b. Stockport, Lancashire, England. This DJ/drummer was influenced by his parents’ interest in music, notably the interesting mixture of Peter Frampton, David Essex, Kiss and AC/DC. He began his own personal journey into music in his teens, leading to his first experiences of hip-hop through Run-DMC and Tone-Loc. After pestering his father he managed to obtain a snare drum, and hard work doing a paper round enabled him to buy a full kit. Feeling restricted by the confines of formal drum lessons, Kennedy started to jam while listening to his favourite songs, a characteristic that he later put to good use in his recording technique. After spending some time in local groups, Kennedy set up his own mini-studio and began recording as a one-man band. His stated priority is to make sure that his music translates well on the live stage, to actually write songs and not to rely heavily on banks of synthesizers or a couple of computers. His live set-up regularly features Kennedy (drums), accompanied by his brother on acoustic guitar, school friend Ben Thomas (bass), Bernard Moss (flute/alto saxophone), and Naomi (keyboards). Following a low-key debut (We’re Just Waiting For You) for the Tru Thoughts label in 2001, Kennedy signed with Grand Central Records for the follow-up, 2003’s Take My Drum To England. Building on the loose-limbed, soulful hip-hop of his debut, Kennedy produced a superb collection.
- Stockport, Lancashire, England