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Artist Spotlight: Declan McKenna

Written by Ava Butera

Looking for a young artist who happens to create great memes but also creates boppin’ tunes? Indie singer-songwriter Declan McKenna may be the one for you.

At only 18, Declan has accomplished way more than others twice his age have even attempted. Between enduring multiple tours in the last two years, releasing two EPs, and debuting a brand new single in January, Declan has taken the underground music scene by storm, quicker than his fans can comprehend. On top of this, McKenna also writes and plays every instrument heard on his songs.

In 2015, at 16 years old, McKenna participated in and later won Glastonbury Festival’s Emerging Talent Competition, which landed him a spot at the festival later that year. Shortly after the festival, he was quickly signed to Columbia Records – home to a plethora of household names.

McKenna’s first release, “Brazil”, received vast amounts of praise from various music critics all over. The song is mainly about FIFA and all of the negative connotations within the federation, along with all of the controversy that took place during the World Cup. He touches on subjects such as poverty and corruption, typically taboo topics that most artists don’t dare to write about. On top of this song, McKenna also touches on topics such as transgender adolescents, politics, and society in general.

The release of his new song, “The Kids Don’t Wanna Come Home”, has skyrocketed him out of the underground indie rock scene and into alternative radio stations’ hands. On this track, McKenna discusses adolescents in today’s society and hardships they face. This song is also seemingly different when compared to other previously released songs. While other songs are heavily synth-based, this song is more alternative mainstream material.

From the moment I heard “Brazil” and its eerie yet welcoming intro, I was hooked and knew this young singer-songwriter was destined to be a star. Be sure to check out his music! Every song is a bop.

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