Wednesday, March 25, 2009
I'm gonna make sure they see your face
Isn't it a nice face to see! LOL
I found an old article that I wrote maybe a year ago about Kenna for my Music Publishing class. Billboard Magazine was our text book and our weekly assignments were Billboard reviews. This is what I wrote for my assignment as a summary of the article:
2003 was supposed to be the year of Kenna. With his sound of Pop, Rock and Alternative combined , he opened for popular bands such as No Doubt and Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode’ He was signed to Colombia records and his first album "New Sacred Cow” was produced by superstar duo, the Neptunes. Instead his album only sold 2,000 copies in the U.S. Now Kenna is taking a chance to enter the U.S market again with his current album release "Make Sure They See My Face," which is on the Billboard 200 at No.124 and at No.1 on the Heatseeker charts. Along with his record deal on Star Trak records a label stated by the Neptunes, he has gone on tour with Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake as a guest artist and unlike other new artist understands that radio and the music industry in general is money and business. He says “"If I were to describe the industry as I see it now, it comes down to one question: does it matter? Does the music matter? Does the artist matter? Did it matter beyond meetings about quarters and numbers? I'm learning what it matters to me and to my family and friends around me now."
And this was my response to my article:
Until I read this article I had never heard of Kenna, so I decided to do some research on his music. After listening and watching his music videos on youtube, it is easy to understand why he hasn’t made it big in the U.S. His music and video concepts are different and unique. In simpler words, Americans wouldn’t automatically be interested in his sound. I’m sure Columbia records had no idea how to market Kenna. He’s a black artist who isn’t doing the typical R&B/ Hip hop music, with liquor and girls all over his videos. Instead, his videos are animated with clay figures trying to find true happiness, accompanied with his smooth voice. His lyrics ask questions and his videos give answers. However, a majority of mainstream American music listeners don’t want to her questions or answers. They want good time party music. With the help of the Neptunes, who also have a unique sound, I believe that they can find Kenna an audience of his own. Since he isn’t depending on the radio to find his audience, he now has the outlook to find his target somewhere else.
Ok now let's return to 2009:
A part of me I still feel this way when it comes to Kenna. I have been able to turn a number of friends into fans or at least to maybe recognize him, whenever they see a picture. The music scene changes constantly. People always like " different" or " non-mainstream" music. However only a selected few " non-commercial" artists are able to be shown in the light,and then just like everyone else, that staying power has to kick in. I want Kenna to have his time in the limelight too, but maybe it's better this way.
FYE I have picked my favorite songs/videos of Kenna
I couldn't post the video for this song " Hell Bent". This is the first song I've ever heard of his and it's from his first album, "Sacred Cow"
The 2009 Grammy nominated song, " Say Goodbye to Love". This is from his second album " Make sure they see my face".
Everyone likes Kenna! Even author Malcolm Galdwell, dedicated a chapter of his well know book, " Blink" to Kenna. Now you know the boy has to be talented.