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Harmonizing Life: The Musical Journey of Kenny J. Wilkins

Music Artists

By Tammy ReesePublished 5 months ago 5 min read
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In the quaint town of Englewood, Northern New Jersey, a musical prodigy emerged amidst the pews of a local church. Kenny J. Wilkins, born into a family of devoted churchgoers with a father as a church musician, found his rhythm early in life. Music became his constant companion, shaping his passion through the influence of his father, fellow musicians, and what he considers to be God's gift. As early as five years old, Kenny was strumming an acoustic guitar during church melodies, yet succumbing to peaceful slumber when the preaching began. Englewood, a haven for notable talents like Silvia Robinson and Dizzy Gillespie, provided a rich backdrop that fueled Kenny's curiosity for diverse musical genres. 

The early '90s marked the genesis of Kenny's venture into music production, a journey that saw him mastering multiple instruments - from drums and keyboards to bass guitar. By the mid-'90s, Kenny had etched his mark in the music landscape, contributing to various projects spanning Hip Hop, R&B, Latin, and Gospel. His formal education in music technology at The Institute Of Audio Research in Manhattan only solidified his resolve to pursue a career that mirrored his boundless passion. A former member of the group RIFF, Kenny wears multiple hats as a Producer, Writer, Engineer, and Solo Artist. His love for music knows no boundaries, rejecting the confinement of a single genre. Every skill he possesses serves as a brushstroke, allowing him the freedom to paint his musical canvas with a diverse palette. 

Currently crafting projects for himself and others, Kenny recently unveiled his single "Love Is All We Need," a timely anthem resonating with the call for love and positivity in our world. Up next on Kenny's playlist is his rendition of John Legend's "All Of Me," promising more singles, an album, and a host of surprises in 2024. Stay tuned as Kenny J. Wilkins takes us on a melodious journey that transcends genres and embraces the universal language of music. 

How did your early exposure to music in the church shape your passion for the art?

Kenny: Ever since I can remember I've always had a passion for music. The exposure to Gospel Music came from church. The church has a essence about it that prepares you for another level. The church will expand your palate with improv, presentation and knowing your audience. If you can successfully develop in these areas your career will be great.

What role did your father, a church musician, play in influencing your musical journey from a young age?

Kenny: My dad had a major influence in my music life. Although his musical journey didn't get to a high level; many people in my birth home loved his ability. Some have even shared stories of his musical influence on their life. His role for me was sharing a part of his gift with me which I cherish today. Some say I'm his prodigy; I don't know, I'm just blessed with a piece of him.

How did growing up in Englewood, a town with notable musical talent, contribute to your interest in various music genres?

Kenny: Englewood just has the essence of greatness. Music is just one of the many gifts the city has. Sports and activism are also prevalent there. It's just a city full of talented people. Englewood's influence and that greatness has been a major influence for me. I grew up there and I learned there.

Can you elaborate on your musical education at The Institute Of Audio Research and its impact on your career?

Kenny: IAR was a program that focused on audio engineering. I don't wanna date myself but I entered the program on the edge of analog tape leaving the mainstrea and the digital formation entering. Other than music itself, the recording of music was very interesting to me. My thought was if I was going to create music, I'd certainly better learn how to do it. Music is one thing, but recording it is another. IAR's impact on my career was huge because I can not only write a record musically, I can engineer it too.

In what ways have you been involved in the production and creation of music across different genres, including Hip hop, R&B, Latin, and Gospel?

Kenny: I have been involved in the production and creation of music in different capacities. I've been in the writing capacity, performing process, the programming,engineering and producing part of the process.

As a former member of the group RIFF, how did your experiences shape your solo career as a Producer, Writer, and Engineer?

Kenny: As a former member of that group my experience with them opened me up more to the solo aspect of my career. Producing, writing and engineering for them allowed me to be involved heavily from the inside out. So my perspective now has two dimensions. One as a solo artist you're the one deciding the vibe and as for a group it's a collective effort.

What is the message behind the recent single "Love Is All We Need," and how does it reflect your perspective on spreading positivity through music?

Kenny: The message behind the "Love Is All We Need" single points directly to positivity. As much as we have going on in our world and our personal life spreading this message brings light. We need love! Everyone wants to be loved. It's a message that will transcend many things in our life. Our various cultures and ideas about those cultures all need love attached to it. If all our decisions, policies, ideals and convictions package love, I believe we have a winning combination. As artists we have a gift to spread a sound in the atmosphere. I want my sound to be positive. I want that sound to be love.

How have you used music to navigate and cope with personal loss in your life?

Kenny: Well.. Music is the conduit to peace for me. Not only is music a gift for the masses, it's also for me. It brings me so much peace and tranquility. Music was the thing that navigated me to peace which helped me cope with personal loss.

Can you share insights into any upcoming projects in 2024, including the rendition of John Legend's "All Of Me" and other surprises?

Kenny: Yes!! New Music is slated for February 2024 and a full record sometime in the spring. John Legend's "All Of Me" was extremely fun to do and we'll explore more on that in 2024. Concert dates will be coming up and other things like my tee shirt line, fashion line and more.

How can fans stay updated on your music journey and upcoming releases?

Kenny: They can follow me on all digital platforms: @kennywilkins (Instagram) @kennyjwilkins (Facebook) @kennyjwilkins7 (TikTok) @kennyj (Facebook) kennyjmusicchannel (YouTube). All the music is on your favorite digital platforms.

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About the Creator

Tammy Reese

Tammy is best known for her legendary interviews with Sharon Stone, Angela Bassett, Sigourney Weaver, Geena Davis, Morris Chestnut, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Laurence Fishburne, Omar Epps, Joseph Sikora, and more.

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