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Declan McKenna on Wikipedia
Declan McKenna
Declan McKenna, Boileroom, Guildford (27600255570).jpgMcKenna in 2016
Background information
Birth nameDeclan Benedict McKenna
Born(1998-12-24) 24 December 1998 (age 18)
Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
Genres
  • Indie rock
  • alternative rock
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • Guitar
  • Keyboards
Years active2015–present
LabelsColumbia
Websitewww.declanmckenna.net

Declan Benedict McKenna[1] (born 24 December 1998) is an English singer, songwriter, and musician best known for winning the Glastonbury Festival's Emerging Talent Competition in 2015. McKenna's first single, the self-released "Brazil", reached number one on Sirius XM Radio's Alt Nation Alt 18 Countdown for 23 January 2016, and stayed there for three weeks. The song reached number 16 on the Alternative Songs chart.

Contents

  • 1 Life and career
    • 1.1 Early life and breakout
    • 1.2 Singles, EPs, and international concerts
  • 2 Critical assessment
  • 3 Discography
    • 3.1 Studio albums
    • 3.2 EPs
    • 3.3 Singles
  • 4 References

Early life and breakout

Declan McKenna was born 24 December 1998[2][3] and raised in Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom.[4] He attended St Mary's Church of England High School in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, England.[5] He began taking his GCSE exams in the summer of 2015.[2][6][7] He later studied for his A-levels in English literature, philosophy, and sociology, but stopped after a few months after his music career began to consume too much of his time.[3]

In 2015, McKenna entered the Glastonbury Festival's Emerging Talent Competition. The festival named him the winner of the contest in April 2015,[6][8] for which he was awarded a £5,000 prize and a slot on the festival's William's Green Stage.[9] NME called him "one of the most sought-after new acts" in the United Kingdom after his win,[10] shortly after McKenna signed a management contract with Q Prime (the same management company that also represents British indie rock band Foals, amongst others).[4] More than 40 record companies vied to sign him, with McKenna going with Columbia Records.[2]

In August 2015, McKenna self-released his first single, "Brazil". The song criticised FIFA, the governing body of association football, for awarding the FIFA World Cup to Brazil in 2014 without addressing the extensive and deep poverty affecting the people of the nation.[10] McKenna later told DIY that he wrote the song because "It's politics and what I see in the news, and it's just general things I feel strongly about, things happening in my life."[10] "Brazil" garnered McKenna widespread attention, as many sports commentators found the song to be a commentary on the emerging FIFA corruption scandal. Oddly, McKenna's song "Isombard" is on the soundtrack for the football video game FIFA 17. McKenna was interviewed on Sky News to discuss his views on football's relationship to poverty.[2][10] "Brazil" reached number one on the Alt 18 Countdown for 23 January 2016 on the Alt Nation alternative rock radio station on Sirius XM Radio,[11] and repeated as number one on 30 January.[12]

Singles, EPs, and international concerts

McKenna spent the remaining months of 2015 playing a wide range of British and Irish music festivals and concerts in venues throughout London.[13] He played the Somersault Festival in North Devon, England, in July;[13] the Boston Big Gig festival in Boston, Lincolnshire, in July;[14] the Electric Picnic music festival in Stradbally, County Laois, Ireland, in September,[15] and the MIRRORS music festival in London in October.[16]

In November 2015, he self-released his second single, "Paracetamol". The 5 and a half minute song discussed how transgender teenagers are misrepresented in the media.[2] In an interview with Sound of Boston, McKenna explained that the title of the song came from "the idea of using the lyric paracetamol was a way of comparing the belief that someone can be cured from who they are, via therapy, to an everyday painkiller."[17] Matt Wilkinson of NME called "Paracetamol" McKenna's second break-out hit. Although it wasn't likely to receive radio airplay or top out the charts, Wilkinson argued that the song showed that McKenna wasn't just another "UK indie troubadour, a little bit oikish and with a nifty talent for mainstream melody" but rather a solid and accomplished songwriter who can deliver "bruised and vulnerable" vocals.[4] Jon Lyons of the music Web site ThisNewBand.com said the song showed a maturity that clearly indicated McKenna was not "just a teen dream or a one hit wonder."[18]

The influential American music industry trade magazine, Billboard said McKenna was "making inroads in America" with "Brazil". The song charted on Billboard's Alternative Songs chart (for the week ending 27 February 2016) at number 32, rising to number 26 on the 5 March 2016 chart.[19]

