Musicians That Matter

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Kennen @itskennen

 

One too many tales of unrequited love–that's what inspired Kennen's first projects. The singer, songwriter and producer works out of his own room and creates songs that combine the charms of indie/bedroom pop with the addictive qualities of modern and retro pop styles. No stranger to making music, Kennen had been self-taught as a producer since the age of 12, before eventually deciding to sing on his own tracks by the beginning of 2020. He landed on the radars of listeners around the world after self-releasing Timothée Chalamet. His anticipated debut EP "Kennen's Cassettes" is coming soon.

 

As a POC do you feel like you get judged by your community for pursuing something creative?

When I was growing up, I thought I wanted to be an architect–which my immigrant Chinese parents approved of. But when I found that I wanted to do a career in music, they told me I can only do music as a hobby. And I get where they're coming from because as immigrants, we don't have the luxury to take on a risky career. But I showed that I was really serious about music and willing to anything for it. I think over time, they became supportive. The other parents in my community probably all have similar wishes for their kids to become engineers or something. 

 

If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?


I have musician friends who are at very high levels, but they aren't getting paid enough. Most of them have a different day job, I worked at Nando's. It's frustrating because what they provide through their art has so much value, but their income doesn't reflect that. And to really get yourself out there as an artist, you need a lot of funding for making content and marketing. Not a lot of people can just throw around money like that, especially in low-income families. There should be more resources for those who need it the most.

 

What’s the best part about what you do?

Doing what I'm passionate about, making art and sharing stories, and connecting with others through it. I met some of my best friends through music. My life is not typical, it's definitely wild, but that's what I love about it.

Lokoy - ‘Badminton’ album bio  (By Ben Jolley) @lok0y

Lasse Lokøy didn’t always plan on starting a solo project. Instead, the 24-year-old says that getting into the production side of music. He hoped that adding ‘producer’ to his “business card” would open up opportunities to work outside the genre of punk-rock. Having teamed up with rapper Safario - providing the beats to frantic viral hit ‘GO CRAZY, GO STOOPID’ - as well as girl in red, Lokøy says his solo work boils down to three ingredients: “I love sad lyrics, happy melodies and dance-y tempos – that's kinda my jam”. The self-confessed perfectionist decided to start work on his own debut album, ‘Badminton’, at the start of the year. Rather than one particular theme running through it, he considers the collaboration-heavy record more like a collection of songs - each with different meanings and back stories – that were made with friends. 

 

Filled with wall-to-wall bangers, there really no dull moments. During a year of uncertainties, ‘badminton’ feels especially timely; a realistic representation of the up-down emotions we’ve all felt over the past few months. “I hope it gives people a sense of release,” Lokoy considers. “And encouragement, for people to look up and cheer up.” ‘badminton’ by Lokoy is out 22nd January, 2021. 

Which famous musicians do you admire?
There are so many! André Bratten, James Blake, Crystal Castle, frank ocean (favourite), and many more. People who push boundaries are always inspiring.


 

If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
It should be illegal for the CEO of Spotify to take out billions of reward from the company. I think artists should get more per stream instead of the CEO to become super wealthy. I hate that. 


 

What’s the best piece of advice youve been given as a musician or just in life in general?
Keep it simple, never complicate things unnecessarily:)

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Landon Sears @landon_sears

Landon Sears is a prominent Hip-Hop R&B artist out of Nashville, TN. He has worked with acts such as Pink Sweats, Anthony Russo, 99 Neighbors, Felly, Leven Kali, and more. Landon's versatility as a multi-instrumentalist and producer has enabled him to create his signature sound. Harmonically explosive, and rhythmically alluring, Landon's arrangements derive from his unwavering love of Hip-Hop, R&B, Jazz, and Soul. In May 2019 Landon signed a publishing deal with MZMC Music Group in South Korea writing K-Pop hits for acts like CIX and Kang Daniel. 

What makes you want to write?

I write so that my life in terms of music is autobiographical. I don’t really got enough time to remember it all but the music should all be in line with the life timeline if that makes sense. I love fitting words together like a puzzle or tryna outdo my last verse. like Andre said you only as hot as your last shit.

What would you change about the industry if you could?

I’d find a way for people to split mechanical royalties easier across platforms/distributors for collaborators.Kind of difficult to orchestrate.

What's the best part of what you do?

The best part about what I do is hearing other people tell me that what I wrote somehow effected them in a positive way. I’ve had people tell me the songs bring them joy and got them out of a dark space. I also just love the feeling of accomplishment when you finally get a song to sound how you want after busting your ass on it for months.