Much like color, sound consists of different shades, hues, and textures. Individuality results from the confluence of those elements. In broad and delicate strokes alike, KennyHoopla splashes sound onto tape akin to paint on a canvas. With no style off-limits, the Ohio-born and Wisconsin-based singer, songwriter, producer, and musician merges alternative, hip-hop, rock, indie, and pop in a melodic undertow. Amassing over 100 million streams and inciting the applause of Rolling Stone, The FADER, Forbes, HYPEBEAST, and more, he shapes an often vibrant, sometimes visceral, and always vital sound with each creative move he makes in 2023 and beyond.
“I’d call the sound, ‘Technicolor’,” he observes. “When you love something, you have a feeling of color in your heart. There’s texture as opposed to when you feel empty and it’s gray. We’re making this color. The music is a canvas for my life to be painted.”
Born in Cleveland, OH, Kenny lived with his mom, two siblings, and older cousin. His mother tirelessly worked in a factory, a hotel, and even at now-Progressive Field—home of the Cleveland Guardians. While in kindergarten, his teacher turned on the radio during naptime, and Enya’s “Only Time” piped through the speaker. At this young age, he immediately fell under music’s spell. “I thought it was so beautiful,” he affirms. “I was obsessed with music, because it was super cathartic, heavenly, dark, and ethereal.”
When mom left for work, he listened to burned CDs constantly alone in his room, embracing everything from pop, hip-hop, and rock to jungle and deep house. He studied formative influences such as Phoenix, Fall Out Boy, Aphex Twin, Two Door Cinema Club, and more. He also casually wrote songs of his own to tunes on the radio. Upon graduating high school, he left home and moved to Madison, WI. During this time, he uploaded his first proper cut “I Don’t Want No Problems” and found an early champion in Lyrical Lemonade.
Quitting his day job and opting to “be poor and happy making art,” he caught fire with “lost cause//” [feat. Jesse] in 2019, landing a deal with Mogul Vision Music/Arista Records. A year later, he served up the how will i rest in peace if i’m buried by a highway?// EP. Driven by KennyHoopla’s guitar, the title track “how will i rest in peace if i’m buried by a highway?//” gathered over 30.8 million Spotify streams. 2021 saw him join forces with the legendary Travis Barker for SURVIVORS GUILT: THE MIXTAPE// powered by the likes of “hollywood sucks//” and “estella//,” which reeled in north of 34.5 million Spotify streams. NME scored it “4-out-of-5” stars and asserted KennyHoopla’s “growing arsenal of anthems-in-waiting more than justifies his ascendance to the big leagues.” Between headlining tours in the UK, EU & USA, Rolling Stone championed him as an “Artist You Need To Know” and Forbes went as far as to crown him, “One of the most exciting new rock artists in years.” Reteaming with Barker as producer, he kicked off 2022 with “DIRTY WHITE VANS//” and its accompanying remix featuring Wiz Khalifa. Monster also tapped him to headline the Monster Energy Outbreak Tour.
In the midst of this rapid rise, he continued to peel back the layers of his sonic identity.
“I’m always trying to become a better songwriter,” he notes. “Living life and watching people inspires me. I’m trying to make sense of things. I’m constantly trying to break the layers of myself. That’s what my next body of work will be about. I’m truly saying what I stand for.”
He ignites the next chapter with the single “YOU NEEDED A HIT//.” On the track, a head-nodding bass line bobs and weaves through a hummable lead guitar. Meanwhile, his vocals ebb and flow with manic exuberance.
“I want to be a voice of my generation,” he leaves off. “I want to put a stamp in time. I want to be someone you can look to. I want to keep chipping away to find the diamond inside all of us. I’ve always wanted to die a legend. I just want to make really beautiful and awesome songs and push the boundaries. I’m trying to constantly grow and make music for everyone.”