Moss Kena is the antidote to factory-made, processed pop. In March, the 20-year-old Londoner released his debut EP, Found You, in ’06, a collection of five post-pop, fluid soundscapes paired with effortless, expressive vocals. The title of the record is a reference to Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black album, which the artist was given by his mother 12 years ago. Kena describes that moment as the musical awakening that led him to explore his own vocal range and eventually to begin recording.

Largely anonymous (until now) but creating a sonic boom on the musical underground (he’s amassed more than eight million streams already), Kena’s is the voice at the centre of 2018’s pop revolution.

Hi Moss, you’ve been anonymous until now. Can you tell us more?

I’m a just turned 20-year-old from London who’s been grafting away since my early teens and now I’m ready to surface and say hello. I kind of just wanted people to focus on the voice to begin with because everything else should be secondary to the music. I’ve got so much music in the vault that I am beyond excited to share.

Your early releases have really resonated with people. Do you think there’s any one thing in particular about the music that people have connected to?

The voice and the honest subject matter that has formed my musical identity as a human being is what I would hope people are latching on to. I also think people like the discovery aspect. I love that people can discover new things about artists without knowing everything within the first five minutes because where do you go from there?

You frequently use social media to post about your influences. Could you tell us about an unexpected influence you have that we might not immediately recognise in your sound?

I listen to a few bands like Arctic Monkeys, The Kooks, Oasis, Klaxons, Razorlight that you wouldn’t necessarily hear in my music but in terms of the song writing I’m definitely influenced by their approach to subject matter and life.

Tell us about Found You in ’06. Who (or what) did you find? Is there an overarching concept on the record?

I found what would become the soundtrack to my life in 2006 that changed everything for me. It was the release of Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black album which my mum bought for me when I was eight. From there on in I literally become obsessed with her voice and her influences and that opened up a whole new world of music for me to breathe in.

What would you like to see more (or less) of in music right now?

From my humble perspective, I would love to see more authenticity and less formulated music made to order. We live in a fast food society where everything moves at such a pace. I want to hear great music that will be with us in 20 years’ time like Prince, Elvis, Amy Winehouse, Michael Jackson, etc. We have a distinct lack of musical icons right now. I hope that changes.

playlist MOSS KENA