In late August 2016, McKenna released a single called "Isombard" regarding right-wing news anchors such as those on Fox News attempting to justify police brutality.[3]

McKenna played at the NME Awards in February 2016;[20] the Live at Leeds festival over the 2016 May Day bank holiday;[21] The Great Escape Festival in Brighton and Hove, East Sussex, United Kingdom in May 2016;[22] the Standon Calling festival in late July 2016 in Standon, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom;[23] and the Field Day music festival in London in June 2016.[24]

McKenna made his North American debut at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg, Florida on 11 March 2016.[25] He then played three sets[19] at South by Southwest Music on 15 March 2016. [26] In October 2016, Declan McKenna was confirmed to play at the 31st edition of Eurosonic Noorderslag in Groningen, NL.[27]

McKenna appeared on BBC Music's "Sound of 2017" list at the end of 2016.[3]

For much of 2016, McKenna was at work on his debut full-length album titled What Do You Think About the Car?. James Ford, who produced albums by Arctic Monkeys, Depeche Mode, and Florence and the Machine, is producing McKenna's album, which is being recorded at a Kensal Green recording studio. The album is set to be released on 21 July 2017.[28]

In 2017, McKenna is set to play at various festivals, including Coachella,[29] Lollapalooza,[30] Glastonbury Festival.[31] and Reading and Leeds Festival [32]

Critical assessment

McKenna writes his own songs and usually performs all his own instruments.[8]

BBC News called "Brazil" an extraordinarily mature song for a 16-year-old songwriter.[6] Matt Wilkinson at NME called it "one of the best songs" of 2015, and had high praise for McKenna's second single, "Paracetamol", as well.[4] Jon Lyons of ThisNewBand.com called "Brazil" "a catchy song no doubt", and also noted that it was "a sharp critique on sports, money and power."[18]

Some music critics have tempered their praise of McKenna. Critic Matt Wilkinson called McKenna's London gigs surprisingly good, if "rough around the edges".[4] Jon Lyons has observed that as of November 2015, McKenna's songs seemed to indicate an artist still experimenting with bands and styles of music which have influenced him. He felt McKenna was still "searching for his own sound right in front of the crowd. An artist is being born note by note."[18] Andy Welch, music critic for The Bristol Post, said McKenna was "one to watch" displaying "lots of early, ragged promise".[2]

Studio albums

  • What Do You Think About the Car? (2017)

EPs

  • Stains (2016)
  • Liar (2016)

Singles

  • "Brazil" (2015)
  • "Paracetamol" (2015)
  • "Bethlehem" (2016)
  • "Isombard" (2016)
  • "The Kids Don't Wanna Come Home" (2017)

