Introducing: Declan McKenna

At just 17-years-old Declan McKenna could possibly be the UK’s next biggest indie act. He’s a singer, songwriter and musician who is rapidly making a name for himself with his heartfelt and creative tracks.

If you’re a fan of Jack Garrett or Jake Bugg, paired with the gorgeous storytelling lyrics of James Bay, then you need to check this lad out.

September is an exciting time for Hertfordshire-born Mckenna; he’s set to join Manchester band, Blossoms, for 11 dates on their UK tour, which kicks off at the Birmingham O2 Institute on the 23rd September.

McKenna’s big break came when he won Glastonbury Festival’s Emerging Talent Competition last year, which saw him take the stage of the UK’s biggest music festival.  His early success has lead to him signing to Q Prime (who manage NME award-winning group, Foals) and also signing a three-album deal with Columbia Records.

So far this year McKenna has performed at the NME Awards, Leeds festival, The Great Escape Festival, and the Stanton Calling festival in July. McKenna even made his North American debut this year, playing Jannus Live in St. Petersburg, Florida, in March.

McKenna self-released his first single ‘Brazil’ back in August 2015. The song criticised FIFA for giving the FIFA World Cup to Brazil in 2014 without addressing the poverty affecting Brazilians. 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.” “Brazil” reached number one on the Alt 18 Countdown for 23 January 2016 and stayed there for three weeks!

Last year McKenna played gigs all over the UK, which appearances at the Somersault Festival in North Devon, the Boston Big Gig festival in Lincolnshire, the Electric Picnic festival in Ireland and the MIRRORS festival in London – impressive!

In November 2015, he released his second single – “Paracetamol”. The song addresses how transgender teenagers are misinterpreted through the media. The song was widely recognised and saw McKenna praised for encouraging others to care more about the transgender community. Then, in December 2015, McKenna released the B sides for his first two singles on Spotify, called “Basic” and “Brew”.

McKenna’s latest single, “Bethlehem”, addressing themes of religion, was released in June of this year. He also returned to Glastonbury Festival last month and performed a slot on the Park Stage.

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