RGM Introducing – Kenny and Meisha

Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.

What made you decide to become artists?

Meisha: I’ve always sung – it’s always been something that I wanted to do, so when the opportunity arose I took it.

Kenny: I got addicted to performing when I was first on the stage at Sheffield’s lyceum when I was 8. That moment I was like “this was where I want to be”.

Introduce us all to the you as artists?

Meisha: I’m Meisha, I’m 28. The Red Wine collab with Kenny is my first commercially released single – my album is currently being produced by Kenny and will be launched in early 2021.  I’ve always done karaoke and entertained family parties but this is my first venture into professional music.

Kenny: My name’s Kenny – I started in the grime scene years ago as Kenny Vicious (I’ve dropped the Vicious you’ll be glad to know!). I’ve worked in and around the Hip-Hop / Pop scene for years, gigging up and down the country at clubs and festivals. As well as releasing my own music, I work with a number of local artists at my recording studio (InBeat Studios).

So tell me a little bit about you and what you like doing for fun?

Meisha: I like to workout, singing and dancing (obviously!!) – I spend a lot of time with family and friends – although there’s not much of that happening at the moment!

Kenny: To be honest, I live and breathe studio – music is therapy and therapy is music right?! I workout a lot but 9 times out of 10 I’ve got an artist in the studio or I’m writing music or lyrics. Eating good food and drinking gin are hobbies though, right?

How do you think the government have looked after the the night time economy / live gig circuit?

Kenny: Well… I haven’t had a gig since February…! It was very apparent that it was an afterthought in the pandemic… for some people it’s been frustrating or an inconvenience that it’s gone because it’s a means of relaxation; for musicians, venues – it’s our livelihood that’s been ripped away! The industry had to plead and petition for support…..?!

Meisha: They haven’t…what else can I say – I’d like to go out and perform the music that I’m making with Kenny, but I can’t. There’s not much happening right now is there… it’s sending people’s mental health through the roof!

Whats one question you’re sick of being asked when interviewed?

Meisha: Tell me about yourself….I actually don’t really like to talk about myself – which is a strange thing for an artist to say! I enjoy talking about the song more than myself!

Kenny: Can you wear a mask…haha. To be honest, I always enjoy interviews where the conversation is really free flowing and you scratch a bit deeper. Some of the best interviews I’ve done are where we’ve totally gone off script!

What is the unsigned scene in Sheffield like at the minute?

Kenny: I’m quite lucky to work with a lot of local musicians at InBeat Studios so I get a balanced view – there’s loads of talent out there! There seems to be a lot of people doing the same old ‘man and a guitar with soft vocals’ vibe but in Sheffield we’ve got bags of diversity knocking about the city… Love it. It’s just quite hard for people to break through with how much music there is online and out there – it’s almost over-saturation.

What good bands / artists are coming out of Sheffield at the minute? 

Meisha: I’m allowed to say us right?! hahaha.

Kenny: Haha, I’m gonna agree with Meisha… the traditional ‘band’ scene isn’t my field of direct experience, but I saw Ellie (Cotton) interview Rolla and I looked them up after. They’ve got some really good stuff. From an urban point of view, inavibe are up there. I’ve worked with them for some time and every time they come to the studio there’s magic.

What’s your favourite song right now from another band?

Meisha: I like that ‘Put It On Me’ by Ed Sheehan and Ellie Mae. I do love all sorts though.

Kenny: this is gonna sound really terrible but I spend 70 hours a week in the studio – it’s very rare that I surface to listen to music other than what I produce or engineer for people! I seem to have the same 5 songs on repeat at home though….one of them is Michael Jackson, Bad (don’t judge me!).

What support is out there for new artists in Sheffield?

Meisha: not much – I’m 28 and I’ve only really just got chance to get into a proper studio and work towards completing an album. It’s really tough if you’ve not got the knowledge, experience or financial backing.

Kenny: There’s not a lot. This is one of the reasons I’ve co-launched a label (Loop Records); to bring forward artists that might not have the chance otherwise. There’s buckets of talent out there but getting the support, or even things like having a good engineer or producer… really difficult. I remember being 18 thinking “where do I start”. It’s definitely easier nowadays, but still tough…

Who is inspiring you at the minute?

Meisha: Kenny is, every time we’re in the studio it’s wicked! Also, my babies do, every single day!

