Kemba is ready to heat up the summer with his Republic Records debut, Gilda, a tribute to his late mother's namesake, which is slated to arrive before the season's end.
In addition to announcing his album, the Bronx native also premieres the evocative "Nobody I Can Trust" video with Billboard on Friday (June 28). The striking visual shows Kemba living in suburban white America, but reveals the mistreatment he goes through on a daily basis solely because of his skin color.
"'Nobody I Can Trust' comes at a point where I feel super isolated after the loss of my mom and not being able to process it, isolating myself from friends and family," Kemba tells Billboard. "The video has a socially conscious angle because being socially conscious is part of who I am," he continues. "It felt good to get back to a familiar place, especially at a time like this. I've also seen people who have been like the main character, who have focused on their own well-being and ignored everyone else’s plight until it comes knocking at their door."
As for Gilda, the album will be sequenced based on the stages of Kemba's grief when grappling with his mother's death. The effort is executive produced by Ivan Jackson of Brasstracks and features Smino, Portugal. The Man, and Jagged Edge.
"Before the incident happened life was very lighthearted, and so the music reflects that spirit. And then there’s a transition and it gets very dark," the 28-year-old says. "After my mom passed, I started to lose myself and isolate myself, and the music reflects that. It forced me to go through those emotions, look in the mirror and properly grieve so that I could move on. After a while, I had to go through life, even though I couldn’t do it the same way as before. Now, I'm doing what I can trying to make her proud."