FEATURED ARTIST – Kenya
A singer, songwriter, pianist, musician…. Kenya delivers soothing vocals accompanied by music that embodies a contemporary groove. Inspired by American singer/songwriters such as Stevie Wonder, Lalah Hathaway, John Mayer & Norah Jones and international groups like Incognito, Brand New Heavies and Jazzanova, Kenya admits that “Music = air”…without it, she simply doesn’t breathe.
Kenya (whose full name is Kenya McGuire Johnson) has been singing since the age of 8. Raised in Denver, CO during adolescence she was active in citywide choirs, jazz bands, show choirs, musical theater, jazz ensembles and gospel choirs. While in college at Howard University in Washington, D.C., Kenya performed in the renowned Howard Gospel Choir, a choir that opened for artists such as Yolanda Adams and Bebe & Cece Winans.
Kenya has performed at a variety of leading venues in the Chicagoland area including The House of Blues where she was the opening act for soul singer Lalah Hathaway, The Shrine where she performed during a show featuring Algebra Blessett, Mayne Stage during a series featuring emerging Chicago artists, Cobra Lounge, Park 52 Restaurant located in President Barack Obama’s Chicago neighborhood of Hyde Park, and she is a regularly featured artist at Flavor Restaurant in Chicago’s south suburbs. She has also performed in Harlem, NY at Billie’s Black, Montclair, NJ’s Adinkra House, The Biltmore in Los Angeles and the top rated jazz club, Dazzle in Denver, CO.
Kenya is a client of Mz. Lyndia Johnson, premiere vocal coach and owner of Los Angeles based Sterling Voice Coaching services (SVC). She also is a member of the Recording Industry Academy, and is a co-organizer of SOULstice Sessions, an indie music showcase and fundraiser for organizations dedicated to social issues in the greater Chicago community (such as anti-violence).
Her debut EP titled “Starting Over”, produced by Grammy Award winning producer Maurice Joshua (best remix for “Crazy In Love” by Beyonce), is a testimony to Kenya’s journey. Her newest EP/CD “Jazz Made Rhythm” (released Oct 2012) is a diverse blend of R&B and standards revamped into contemporary jazzy and soulful tunes that showcases her vocal jazz ability as well as her vocal arrangement skills.
Finally, Kenya was named Best Singer of the Month (SingerUniverse.com) and has been featured on Women of Substance Radio (www.wosradio.com), Soulbounce.com, Essentialpop.com, & Beats & Lyrics Magazine. Kenya is embarking on an amazing musical journey that will both entertain and inspire diverse audiences.
Check out the featured artist from last week, Ignescent!