Keith Kehrer: 'Crowded' Keith Kehrer grew up surrounded by music. His mother sang opera, and he insisted on taking voice and piano lessons. Now owner of and producer for Kamakaze Records, Kehrer combined his jazz and salsa background with an acid jazz influence to make the album Blip Blop.
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Keith Kehrer: 'Crowded'

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Keith Kehrer: 'Crowded'

Keith Kehrer: 'Crowded'

Keith Kehrer: 'Crowded'

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/6514328/6514666" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

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Keith Kehrer

The cover of Kehrer's album, 'Blip Blop' hide caption

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The cover of Kehrer's album, 'Blip Blop'

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Raised in Middletown, N.J., Keith Kehrer grew up surrounded by music. His mother sang opera, and, at the age of four, he insisted on taking voice and piano lessons. Now owner of and producer for Kamakaze Records, Kehrer combined his jazz and salsa background with an acid jazz influence to make the album Blip Blop. On the CD, Kehrer combines hip hop loops, vocal samples and slide guitar to make a down-tempo jazz sound. In "Crowded," he couples this technique with jazz piano.

As a child, Kehrer would crank up the television and listen to Carl Stalling's music on Looney Tunes cartoons. The use of music as sound design would factor into his life later, he says. He also loved science and science fiction, which led him to record, use computers and program music.

While in the Army from 1977 to 1980, Kehrer played clarinet, saxophone, piano and bass. He also wrote, arranged and ran the recording studio for the 389th Army Band in Fort Monmouth, N.J. After his time in the Army, Kehrer played in pop, R&B, punk, jazz, rock, salsa, fusion and rock groups. In 1989, he started his business: Kamakaze Music and Kamakaze Productions. In his project studio, Kehrer says he has his own laboratory where he performs "sound experiments" that later turn into CDs, film scores and game scores. He says his musical heros include John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Frank Zappa, Brian Eno and Todd Rundgren -- people who "carve out their own niches and march to their own drummers."