Canadian Mo Kenney saved up her lunch money to buy records, begged her parents to book guitar lessons and made demos in a modest recording facility at a school she wasn’t even attending. Now, she’s about to release second album In My Dreams in the UK, already recognised with an East Coast Music Award for Pop Recording of the Year. We caught up with Mo to find out more about her career so far.
If you told me at 13 that my life would look like this, I wouldn’t have believed it.
In My Dreams is the follow up to your critically acclaimed debut, did you feel any pressure while recording it to meet public expectations?
I felt a little bit of pressure when I started writing for my second album. I had the luxury of time while writing for my first album, and I wasn’t really sure if anyone would ever hear the songs anyway. It was a completely different experience working on my second album. I did feel pressure writing the second album, but it wasn’t overwhelming. I just did my thing and tried not to over think it.
How did you decide on the title In My Dreams?
It seemed like the best fit. In My Dreams was the first song I’d written for the album that I was certain would end up on the final track list.
Did you ever expect that your dream career would become a reality?
I knew I’d be doing something with music for the rest of my life, but no, I never thought I’d be a touring musician. If you told me at 13 that my life would look like this, I wouldn’t have believed it.
The album was released last year in Canada, how have you found the public response so far?
I think the public response so far has been positive… I haven’t gotten any negative feedback as of yet.
What ambitions do you have for the record in the UK?
I’m hoping that the record will get some radio play, and hopefully I’ll be able to come back to the UK for some more touring.
I did feel pressure writing the second album, but it wasn’t overwhelming. I just did my thing and tried not to over think it.
If you had to pick one song to sell the album to a new listener, which would it be? Why?
I’d probably pick the song “I Faked It”. It’s the opening tune and it sort of sets the mood for the whole record. It’s such a brutally honest song that I think it’d leave someone wanting to explore more songs.
You have said you never censor yourself when writing your material, have you ever been afraid of the material content you have released?
Yes. I was nervous about putting a song on my album that begins with, “Take me outside and blow my fucking head off…”, but that’s how I wrote it so it is what it is. I don’t really think about what it’ll be like releasing the music when I’m writing it. It’s more when I’m in the studio recording that it hits me.
How daunting is it as an artist to be such an open book?
I don’t find it daunting. I’m not really sure why it doesn’t scare me, because I’m a pretty private person. I think that some songs are more personal than others, and only I know which ones are 100% personal. I don’t ever have to tell anyone the difference.
You have already performed in London this month, are you coming back to the UK any time in the future?
I don’t have a date set to come back yet, but I’ll be back.
For all the latest about Mo Kenney go to mokenney.com/uk.