Kennen: “You have to let yourself go, be open and make mistakes.”

Cover Photo:
Kennen by Daniel Dorta.

21-year-old singer, songwriter and a self-taught producer Kennen is one of those artists you should get to know through their artwork. Charming bedroom pop soundscapes, wit and fun references—he’s got it all.

Even though he’s never had a serious relationship, Kennen knows quite a lot about love. Unrequited love, that is. And he isn’t afraid to open up about it. “I’ve never had a steamy romance, so there’s not much to write about there,” Kennen reveals. “Crushes, on the other hand, I could just go off.”

In fact, Kennen’s hit single ‘Timothée Chalamet’ explores such a tongue-in-cheek concept. With his own spin on Carly Rae Jepsen’s ‘Call Me Maybe’ music video, a Timotheé Chalamet look-alike takes the role of Kennen’s love interest in these vivid and colourful visuals.

In addition to ‘City Lights’, ‘Timothée Chalamet’ completes Kennen’s two-track extended play, Cassette 1, released back in October. Inspired by the era of cassette tapes, Kennen’s decision to separate his full debut EP into short records is a sentimental love letter to the ’80s.

“In the beginning, I knew that Kennen’s Cassettes would be the title of my first full EP because my sound has some influences from retro styles,” Kennen explains. “Separating it into mini EPs or dual singles, however you want to call them, gives the songs more of their own moment to shine.”

Kennen is an openly queer artist of colour. He understands the importance of representation better than most artists and continues to explore his beautiful identity through music. “The internet is helping us bring in this new wave of voices that haven’t been heard before,” he says. “Part of my work is making sure it continues through being open about my identity.”

“I’m Chinese and it’s important for me to represent my community,” Kennen then continues about his experiences being a kid of first-generation immigrant parents. “The musician route is challenging for us for many reasons, and that could explain the lack of Asian representation in western media—I hope that as my career grows, I can be a part of that representation.”

“You have to let yourself go, be open and make mistakes,” Kennen finally encourages everyone. His incredible artistic journey is a great example of hard work and charisma. There’s certainly a bright future ahead of him. Don’t miss out on it.

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