Mild. Awkward. Ear-piercing. Some call him a paradox: The soulful nerd with the huge voice. His name is Kenny Wesley. “My mom said I came out the womb screaming, and I’ve been screaming every since!” he jests. The North Carolina born, D.C.-based artist has a voice that can shatter glass, lilt with the tenderness of a soul crooner, sing a Mexican lullaby, or crank out the funk. Highly respected by industry peers such as Ledisi, Miro Sorvino and Kindred the Family Soul, Kenny has successfully emerged with a distinct sound all his own.
With an acclaimed EP, 3 Washington-Area Music Award (Wammie) nominations, multiple collaborations, seven compilation features, and a slew of high-profile performances under his belt, including a recent 2nd prize win as the U.S. representative for the 2013 Montreux Jazz Festival’s Shure Vocal Competition (Montreux, Switzerland), Kenny has firmly placed his stamp on the burgeoning modern music movement. His songs have been prominently featured on radio, TV and film. A fan-favorite of the FOX television series So You Think You Can Dance, Kenny’s newest single, “Damaged Goods”, debuted on the program this May. Known for his impressive vocal range and high-octane live shows where he humorously showcases his love for other cultures (he speaks 5 languages) and his world-class band, Kenny has shared the stage with numerous artists including Alice Smith, Eric Roberson, Maysa, Stephanie Mills, Vikter Duplaix, Leela James, N’Dambi and Syleena Johnson.
A welcomed guest to coveted venues across the globe such as The Kennedy Center, Blues Alley, Ronnie Scotts (London, UK), The Fillmore, The Blue Note (New York, NY), Black Cat, Bohemian Caverns, and The Apollo Cafe, Kenny most recently embarked on a US/European promotional tour for his new album, the pop-alternative hybrid and critically acclaimed, The Real Thing. The tour included to-capacity performances, radio interviews, magazine features, and guest appearances in D.C., MD, VA, NY, PA, France, UK, Spain and Switzerland.
Check out our interview with this well round artist about his smashing new single, ”
Why did you select this song as your current single?
It’s a fun tune and perfect for spring/summertime – party season, babyyyy!
How does this single relate to the rest of the Album, EP or Mix-tape?
I think it epitomizes the overall musical vibe of the album: funk sprinkled with rock, pop and electronica.
What was the writing process for the song?
Me and Noah Lifschey, the producer of the album, were sitting in his studio in Santa Monica, and he played a 2 bar drum/bass guitar pattern. We built the song chunk by chunk, lyric by lyric, drum feel by drum feel. We were really in the zone that day and created the entire song in about an hour or so. And the entire time we laughed and geeked out about each new element we would add to the arrangement. It was soooo much fun!!!
What does this song’s lyric mean to you?
We have to figure out how to co-exist: in the social sphere, political sphere, relationships, etc. The world is in a funky space (no pun intended) right now economically, politically, etc. We need more synergy instead of people fighting for their own agendas.
What would it be like to see you in person performing this song?
Fire. Fun. Funk.
Could your fans summarize who you are as an artist by this song?Yes. There is a power, intensity yet gentleness in the vocal. I think those attributes are definitely what I would say are intrinsic to my stylings. The lyrics and production further paint an energetic, bright, exciting, empowering story.
Is there a video planned and or completed and if so, what was the idea behind the video?
Yes. It’s in the works.
One last question, what is your motivation behind your music?
I want it to inspire people to follow their dreams, be happier people and to have fun along the way!
4/19 – CD Depot
5/24 – Pembroke, NH