References

Notes
Citations
  1. ^ McKenna, Declan McKenna. "ASCAP Ace Search". American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). Retrieved 26 November 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Welch, Andy (12 December 2015). "Glastonbury Festival competition winner Declan McKenna is one to watch". The Bristol Post. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d Smyth, David (6 January 2017). "Declan McKenna, interview: The voice of Generation Z". The Evening Standard. Retrieved 6 January 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Wilkinson, Matt (22 November 2015). "New Music of the Day: Declan McKenna – Paracetamol". NME.  |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  5. ^ "Waltham Cross summer fair provides eclectic entertainment: Slideshow". Hertfordshire Mercury. 7 June 2014. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c "New Talent at Glastonbury". BBC News. 23 June 2015. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  7. ^ Sweeney, Chris (8 January 2016). "Declan Mckenna kicks off his career with Brazil track". The Sun. Retrieved 18 January 2016. 
  8. ^ a b Brinsford, Brinsford (17 April 2015). "10 Reasons Why Glastonbury 2015 May Be the Greatest Show on Earth". Huffington Post. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  9. ^ Britton, Luke Morgan (13 April 2015). "Teenager Declan McKenna wins Glastonbury's Emerging Talent Competition". NME. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  10. ^ a b c d Milton, Jamie (29 October 2015). "The astounding early days of Declan McKenna". DIY. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  11. ^ Sam, Doric (25 January 2016). "Declan McKenna top the Alt 18 with Brazil (1/23/16)". Sirius XM. Retrieved 29 January 2016. 
  12. ^ Sam, Doric (1 February 2016). "Declan McKenna top the Alt 18 with Brazil (1/30/16)". Sirius XM. Retrieved 10 February 2016. 
  13. ^ a b King, Ruth (23 July 2015). "Somersault Festival: Saturday line-up". North Devon Journal. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  14. ^ "Big plans ahead for Big Gig 2017". Boston Standard. 30 January 2016. Retrieved 10 February 2016. 
  15. ^ Hynes, Robert (31 August 2015). "Electric Picnic 2015: Stage times announced for this weekend's festival". Irish Mirror. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  16. ^ "Mirrors Festival: TRAAMS share their 'Brief Guide to 2000s Indie Revival Live Favourites That Never Made the Album' playlist". DIY. 28 October 2015. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  17. ^ Bedian, Knar. "Interview: Declan McKenna". Sound of Boston. 
  18. ^ a b c Lyons, Jon (23 November 2015). "Meet 16-Year-Old Declan McKenna and His Incredible Song "Brazil"". ThisNewBand.com. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  19. ^ a b Caulfield, Keith (4 March 2016). "Tomorrow's Hits: She Is We, Declan McKenna & Colours". Billboard. Retrieved 9 March 2016. 
  20. ^ Bargiela, Sarah (1 December 2015). "NME Awards Shows 2016 revealed". Entertainment Focus. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  21. ^ "Live at Leeds line-up revealed". Yorkshire Evening Post. 28 January 2016. Retrieved 10 February 2016. 
  22. ^ Taylor, Sam (2 December 2015). "Dilly Dally and Tuff Love among first confirmations for The Great Escape". Upset Magazine. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  23. ^ "Everything Everything, Suede, Swim Deep to play Standon Calling 2016". DIY. 1 March 2016. Retrieved 9 March 2016. 
  24. ^ "First acts announced for Field Day 2016". Crack Magazine. 26 November 2015. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  25. ^ Cridlin, Jay (16 February 2016). "The Struts, Front Bottoms set free concert at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg". Tampa Bay Tribune. Retrieved 9 March 2016. 
  26. ^ Graff, Gary (9 March 2016). "Naughty by Nature, Jenny Lewis & More Lined Up for Rachael Ray's SXSW Feedback Party: Exclusive". Billboard. Retrieved 9 March 2016. 
  27. ^ "First European Artists Confirmed for Eurosonic Noorderslag – Eurosonic Noorderslag". Eurosonic Noorderslag. Retrieved 26 October 2016. 
  28. ^ "What Do You Think About the Car? (2017)". iTunes. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  29. ^ "Lineup". Coachella. Archived from the original on 20 March 2017. Retrieved 1 April 2017. 
  30. ^ "Lollapalooza 2017: Chance the Rapper, Lorde, Arcade Fire top 170-band lineup". Chicago Tribune. 22 March 2017. Retrieved 1 April 2017. 
  31. ^ "Declan McKenna and Alt J on living up to the Glastonbury 'wow-factor'". BBC. 30 March 2017. Retrieved 1 April 2017. 
  32. ^ "Line Up Poster". Reading and Leeds Festival. 30 March 2017. Retrieved 7 April 2017. 
   

Upcoming Live Shows

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Declan McKenna has 38 upcoming shows:

Black Sheep (Colorado Springs, CO)Buy Tickets
Larimer Lounge (Denver, CO)
The Tank Room (Kansas City, MO)Buy Tickets
Place du Theatre (Besancon, France)
Indiestadt 2016 (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
J1, Cambridge Junction (Cambridge, United Kingdom)Buy Tickets
Waterfront (Norwich, United Kingdom)Buy Tickets
O2 Forum Kentish Town (London, United Kingdom)Buy Tickets
Manchester Academy (Manchester, United Kingdom)Buy Tickets
O2 ABC (Glasgow, United Kingdom)Buy Tickets
Riverside (Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom)Buy Tickets
The Leadmill (Sheffield, United Kingdom)Buy Tickets
Rock City (Nottingham, United Kingdom)Buy Tickets
Terminal 5 (New York, NY)Buy Tickets
Terminal 5 (New York, NY)Buy Tickets
The Ritz (Raleigh, NC)Buy Tickets
Civic Theatre (New Orleans, LA)Buy Tickets
New Eccles Theater + (Salt Lake City, UT)

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