘.
- The album included songs such as ‘Can you hear me‘ and ‘Ave Maria‘, the main singles being: ‘You don’t know me‘, ‘Sounds of Silence‘ and ‘Believer‘.
Ké You Don’t Know Me
- The sales results were poor and RCA (the label) ended up firing him 😞
Three years later, in 2001, a part of a small label called Schizo Music, he managed to release his third album, ‘Better way of living‘, with the single of the same title in a duet with Macy Gray.
- Other notable songs on the album include: ‘Believe Me’, ‘You Walked Away’, ‘Dancing With the Moon’ and a cover of ‘Aht Uh Mi Hed’ by Shuggie Otis.
- The album had no success and disappeared almost as quickly as Ké from the music scene.
Ké ft. Macy Gray Better Way Of Living
- He supports Italian artists to enter the American market.
- He produces Chinese artists such as High Team and Miriam Yeung.
He also gives his own concerts filling small venues, as well as continuing to compose songs such as ‘Reason 4 Being Alive‘, inspired by PJ Harvey and the transsexual and transvestite community, or ‘Requiem for a fool‘.
- As a result, he released a streaming-only compilation called ‘Best of Ké‘, the proceeds of which he donated entirely to animal rights organisations, something he himself fervently supports.
Matmata ft. Ké Strano Mondo (Strange World)
Despite the disappointments, Kevin Grivois, after 15 years out of the spotlight, still has projects for the future and as he says:
There’s always a second chance
In 2015 was introduced to an Italian band called Matmata, with whom he began writing songs and with whom he would cover ‘Strange World’ to celebrate the song’s 20th anniversary.
Ké at present
Kevin Grivois (Ké) lives in Florida, surrounded by palm trees, waterfalls and above all animals, which he adores. He likes to get up early (6 a.m. 🔅), walk, feed his pack of dogs and then spend the day painting, writing poetry and, of course, composing music.