The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
May 23, 2024
Texas A&M pitcher Evan Aschenbeck (53) reacts after throwing the final strike out during Texas A&M’s game against Mississippi State on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at Olsen Field. (Chris Swann/ The Battalion)
Down but not out
May 23, 2024
Advertisement
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Advertisement
Texas A&M infielder Rylen Wiggins (2) reacts during Texas A&M’s game against Texas at the Austin Super Regional at Red and Charline McCombs Field in Austin, Texas, on Sunday, May 26, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Aggies’ season ends with heartbreaking loss to Longhorns
Luke White, Sports Editor • May 27, 2024

Sharper play in the sixth innings of Texas A&M softball’s NCAA Super Regional series with No. 1 Texas may have been the difference between...

Advertisement
Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
Advertisement
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Sing it all

 
 

His mother will tell you he sings in the shower, but unlike the majority of bathroom singers, Dustin Kemp has taken his talents to audiences made of more than just water droplets.
“I started singing in my church,” said Kemp, a junior sociology major. “I became involved in small ensembles in middle schools, began singing chorale music in high school and also started a rock band with my friends called Contradiction. I listened to a lot of rock music, had a lot of blues influence.”
Kemp has sung with the choral group the Century Singers, the gospel-tinged Voices of Praise, and Apotheosis, an all-male a cappella group that sings pop standards from several decades. Kemp acknowledges several other influences, aside from rock music and blues.
“I’m kinda like a chameleon – I like to fit my voice around different music, like gospel and jazz,” he said.
Kemp said Ella Fitzgerald, John Coltrain and Josephine Baker are some of his favorite musicians, in addition to more contemporary artists such as Beyonc?? Knowles and John Legend.
“One thing I can say, being a young African American, is that it’s inspiring to see someone like Beyonc??, who comes from really not that much – I really admire her drive and determination,” Kemp said.
Kemp has always brought his music into other activities. He incorporated singing into class presentations and sang musical introductions for contest debates.
Elaine Kemp, his mother, recalls one occasion when her young son did an out-of-the-ordinary welcome at church.
“Every time we’d have something at church, he’d want to sing,” she said. “One time he was supposed to do a welcome, and he rapped the welcome. It was definitely unique.”
For as long as Dustin Kemp has been singing, he has been writing his own poetry and lyrics. One song he wrote, entitled “Firefly,” describes the child-like wonder experienced while falling in love.
As a child, Dustin Kemp’s mother would ask him to go outside, but on many occasions, he preferred staying inside to write or to draw.
“In remembrance of my dad, when Dustin was 10 or 11, he wrote a poem, and we put it in the newspaper,” Elaine Kemp said.
But Dustin Kemp’s knack for touching people through his words and his music goes beyond his family.
Michael Romero, a junior organization and interpersonal communication major at Oral Roberts University, has known Dustin Kemp for 11 years.
“In high school, Dustin really was the man,” Romero said. “He was always up for the ‘most talented’ award. I love him. He’s one of my best friends. He led worship at a ministry we started – it was a church service catered towards college students, and he was the worship leader. He did a great job.”
Dustin Kemp participated in the ministry called Echo last summer. He said it allowed him to dedicate himself to one of his true loves, Christian music, prompting him to leave his rock group behind.
Whether or not Dustin Kemp breaks into the notoriously unpredictable music industry, Romero said he has succeeded in winning the affection and admiration of many people.
“This guy is one of the nicest and kindhearted of people,” Romero said. “He loves to be around others. And anytime you’re at a party or get together and it gets boring, Dustin is the instant talent show. So at any Christmas party, you’ll hear him singing ‘Silent Night’ or something. People will always ask him to sing.”
Romero acknowledges Dustin Kemp’s ability to charm women of all ages.
“He does think he’s pretty, but a lot of ladies think so, too,” Romero said. “We were a part of this mentorship program in high school where we would help elementary kids with their homework. Our high school teacher that led the group would always ask Dustin to sing, and all the little girls would fall in love with him.”
Having performed in several talent shows, informal get-togethers, churches and formal concerts, Dustin Kemp is an experienced performer whose repertoire continues to grow, said Elaine Kemp.
“He’d always be hurting our ears at home,” she said. “I’d hear something when he was showering, and I’d run to the door and ask my son what the matter was, and he’d say, ‘It’s okay, I’m just singing!’ But I think, at some point, he did find his voice. And it keeps him positive.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *