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Kenna

Kenna Zemedkun spent the first three years of his life with his grandfather in Ethiopia, where his family was from. His mother and father had left the country soon after his birth to escape persecution from the new government, moving first to England and then to the U.S. Kenna eventually joined his parents in Cincinnati when he was three years old -- however, he spent his formative years in the place that really affected his music: Virginia Beach. It was there that a friend lent him a copy of U2's Joshua Tree, an album that profoundly changed Kenna's perspective on how an album could sound. Soon, he started teaching himself how to play the piano and studied singers like Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye, as well as listened to his fair share of bands like the Cure and Duran Duran.

Kenna didn't decide to make music his career, however, until college, when he realized that the more standard route of formal education wasn't the right one for him. Teaming up with high-school friend Chad Hugo (of the Neptunes), Kenna set to work making demo tapes. One of these eventually made its way to Atlantic, and then to Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst, who had recently started his own imprint, Flawless, on Geffen/Interscope. Durst was impressed by what he heard and gave Kenna (with production help from Hugo) the go-ahead to make his own album. Unfortunately, when it was completed, Durst was unable to get the backing from Interscope to release it, and let the musician go (among other things, the label was unsure how to promote the album, as it didn't fit into any one market). Record in hand, Kenna found a new home at Columbia, which eventually issued New Sacred Cow in 2003.

His sophomore effort faced similar problems. Although it was mostly completed by 2005, again he had trouble finding a label to put it out. To help fill the ever-growing space between albums, Kenna released the EP The Black Goodbye with help from the Neptunes-run Star Trak in 2006. Finally, signed back to Interscope, his second full-length, Make Sure They See My Face, was released in October 2007 (and not without its share of delays and changes, of course). ~ Marisa Brown, Rovi
full bio

Comments

dgill88655
He's my Power B**ch, I Luv E'm
Kenna has really been powerful for me.. It seems to be that music I'm able to play when I can't figure out what mood I'm in.. or when nothing else fits.. there's Kenna like a glove. My favs Hellbent and Free time
Truly unique
Hellbent is an absolutely amazing song from this artist.
smcmaster2
Cool!
New sacred cow is one of my fav albums.
Hellbent changed my life when I first saw it on mtv2 in 2003. music is so powerful and his music is more like tom york or radiohead
This is great. Refreshing!
AWESOME & REFRESHING. SEE HIS FACE, YES, I DO & I LIKE WHAT I SEE AND HEAR
jared.true
Seal meets Justin Timberlake? That's what I think of when I listen to Kenna. His vocals are unique, his music is fitting, and his sense of subtle self-effacin g humor are what make him a solid choice for a music investment. Don't know why Kenna is compared to Coldplay on Pandora; his style is much more electronic like the Killers, with more hip-hop than 80's new wave. Only $7 on iTunes when I bought "Make Sure They See My Face." Good music that even my JT-loving wife will listen to.
Able Albrite is spot on about this guy. That aside he makes some great tunes. I remember hearing Hellbent when MTV2 used to play the video for it. I was like, "Yoooo!"
When Kenna arrived he was revolutionar y . Since then his sound has lost some individualit y , but when he gets it right he ascends to the highest levels in the genre.
I like it... but the accompanimen t to his vocals sounds rather generic, and his voice isn't very distinctive. I do like it... I just want to hear more.
Glad I found 'em. Love his voice along with the sick backbeat in each of the songs.
I am so impressed! I really dig his music. I love that he and I share the same name, too!!!
rev.johnmark k
first time Iever heard his stuff! Very Nice! I Love it. It's the freshest. I think it fits in with the New sound of Indie... (Santogold etc.) Get this Sh_ _ on XM (XMU) and the word will spread!!!
...what the people below said.
jdub_711
Kenna is definitely one of my favorites. The industry is friggin' craaaaaaaaaa z y for not pushing his s**t. Everyone that I turn on to Kenna is an instant fan. Keep spreading the word and let's make a bunch of short sighted A&Rs cry in their mochas.
It's sad he had so much trouble releasing his music, he is so much better than Limp Bizkit and many other well known bands.
AWESOME!!!! BEST KEPT MUSIC SECRET!!!
dgetnet1
It is to good to hear that fun is coming back to music. I can listen to Kenna any part of the day regardless of what I am doing..readi n g , working, drinking, dancing or thinking. Kenna ..i know you will break through the clouds and be very popular but then...thing s will never be the same...

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