Headphones on, guitar in hand…This the way the 21 years old British singer spends his days. Born and raised in Enfield, Greater London, Declan McKenna has been brought in the limelight at the age of 15, with his song Brazil that he composed to denounce the corrupted elites and appalling poverty among Brazilian people during the 2014 FIFA World Cup. His meeting with the producer James Ford, who happens to work with the Arctic Monkeys, Gorillaz and the Foals among others, and then his signature with Columbia records led him to release two studio albums. Zeros, the third and latest one, is coming out on August 21st, 2020.
Numéro: Where are you at the moment?
Declan McKenna: I am locked down with two of my friends in North West London, where I live. We have been here for the past two months or so. There have been ups and downs, but it’s been okay for me. I feel good to have some space and a lot of things to work on at the minute.
You look pretty busy right now…?
Just trying to keep myself busy and to write a little bit of music whenever I got free time. I don’t think I really enjoy myself doing nothing. I like to be productive. At the moment, I am doing some music and get into painting to pass the time! Besides, I had so many projects that came up recently, such as performances on Facebook and Instagram, new alternative recordings of some of my songs. I think people really appreciate right now, as everyone is staying home.
In the race to provide more and more content on social media, some artists qualify their audiences as “starving”. Do you feel the same way about it?
Hum, not really! I guess it is not a priority for me at the minute! [Laughs.] My album Zeros is about to come out soon, and my band and I were focused on getting the songs Beautiful Faces and The Key to Life on Earth out there. It always feels like we are living through a strange time, but I try to take advantage of it in working on my music and trying to change the way I am managing the release of my album. I had to go back and change everything I am doing really, which is tough, but I am in this position where everything has to be put on hold. I feel really grateful to have a bit of space and be able to pretty much do my job, even if I would have liked doing it differently.
The release of your second studio album Zerosis postponed to August 21st, 2020…
Exactly! The album in itself is finished since last year. I would love to just have it out and share it with everyone. Everything had to be changed so much in a short amount of time that I have to be patient. I am just excited for it to get out and work on a new record.
You are productive to the extent that you are already planning on a third record?
Yes! I am just experimenting some things out at the moment. I am trying to work on my own production at home and see how to work on the third album differently than the one I recorded last year. I am at a very early stage, because I have been busy trying different live recordings for my Instagram. When I will be more available, I will try to put together some ideas for my next tracks recordings.