A look into what it takes to make it as a Singer/Songwriter here in Music City.
KENNA is a Nashville-based singer/songwriter with a story to tell. Devoting her craft to writing deeply heartfelt and creatively inspired works, Kenna's songs aim to bring you to a space where the moods and melodies of her music help you escape the world for a few.
What brought you to Nashville?
Music, 100%! I went to college in Boston at Berklee College of Music and moved down here shortly after I graduated in 2016. When trying to pursue a career in the music industry, your options are pretty much LA, NYC or Nashville. I couldn’t see myself living in the other two cities. Nashville made the most sense—and because I had previously spent a lot of time here before living here, it felt right to move down south. I’ve been here for almost 2 years now.
Tell us about what it takes to be a singer/songwriter in Music City?
It takes a WHOLE LOT—and not just one thing, its so many parts combined. What I’ve come to find in my time down here is that the people who live authentically, work hard, stop at nothing and are KIND have the most longevity in their careers. That’s the goal.
Who/What inspired you to take this path?
I’ve always been crazy about music. You can trace it back to 5 year old Mckenna with a pink toy microphone in hand, standing a foot away from the CMT awards on television—singing along with every word. Music has always been the language that came the most natural to me. No one In particular inspired me; it was just always in my heart, at the core of my being. My mom always told me to follow my heart, so you could say she fed the inspiration!
Describe some of the roadblocks you’ve faced so far in your musical journey in Nashville?
It’s super tough to juggle so many things as a musician—any musician you know isn’t just that—he/she is a bartender, a server, an uber driver, a music teacher, a nanny, a photographer, a manager, a website developer…the list goes ON! There are social pressures to be a certain way and I definitely have a hard time with that. We, as musicians, have so many balls to keep in the air at one time. I am a personal trainer by day, which I am very passionate about, but it would be nice to not have 4 jobs. Besides all that juggling, over the last few years I have also come out to my community. I have been welcomed with open arms from my people, which is INCREDIBLE. But the not-so-nice side of it is that we do still live in the South. I believe that sexuality does not define a person. We all are the same at the core—just because I’m a lesbian, or she’s trans, or he’s Hispanic or black, doesn’t mean anything about character. It blows my mind that people still care so much about who someone loves. It’s an interesting mash up of genuine acceptance but also flat out ignorance when it comes to LGBTQ+ etc. topics in the South. But I do have hope for Nashville, as long as we keep the conversation going and boost awareness. I try to take every day as it comes and live my life with authenticity and passion. In the end, I deal with all of these roadblocks that have come into my path because I love music. It’s the direction I follow because I can’t imagine my life without it. How lucky are we, as creatives, musicians, etc., to have something that we are so deeply and undeniably passionate about? I’d rather live my life with excitement, passion and uncertainty, than just go through the motions of life.
Biggest misconception the public has about the music industry?
So many times I’ve had people in my life ask me if I have a “back up plan” if things don’t work out in the music industry. That is my least favorite question. If I have to have a back up plan, so should everyone else. Nothing is ever promised—not even for the corporate millionaire. Even more than that, people just think that the only way to be a working musician is to be “FAMOUS”. That’s just not how it is. You can “make it” in the music industry, and be happy, without being Taylor Swift! “Making it” for me is to live a happy and fulfilled life that I can sustain off of income from music—plain and simple! Working towards something uncertain is scary and uncomfortable—but I’ve found that the more uncomfortable I am, the more I change and the more I grow. It’s pretty amazing. Georgia O’Keefe put it perfectly-“ "I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing that I wanted to do."
Thing you are most excited about right now?
Currently I am running a Kickstarter campaign for my upcoming record that I am in the process of recording! The record should be released late summer or early fall. I am so excited to bring to life all of my songs and hard work from the last 2 years of living in Nashville. In addition to that, I am going to be touring outside of Nashville this summer and playing a lot of shows in town as well. All I want is to do is share authentic music with the world. If my music can resonate with one individual, then I have done my job. It’s an exciting season coming up! I have also recently released my single, “From The Grave” you can check it out on spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/2URTargaciP1SelrUSd5oW?si=Jy0i7fUfRru8P3JXp9BDSg
You can find my Kickstarter campaign at : https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mckennamusic/kenna-kreates-a-record
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: http://officialkennamusic.com/