Kenny: I just get inspired by the feeling of making music for both myself and other people. I feel really lucky to be able to get up and hit the studio every single day – when I’m recording someone or producing their track, I just get this overwhelming sense of “wow”.

Coffee as well.

What was the most fun you have had on stage?

Kenny: I think my favourite thing was when I supported Richie Spice in Leeds years ago. It was a proper, proper bashment / ragga night and I came on stage, this 5 foot 7 Spanish kid, kicking some upbeat pop music with a heavy bass-line…. Silence for about 10 seconds of the first song then everyone got into it!

Meisha: I haven’t had the opportunity to get on stage but when I do I’ll let you know!

What was the worst experience on stage?

Kenny: I was performing at a festival on Dev Green a couple of years back and this guy came up and tried to rugby tackle me, mid-song… I must have been singing the song really well cos he thought I was singing it about his girlfriend…who it turns out wasn’t even at the gig (….yes he was drunk!)

Tell us something about you as an artist that you think people would be surprised about? 

Meisha: I went on a health kick a lost 6 stone!

Kenny: I’m classically trained and started out singing classical hymns and choirs…. Before getting involved in grime…..

Who is the biggest named band you have played with?

Kenny: I supported Example at Sheffield’s very own Plug nightclub many moons ago. I’ve been on a DVD with Roll Deep, and also supported Richie Spice. Errol Brown (who worked with Bob Marley) does the mastering of any ‘Kenny’ tracks, such as Red Wine. I’ve got so much love for that guy. Incredible.

Tell us a funny story from backstage?

Kenny: haha… I think my favourite moment backstage was at a gig years ago. I’d brought my mate (who’s dad was in a famous rock band) to sit in the green room with me, and some beers were going round. I always like just one whiskey before I go on stage and he’d been ‘preparing’ by drinking loads for me. I think he slept from before my performance until I woke him up after…. You’ve gotta love your mates.

Name a four piece band made up of legends – who would be in it? (drummer, bass, lead singer etc)

Meisha: that’s a hard question you know! Michael Jackson, Etta James, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, maybe Jess Glynn, Jessie J; Pink’s definitely in there…. Looking like a choir more than a group haha

Kenny: to be fair the Beatles pretty much nailed it. I’d add in Michael Jackson… maybe a mashup of the Stones and Beatles might be good… and throw the Gallagher brothers in there… if you could get them on stage together!

What advice would you give someone going into the music industry?

Kenny: I’d always say get yourself a good producer, writer, engineer, studio – the basic components. Having a good demo is one thing but turning it into an amazing record is the difference. I think as well people used to think you need to find a good manager or representation. Nowadays people should really spend their money on a good video creator, social media wizard, bloggers – the creative industry is easily accessible via the internet. There’s so many talented people and small businesses and entrepreneurs …and we can really help each other progress and grow.

Meisha: I would be like “try not to be so nervous – always be you”. I struggle with nerves more than anything…. And yeah, don’t hold back either 

What advise would you give your younger self? 

Meisha: Don’t ever let other people get in your way. Push harder for what you want. Don’t stop until you get it.

Kenny: I think I’d just say focus on the energy – be with people that give you energy, not take it.

I hear you have a new single brewing, what can you tell us about it?

‘RedWine (Get Down)’ is our brand new single. It’s an upbeat R&B / Pop song – it was made within lockdown 1.0; we just wanted a feel good song about going out, dancing an having fun… something we couldn’t do at the time!

BBC Sheffield have given it airplay prior to release, as have other local radio stations, and we’ve been so excited prior to share it with everyone!

It’s out now on all streaming services and we’ve even done a video which is out on YouTube now! (www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfRkTgcMR4s).

Kenny: I’d starting producing the beat and I knew right away I wanted Meisha on it – at the next studio session we did I was like “I’ve got this track, here’s the chorus; let’s finish it now”….

Meisha:… and we did. The vocals were done with 1 recording session.

Kenny: it just flowed out…. Pun intended haha.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

Kenny: I’m quite keen to support local artists so I’d welcome local musicians checking out the studio at www.inbeatstudios.com. We’ve got some exciting things coming from there in 2021, from multiple artists, including myself and Meisha. Stay safe everyone!

Meisha: Stay close to my social media – keep a look out for my up and coming album early 2021!

Thanks for doing us today folks, all the best and keep in touch.