Sweat's sudden emergence on the music scene in the late 80's
literally changed the R&B world forever. But his real gift has
always been the ability to follow it up time after time, never holding
back, always delivering great, powerful music.
Like the best of those artists who seem to know just
when to re-acquaint themselves with us, we discover through Keith
Sweat's music that we're on more than just familiar terms with this
charismatic singer/songwriter/producer. His music, always relevant,
always easy to embrace, seems to somehow mirror our own emotional
Comfortable isn't the only adjective one would use to
describe Sweat's methodology. He has always seemed to both soothe and
provoke our musical instincts over the years. The unassuming Keith
Sweat first swooped down on the club world with his 1987
multi-platinum smash "Make
It Last Forever," which
single-handedly altered the club and R&B scenes in one amazing
He dropped his very own homemade bomb of sorts on the
music world by mixing traditional R&B stylings with hip-hop's fierce
edge. Credited with a lot of the "new jack" flavor which
peppered most of the late 80's early 90's soul, revered critic Nelson
George dubbed him "the Luther
Vandross of the hip hop generation."
He says, "When I'm working with good friends like
Gerald LeVert for example, we respect
each other's ability so much that he'll pretty much trust my judgment.
And when I appear on one of his songs, I step back and let him guide me.
It's kind of an agreement we have. So far it's worked."
Quite the understatement. Keith Sweat has garnered a
reputation for not only working with the best in the business, but for
also discovering and nurturing some of the best young talent in the
R&B world. Both Silk and Kut Klose were
discovered by Sweat.
He credits his New York background for instilling in
him an attitude that welcomes any and all challenges. The New York
native was himself born in Harlem, just around the corner from the
famous Apollo theater. He still has a great love for all things New
York, having graduated from New York's City College and gone through a
pre-music career stint as a brokerage assistant at the New York Stock
Exchange. But after landing his first record deal, Sweat's life would
play out far beyond the steel canyons of Wall Street. The underground
swell of his classic debut, "I Want Her" launched him as the
club and R&B world's freshest voice in 1987.
The song went all the way to the Top 5, crowning Sweat
as the sole rejuvenator of the club/R&B/pop crossover record,
creating an initial impact the genre hasn't seen since. He points to the
New York club scene of that era as a very special time in music. "I
think timing was important. There was a good mix of audiences. People
were just starting to really get into rap. Yet they were still going to
clubs in droves," he says. "I think when rap got real big,
people went less and less to clubs to dance. Things are cyclical though.
I'm credited with a lot of things that some artists were doing a decade
before me. I've always been able to blend sounds. For example, you had
the O'Jays doing what I was doing before my
time, in a way. I just had a different tone in my voice."
But Keith Sweat cemented his place in R&B history by
following up with three other stellar albums over the years "I'll
Give All My Love To You," "Keep It Comin'" and
1994's "Get Up On It," along with his debut LP have
collectively sold nearly 8 million copies. The albums spawned a myriad
of pop and R&B hits, with the first three LP's topping the Billboard
The modest Sweat plays down the tremendous strain this
kind of success can put on an artist, and continues to deftly juggle a
club/restaurant and production office/home studio and label (Kiea), all
the time while trying to maintain his own career.
Hit songs include --
- I Want Her
- I'll Give All My Love To You
- Keep It Comin'
- Make You Sweat
- Make It Last Forever
- Why Me Baby?
- Something Just Ain't Right
- Your Love
- Come and Get With Me
- Don't Stop Your Love
- How Do You Like It?
- Get Up On It
- I'm Not Ready
Keith Sweat may be available for your next special event!
.New Jack Swing.
..80s, ..90s, ..00s, ..10s
Born: ..in New York
..in New York City
Jul 22, 1961
Based: ..in Georgia