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  Issue 26 - Feature - Kenna

Kenna-Music’s Best Kept Secret
By Farah Minwalla

KennaWatch out Kanye. Sooner or later you will be knocked off from your Louis Vuitton throne that you have effortlessly claimed since you stepped onto the music scene. The one to push over your bloated ego and take over your dynasty will be no other than a man who has a profound respect for your rhymes and Id. Kenna is his name and he is a bigger star in the making than you ever were. This up and coming artist has the freshest beats around, a funky new wave melody to his sound that has not been heard on the airwaves and a smooth Dave Gahan (lead singer for Depeche Mode) like voice. If Ethiopian born Kenna himself does not sound familiar then you have most definitely heard his music or heard of his producers, Chad Hugo and Pharrell, who lent a helping hand in assembling Kenna’s sophomore album “Make Sure They See My Face,” that was released in Oct. 2007. The muse for this album came from his effort to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and the title of the album steams from phone calls from Pharrell asking Kenna, “Are you going make sure they see your face?” Proclaimed by People as, “one of music’s best kept secrets,” Kenna is ready to step into the spotlight and finally let people see his face. From the African beating of the drums to the danceable, running mascara rock exuded on this album, Kenna can not be pigeonholed into one music genre. He uniquely synthesizes all elements of pop, soul, hip-hop, 80s, electronica, r&b, alternative, rock, and everything else under the musical kaleidoscope. “In almost every song you can hear 15 different artists. Every song has a root and a definite sound and too many artists nowadays hide behind sound,” remarks Kenna. He lucratively channels ABBA, Freddie Mercury, U2 and Pharrell all throughout one album and makes his 12 song album a pure masterpiece. Not only is Kenna a mega force in his own right, but one day his name and enterprise will be bigger than any Mr. Curtis Jackson or Lil’ whoever the fuck is in the game. Most importantly, KennaKenna’s voice in the music industry is not to create beef or be a duplication of someone else or their music. “I am under construction creating as I go because I’m always going to be under construction. I am broadening the scope of how things can be heard because art is not just for the artist or the creator,” professes Kenna while simultaneously playing the piano throughout our interview. The first single off of “Make Sure They See My Face,” is “Say Goodbye To Love” a luscious balance of club hip hop sounds with a splash of 80s new wave. Kenna blares the beginning of the track cooing, “The mission is to make you forget/ And now is all the time that we get/ How could you say you're not into it/ Trust me/ God is my witness”. His voice is very versatile in that Kenna can seductively string out lyrics and sound like an urban, almost disco sounding Robin Thicke. “If you listen closely to every song you won’t miss the plot. This is a unique record in that it juxtaposes to the world. I am not trying to be a musical genius but the album was made to identify yourself with me,” says Kenna. This singer and songwriter’s ability to transcend his love for music will progress his career into much further heights than the music industry is capable of handling. When asked why he chooses to be a musician he replied, “Music is the center of the universe and is the one thing that exists closest to soul or energy. How does someone measure music? Nothing is greater than music.”

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