Free MP3 Download: Kenna "Chains"
It's been a good while since we last heard from Kenna. But the mountain-climbing, non-conforming genre-buster returns with a promising new single that is taken from his new EP "Chaos & Darkness" that will be out on April 26. Kenna once again teamed up with his producer pal Chad Hugo of The Neptunes to create a fresh and forward pop alternative sound on this new effort.
Kenna's "Chaos & Darkness" is the first of his "This Land 2 Air Chronicle" three-part EP series, which precedes his new full-length album "Songs for Flight." This new EP collection is described in a press release as "a set-up for what may be the last Kenna album ever." Oh no!
"Chains" is the first song from the EP and features Shimmy Hoffa aka Chad Hugo. This blazing new track is co-written by Paul Banks of Interpol who gives Kenna's futuristic, synthesized sound a crunchy indie twist.
Free Download: Kenna "Out of Control (State of Emotion)" (RAC Remix)
The guys from Remix Artist Collective are on a roll. Check out a totally guilt-free MP3 download of Kenna's "Out Of Control" that they put together last year. They supercharged Kenna's version with a hot new jerky bassline and a bunch of bump 'n grind sound effects that make it a great club anthem.
RAC likes to call it "ghettotech." I just like to call it plain ole' good. Download the track after the jump.
Kenna is one of the most talented and most under-rated artist around. I had dinner with him before his gig in Atlanta in April of 2008 and I was captured by his passion and vision on music. But with Kenna it is never just about the music. It is about a movement to help the greater good. It's about a state of mind.
The singer received a well-deserved GRAMMY nomination in the Best Urban/Alternative category that also includes Janelle Monae and Chrisette Michele. That's some stiff competition. Very curious to see how that will play out on February 8.
The Thursday Crunch: GRAMMY Nominations Announced Today
The 2009 GRAMMY Award nominations were announced this morning and the list is full of surprises. In a good way! The usually he stuffy GRAMMY Academy got some of the categories and nominees totally right this year, showing that they are keeping up with the times. I'm mostly excited about worthy nominations for Janelle Monae, Sam Sparro, Robyn, Cyndi Lauper, Rufus Wainwright, Kenna and Kylie Minogue. This year might also be a break-through year for Adele who is up for multiple nominations, including Song of the Year.
Adele, Leona Lewis, Coldplay and Sara Bareilles are the stand out artists with each over three nominations in the pop categories. Coldplay also a multiple nominations in the rock categories totaling 7 nominations. Lil' Wayne might be the big winner with 8 potential awards. I'm surprised Keane is not appearing in any of the categories.
Lady GaGa and Sam Sparro (!) are both up for Best Dance Song Award together with Hot Chip, Madonna, Rihanna and Daft Punk.
Competing in the Best Album category are Lil' Wayne, Ne-Yo, Coldplay, Radiohead and Robert Plant with Allison Kraus. This one is Coldplay's to loose.
Finally the GRAMMY folks got with the times. Cyndi Lauper, Robyn and Kylie Minogue are competing in the Best Dance Album category. I don't have an immediate favorite, but I'm leaning towards Cyndi Lauper just because that record was so fresh and unexpected.
Rufus Wainwright is nominated for Traditional Pop Vocal Album for the recording of his Judy Garland show at Radio City Music Hall. I'm sure he's thrilled right now.
Beyonce, J-Hud and Alicia Keyes are competing in the Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. All very worthy competitors. Beyonce really took her act to a whole new level and should be recognized for that.
HOORAY! ArjanWrites.com fave Janelle Monae is up for a Best Urban Performance Award for "Many Moons." Not sure if the categy fits her as this as much a pop record as it is an "urban" record. But I guess if you break the mold, people have a hard time fitting you in categories.
This is so awesome: Kenna's "Say Goodbye To Love" is up for Best Urban Performance as well.
Jazmine Sullivan is most definitely the R&B break out artist with nods in almost all R&B/urban categories.
Crooner Lila Downs gets a deserving nod in the World Music category.
Rick Rubin, will.i.am and Danger Mouse compete in the Producer of the Year category. Surprisingly, Timbaland and Pharrell are not included.
My fellow Dutchman JunkieXL is up in the Best Remix Category for Madonna's "4 Minutes." Gefeliceerd!. One of my favorites remixes of the year, the Deadmau5's remix of Morgan Page's "The Longest Road," is up as well. I'm bummed Paul Oakenfold's remix of Madonna's "Give It To Me" was ignored. That was hands-down one of the best of the year as well.
Video Premiere: Kenna "Out Of Control"
Check out the video for Kenna's new U.K. single "Out Of Control" that will be releaed on April 28. Kenna hasn't been able to gain any traction with his music in the U.S. unfortunately, but things are faring a little better overseas. The Ethiopian-born singer is currently touring in Europe and will be joining Mark Ronson on tour in the next few week, which will surely make him some new fans. Kenna's production pal Chad Hugo (from the The Neptunes, N.E.R.D) makes a cameo in this new video. Scroll to 00:20,01:20 and to the end to see him appear.
Listen to Kenna "Out Of Control (State Of Emotion)" (RAC Remix)
Check out a really excellent remix of Kenna's pop R&B stomper "Out of Control (State Of Emotion)" that was put together by the soundboard wizards of Remix Artist Collective. It is one of the best Kenna remixes I've heard so far. RAC gave the original tune a shot of adrenaline and supercharged Kenna's version with a hot new little bassline and some other bump 'n grind sound effects.
RAC likes to call it "ghettotech." I just like to call it plain ole' good.
Kenna is currently touring in Europe and he has been writing about his experiences on his MySpace blog. In his usual fashion, he relates his every day experiences to the power of music on a more philosophical level.
"A few things baffle me. But most things I understand that there is culture behind it. Some things you have to be raised in to understand," he writes. "The one thing that seems to cut through the confusion and miscommunication is the sound and frequency of music. Music is the only thing that will always have an immediate affect on people in this life." That's Kenna. Always food for thought.