TIDAL Rising: Declan McKenna
Declan McKenna has quickly become one of the most sought after new acts in the U.K.
In 2015, the 18-year-old artist won the Glastonbury Festival’s Emerging Talent Competition and never looked back. With supposedly more than 40 record companies knocking on his door, Mckenna ultimately signed with Columbia Records, releasing his debut “Brazil” single to great excitement and acclaim.
Using his songwriting to confront such real world issues as the FIFA corruption scandal, police brutality and the misrepresentation of transgender youth, this year of political volatility is sure to be McKenna’s biggest yet. He was recently highlighted as a part of the BBC’s Sound of 2017 and is on track to release his debut studio album, completed with the aid of producer James Ford (Arctic Monkeys, Depeche Mode), sometime this spring.
We sat down with Declan McKenna to get to know the rapidly Rising talent a little better.
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Who is Declan McKenna? Can you please introduce yourself?
Without getting too existential, an 18-year-old music child from Hertfordshire, U.K.
Tell us a little about your most recent release, “The Kids Don’t Wanna Come Home.” What’s it about?
It’s about the frustration that comes from being a young person in a seemingly scary and intimidating modern world, and also about looking for some kind of hope amidst the doom and gloom and confusion fed into mainstream media in the form of a pop song.
Who were your musical heroes growing up?
David Bowie, Jeff Buckley, Nina Simone, The Beatles, The Who…
When and how did you first get into music?
I’ve always been in some way engaged with music, be it through family or at school. It was just always something I really enjoyed doing. I started learning guitar probably about 10 years ago and I’ve been trying to write tunes ever since.
Name an album, artist or experience that changed your perspective on music?
The White Album (a.k.a. The Beatles), simply for helping me to understand that music can be many things all at once, and that character can be as much of a part of a recording as songwriting.
What’s the best new song you recently discovered?
“Lying Has To Stop” by Soft Hair.
Can you share a fun fact about you or your music?
I once made an album in a day when I was 14. It wasn’t very good, but I did it.
What are your other favorite activities?
Table Tennis, laser tag, preparing for the global impacts of climate change and so on.
What’s coming next for you?
Just a load of shows and stuff, and my debut album of course!
Looking one year ahead, where would you like to see yourself?
Probably sitting in the same spot in my bedroom, just maybe having done some more fun things with my life.
And finally, if your music was a tree, what kind would it be?
A truffula tree, because truffula trees are what everyone needs.
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