Artists of the early 2000s have been making a resurgence lately. Charlene Keys, better known as Tweet, is a singer-songwriter from the early aughts who has made a significant impact on the industry. Recently, she visited Chicago to take part in The Experience and promote her latest release, Charlene, with Dedry Jones at Room 43 on the South Side.
The fans came out and packed the venue and buzzed with anticipation waiting for one of their favorite artists to share her stories with them. Tweet’s experience is unique in that the camp she came from consisted of notable artists such as Missy Elliot, Ginuwine and super producer Timbaland. She discussed how they were brought together by DeVante Swing of the legendary group Jodeci and formed the Swing Mob collective. Tweet spent her time as part of that collective recording vocals for other artists and penning songs for them. Those skills cemented her as a formidable writer and provided her access to many opportunities. Tweet’s biggest song to date is “Oops (Oh My).” She mentioned how she was having a conversation with Missy while they were listening to some of Timbaland’s productions and she told Missy she had something for one of the songs. The moment that Missy heard it she made sure she got signed as an artist. “Oops (Oh My)” was the lead single off Tweet’s debut album, Southern Hummingbird. Interesting title considering Tweet is from Rochester, New York.
Listening to Tweet talk about her life it is clear that she has taken her experience with bouts of depression and loss and used them as fuel to propel her career. She gleamed with pride as Dedry played a song that she had written for the late Whitney Houston and she said that was one of the greatest moments of her career. She credits hearing gospel artist Tonex’s song ‘Make Me Over’ with inspiring her to continue singing. She says once she built her relationship with God, the opportunities started rolling in. The interview was introspective and gave fans an intimate look at the struggles an artist can go through no matter how talented they are. Jones has a way of putting the artist at ease and allowing them to share who they are without reservation.
Once the interview concluded, Tweet performed a few favorites and some new songs from her newest release, Charlene. When she performed “I Was Created for This,” she welled up with emotion because of what the song means to her and how she understands why she has been given her amazing gift. Once her performance was over, she mentioned that a tour is coming soon and she signed CDs for fans. It was an amazing evening and provided a glimpse into the life of one of our most talented treasures.
Take a look at a few of the pics below.