Thank you for having me, I’m so pumped! I have been so wonderful – this summer has been filled with a lot of music making and I wouldn’t want it any other way. It definitely has kept me busy in the best way.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Haunt’d”?
I am so excited to share it with the world! I wrote it with my producer, Jared Anderson. The week after we wrote it, we created the track in his basement studio in Nashville, TN. This song is really all about understanding how to be comfortable in the in-between parts of life, because a big majority of our lives exist in that space. This song feels truly authentic to me—the sound, the production, the lyrics. When writing this song, I got super real with myself and the truth of what I had been going through. All I want to do is connect to someone else in that uncomfortable in-between space. I believe that’s when true art can be created, when the walls are broken down and the rawness is revealed.
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
I was actually walking my dog Izzy one morning and listening to a podcast called “Nocturne”. It explores the nighttime and all it’s facets, combining sound-art with storytelling. It’s really cool. The guest on the show was talking about how she’s fine with the middle of the day, or the nighttime, but the uncertainness of dusk, the in-between of night and day, really makes her uncomfortable. There is so much uncertainty. I realized how much I related to that feeling—maybe not literally, but figuratively. I think a lot of the changes I had been going through in my own life have put me in that space between night and day—where there are a ton of questions amidst the uncertainty, with no answers whatsoever. I got home and immediately wrote the opening line to the song, “The middle of the night // I don’t mind, it don’t scare me…”, then another line of the song “But the dark don’t stay and neither does the day // life’s mostly in the half-light”. I just knew it was a song that was going to mean a lot to me. I was right. From discomfort comes growth, and of course, a good song 😉
No plans just yet!!! But may or may not be releasing a video for another song I have in my back pocket.. maybe, just maybe coming out next month 🙂
How was the recording and writing process?
It was so much different than anything I’ve done—in the best way. Jared and I finished writing it in his living room one afternoon and started making the track for the song the week after. I had no idea where the production was going but Jared always has this crazy intuition with my music. He captured my vision perfectly, combining real instruments with synths and samples. Funny story—we were programming some percussion sounds, and I took a bite out of an apple. It sounded cool so we ended up recording me taking a bite out of the apple and sampling it in the song. Whoever can find it in the track gets a free Kenna t-shirt!
What role does Nashville play in your writing?
The massive amounts of people chasing dreams, big and small, is the most inspiring part of Nashville. I love watching my peers follow their hearts to create beautiful and meaningful art. The music scene is so diverse and full and I’m so grateful to be surrounded by so much talent. Connecting with people fuels my art. I’m so happy I get to do that everyday.
How have Andrew Belle and HAIM influenced your music?
Andrew Belle’s latest record took a singer/songwriter vibe and put it into a more pop setting, relying heavily on synths to produce the sound. I had his song “Dive Deep” on repeat for months and months when I was starting to dream up this project. I still come back to it all of the time.
HAIM is a band that I have loved from the start. First of all, they are strong females in the music industry and that is so important. In my opinion, the most unique and stand-out quality of their music is their rhythmic-based melody lines. Catchy rhythms are everything to me. I love that HAIM goes for their unique sound in such a fearless and unapologetic way.
I listen to a ton of pop/indie/singer-songwriter music. I always saw myself making music in the pop/indie realm but I couldn’t figure out how to execute. These two artists influenced the direction in my own sound—singer/songwriter vibes into a pop world with rhythmic lines and percussive elements. I’m thankful for the art they put out!
Known for blending different styles – how do you get them to balance together?
Great question! I honestly can’t think about it too much. I have to keep my mind out of it and lead with my heart. Best way I can balance it is by meshing together little pieces of what feels good. Intuitively creating this hybrid genre has come out of a genuine love for so many types of music. When creating the sound for haunt’d, we pulled influence from different artists I love and respect and listen to on a daily basis. From there, something really unique came out. It was a sound that I wasn’t really expecting, and nothing I had heard from myself before. It felt so right and really cool! So I took it and ran with it.
Does the new single mean we can expect new material – how’s that coming along?
It absolutely means you can expect new material! I’m sitting on 6 song babies, they’re patiently waiting to be released into the world! It has been such a fun and challenging process. I’ve grown so much as an artist throughout it, and really feel like I’ve finally found an authentic sound that I’ve been trying to get at for years. It feels good because this piece of art truly feels like “me”.
Any tentative release date or title in mind?
In The Grey EP. December 7. Get ready!
Any plans to hit the road?
Yes! Currently booking shows for the rest of the year and then starting back up in 2019 along the East Coast and Southern states. Keep an eye on my socials for those dates! It’s gonna be fun!
What else is happening next in Kenna’s world?
After I release my EP, I’ll be getting on the road and sharing my songs with some fresh ears and new places. I can’t wait! After that, definitely so much more music to come and many many more instagram posts of my dog! Other than that, just trying to go with the flow and live everyday with a ton of gratitude for where I’m at!