Keith Rovere is an independent musician based out of New Jersey. He shares his thoughts on the local music scene and releasing singles as an Independent artist. We would like to thank Keith for taking the time to speak with us.
Hallels: Tell us about your latest album?
KR: "First let me say thank you for the interview. It's always a blessing to be interviewed about my music.. As far as an album, I'm releasing singles one at a time. Being an indie songwriter I want to ease into the industry. I currently have 4 releases and all 4 are getting airplay. Once I have about 8, we'll put together an album package and send to Nashville."
Hallels: How would you describe your sound for people that haven't heard of you guys and what artists have influenced your sound?
KR: "I guess I'm a different breed as a Christian songwriter. Before my church going days I spent years in my room listening to Pink Floyd, The Grateful Dead, Zappa, and any other psychedelic jam band... Thats stuff is so embedded in my soul it definitely bleeds through. So I'm a mix of old school rock, funk, gospel, psychedelic and jam band!"
Hallels: Your song "I Am" features some cool sax playing. Who is playing?
KR: "I was blessed to have Sam Levine play on that track. He's played for Skynard, Vince Gill, Aaron Neville and even Sammy Davis Jr.. His track really added the edge I was looking for. Very talented man and wonderful guy."
Hallels: You don't hear saxophone is much popular music these days, what inspires that sound for you?
KR: "Everything! I'm an old soul deep down. I hear music everywhere. With a little tweaking, you can make the sound on the supermarket into a tune. Listen to some Andreas Vollenweider.. like his Coverna Magica cd.. He takes random water drops and slowly forms a beautiful tune. And certainly I never go by what's popular. In fact I rarely listen to new music. It's mostly electronic.. No soul. So if your listening and have some imagination anything should inspire you... It does me."
Hallels: Tell us the story behind your song, "Stained Glass Cage"?
KR: "I've had this one for a while. It needed the right percussionist behind it.. A cat from the UK ended up being the missing piece. Jon Sterckx is his name. Check him out on YouTube with his amazing sampling. One of a kind. The song is about the myth that everything is alright without Christ's salvation. You're not seeing clearly. You have an image or two to see how life really is. Or who God really is but it's all clouded by the fall.. Sin invades our ability to see anything for what it truly is. Like looking out a stained glass mirror.. trapped in a cage that we can't break out of. Only God can break it.. setting us free to see clearly."
Hallels: What is the Christian music scene like in New Jersey?
KR: "Not many outlets. A few churches have a coffee house night that has live bands play a few tunes. But limited really. A real coffee house might have a own mic Christian music night.. But thats it."
Hallels: If you could collaborate with one Secular Artist and one Christian Artist, who would you choose?
KR: "Oooo.. Good question. I'd say Roger Waters for secular.. Probably my biggest influence on songwriting and arranging. And as for a Christian musician.. Hmmm. Maybe Paul Baloche. I got to hang out with him a few times after his show. Great guy. I think we could put our heads together and come up with something cool."
Hallels: Do you have a current scripture that has been speaking to you? Or what are some personal favorite verses of yours?
KR: "Proverbs 3:5-8 is my favorite.. No matter what God is in control. I've had 2 battles with cancer and the Lord kept my positive throughout. Came out on the winning end.. Praise God. But everything happens for a reason. If we get too angry at a situation then maybe it's just God sending as Paul Tripp says, some "uncomfortable grace" your way revealing your heart issue.
Lately I've been in Revelation. I'm a big A-millennialist and just picked up the new Dean Davis book The High King Of Heaven. Great stuff. Rev 22:3-5.. Gonna be a good day when that one is fulfilled ;)"
Hallels: If you could each play professionally for any sports team for one day, who would you pick?
KR: "Easy.. Philadelphia Phillies.. Pitcher or first base. Played every day as a kid"
Hallels: What are your touring plans for the rest of fall?
KR: "I'm taking a different approach. Although I play all the guitar work on the tunes and have played live most of my life, I feel this calling is different. I just want to be a songwriter. If its God's will, some company will pick me up as just a songwriter. I really have no urge to tour or do the band thing again. I just want to spread the gospel through song in maybe a way and style that hasn't been done before in Christian circles. I'm blessed to have a 5 time Grammy nominated producer Anthony Bell in my town helping me out with the mixes. Once I have enough tunes recorded for an album we'll take the next step.. Lord willing to Nashville!"