Lives changed and futures were redirected when a copy of U2's Joshua Tree found its way into the hands of Kenna the eldest son of an immigrant Ethiopian family that relocated to Virginia Beach. Kenna was inspired by the melodies and messages of the Irish rock quartet and resolved to make his own music that was equally powerful and poetic. Other influences like David Bowie, Stevie Wonder, Sam Cooke and the Talking Heads were soon to follow. Collectively, the impact of these artists would make Kenna determined to become an artist whose work would resonate throughout the decades.
This would seem unlikely because of the circumstances surrounding Kenna and his musical dreams. Music had not been a major part of his life up to that point and in his culture, music was not respected by family or friends. Despite this opposition, Kenna continued to pursue his aspirations.
In time, Kenna found allies in neighborhood friends The Neptunes (Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams). Chad produced Kenna's debut project, New Scared Cow, an album that was ahead of its time and heralded by press and fans alike. The sound of the album was something entirely new while simultaneously reminding listeners of why they cared about music in the first place. Both music videos off of New Scared Cow were innovative and one was nominated twice for MTV VMA's – "Hell Bent" and "Free Time"- yet Kenna appeared in neither of them. This was part of a conscious effort on his part to "draw attention to the music itself, rather than the artist."
After overcoming shifts in the music industry, as chronicled in the National Bestseller Blink chapter titled "Kenna's Dillema", Kenna has found his way back into the spotlight with his newest creation, Make Sure They See My Face. The new album title marks a significant change in Kenna's approach to music and his willingness to meet the world.
Kenna's newest endeavor, Make Sure They See My Face, is an album of discovery and realization. "It is our responsibility to manifest our best attributes and gifts in the most dynamic and brilliant ways in order for others to see it and want to elevate themselves," says Kenna, "I can only hope that people will hear the music and know that I aspire to be well and share in that well being."
In that spirit, Kenna agreed to use the first single "Out Of Control." From Face. On Sony's soundtrack for it's upcoming PSP Brand Campaign.
The bleeps and beats in Out Of Control are a sonic invasion. These sounds are characteristic of Kenna's early work, but the frequency and energy are entirely new. "It has been an inspired, challenging, and exciting time for me," says Kenna, "I wouldn't change it for anything, and I am looking forward to all that showing my Face may bring."