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Kenny Hughes Unleashes Musical Odyssey with 'Born & Raised' - A Blues Funk Rock Magnum Opus

| Music

By Underground Press

Published Friday, 19 January 2024 08:27

South African Singer-Songwriter Kenny Hughes began his musical journey seven years ago, navigating the diverse landscapes of Blues, Funk, and Rock. Over the past five years, he has released a series of successful consecutive singles, each contributing to the evolution of his sound. His latest release, 'Born & Raised' stands as a career-to-date Magnum Opus, reflecting Hughes' progression, growth, and artistic exploration. Beyond being a mere compilation, this musical odyssey is a sonic exploration of profound artistic evolution. Merging soulful Blues and Funk with intricate rock undertones, each composition within 'Born & Raised' is a journey, meticulously threading together the experiences, emotions, and musicality that define Hughes' career to date to excite and inspire audiences globally.

Over the years of consecutive single releases, the dynamic influences and production styles of Evert Snyman and Jo Ellis have brought the Kenny Hughes journey to life, infusing each track with a unique transformative touch. Their collaborative alchemy amplifies Hughes' vision, craft, and passion, creating a sonic landscape that transcends conventional genres. Hughes' collaboration also extends beyond his band, involving eminent artists like Albert Frost and Evert Snyman.

'Born & Raised' is available from 19 January on all platforms and also features two new tracks 'Blues Truth' and 'All Over Me' with The Kenny Hughes Trio, comprised of Jayson Pieterse (Bass) and Marais Swanepoel (Percussion), showcasing the collaborative synergy within the band. As 'Born & Raised' sets sail, Hughes envisions an international tour and a return to the studio with Jo Ellis to maintain the momentum and creativity. Hughes invites fans, collaborators, and potential sponsors to join him in this exhilarating chapter of his musical odyssey.

Kenny Hughes Track-by-Track Exploration

1: 'All Over Me' (05:06): This is a song I wrote for an ex-girlfriend many years ago. We had just met and I wanted to do something special, some might say cheesy, to win her over, I wrote her a song. Thankfully, my fiancé (not the same lady, obviously) loves the track and convinced me to record it, after all these years of playing it all over the country. 'All Over Me' is therefore a song about a beautiful, dangerous girl.

2: 'She Knows' (03:34): 'She Knows' is about the Earth and its grandiose four elements. Growing up, I was a big fan of the animated series ‘Avatar - The Last Airbender’ that addresses the power of the elements Water, Earth, Fire, and Air. The deeper meaning behind 'She Knows' is that Mankind thinks we are superior to nature, but we are doomed to fail if we do not heed the warnings (secrets) of the Earth. The secret that …She knows! Evert Snyman, the producer and contributing artist, applauds the unconventional three-phrase verse structure, highlighting its impact on the chorus and the distinctiveness it lends to my voice.

3: '19:20' (03:33): An emotionally charged piece, '19:20,' emerges from the peculiar times characterised by the protracted impact of COVID. The collaboration with the musical maestros Albert Frost and Evert Snyman, who assumed the role of producers, elevates its significance.

4: 'Destiny' (03:38): 'Destiny' finds its roots in a vivid dream, featuring a mysterious girl whose identity eludes recognition. The lyrics echo the enigma with the poignant line 'I think I knew her name.' Infused with a groovy vibe, the track introduces a funkier dimension to my musical repertoire, a development I am particularly pleased with.

5: 'Wicked Ways' (04:36): Serving as my inaugural single on streaming platforms in 2019, 'Wicked Ways' conveys a compelling message urging listeners to tread the righteous and honourable path, steering clear of nefarious inclinations.

6: 'Midnight Man' (03:06): Born during my temporary residence in Bloemfontein, 'Midnight Man' germinated ahead of the 'Rockin Bloem' festival. A casual strumming session with friends gave birth to the chorus, 'I'm a midnight man.' This anthem celebrates the nocturnal creativity that often blossoms when the world slumbers. Collaborating with Evert Snyman at Pariah Studios, the track embodies the synergy of our musical collaboration.

7: 'Run Along' (03:40): A homage to my guitar heroes Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, and John Mayer. 'Run Along' delves into the search for blues, the influence of these legendary guitarists on my playing style, and the sense of urgency I feel. We're all getting older, and we're all running out of time!

8: 'Blues Truth' (04:49): This was the very first song I wrote, and it was written from the perspective of the full-time musician. The irony is that when I wrote the song, I had no idea what it meant to be a full-time musician. Still, at least to me, the lyrics still ring true. There is a general consensus regarding the lives of people who have devoted their lives to music. However, all is not as it seems. The lyrics of 'Blues Truth' make it clear that the public often holds musicians to a certain standard of living, often this perspective is completely counter to the true experience shared by up-and-coming, lesser-known musicians.

9: 'Last Stand' (04:49): Reflecting on my induction into the music industry, 'Last Stand' articulates the realisation that the journey is arduous, requiring self-reliance. It serves as a declaration of independence, affirming the need to pursue musical goals autonomously. The journey has been nothing short of incredible thus far.

Updated on:
>> Thursday, 18 January 2024 09:36

Rock, Blues, Funk, Kenny Hughes

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Kenny Hughes Trio

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About Kenny Hughes

Kenny Hughes, who has traversed a musical journey spanning seven years, encapsulates the essence of South African blues rock. As a peripatetic singer-songwriter, Kenny has enthralled audiences at prestigious venues, festivals, and events. His passion for music, combined with an unwavering dedication to his craft, has culminated in the release of eight singles to date. Six of these singles have been featured on the Mix FM SA Top 40, and three have secured the coveted no. 1 slot (two making it to the overall Top 50 of 2021 and another claiming a spot in the overall Top 40 of 2023).
Kenny earned the distinction of being a finalist in the US Banger Music Awards, attaining global radio premieres and features alongside chart entries in the UK, Germany, Canada, and Australia. His involvement in podcasts and interviews spans the globe, and he has been showcased on TV shows such as Expresso Live, Die Groot Ontbyt, and Doodgewone Jo with Jo Black. Kenny has collaborated with seasoned artists and producers like Jo Ellis, Albert Frost, and Evert Snyman.
Additionally, Kenny performs live with The Kenny Hughes Trio, which includes Jayson Pieterse on bass and Marais Swanepoel on percussion. Kenny has graced festivals like STRAB and Park Acoustics and has had the privilege of opening for esteemed artists such as Jeremy Loops, Karen Zoid, and Die Heuwels Fantasties.


Kenny Hughes - Born & Raised

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Photo by Devographic

Photo by Devographic

Photography by Devographic