Kenna’s one of those artists with his fingers in so many different fields that it’s hard to believe that he’s just one dude with two arms. While music is his main focus, the grammy-nominated Virginia-native is a noted philanthropist, technology creative, and public personality.
At a young age, Kenna’s family moved from Ethopia, where he was born, to Ohio, and then finally to Virginia. It was there where he met Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams, both of whom he went on to collaborate with on over five albums over the past 10 years or so. He taught himself piano at a young age, and his mastery of the musical language is evident in all his releases–he consistently combines electronic, soul, pop, and rock influences with ease and class.
We had a chance to kick with Kenna a few weeks ago and were taken aback at how humble, relaxed, and funny he was. He spoke on his efforts with the Clean Water Initiative, his role in the relaunching of Myspace with Justin Timberlake, and his new album, L2All: Imitiation Is Suicide: Chapter 2.
“I get to produce everything… I’m involved in production in everything I’ve ever done, from my first album to now. But when I work with Chad, i end up going into a void. The dude is so advanced in the way that he thinks… when he decides to go one direction, it’s definitely going to be some place you weren’t imagining you would go… working with him on the first chapter was a natural thing. Working on the second one myself was me saying ‘how do I just jump in and use stock everything… stock Logic sounds, and show people that anyone can make music but if you’re gonna make music, try to fight for making great music. And then RJD2 is just another Chad in a lot of ways, but a completely different sonic… different thought pattern, different way of producing… my music has multiple verticals, I live in different worlds… I live in multiple dimensions.”
Download the latest installment of the three-part series here, and be sure to peep the official GURU Remix as well: