Mo Kenney performing at East Coast Music Week in 2013.
|Birth name||Morgan Kenney|
June 5, 1990 |
Halifax, Nova Scotia
|Occupation(s)||songwriter, performer, recording artist|
|Instruments||Vocals, Guitar, Piano, Bass, Drums|
|Labels||New Scotland Records, Pheromone Recordings|
|Associated acts||Joel Plaskett, Ron Sexsmith, Gordie Sampson, Rachel Sermanni|
Mo Kenney (born 1990) is a Canadian singer/songwriter based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Catching the ear of noted Canadian rocker Joel Plaskett while still in school, Kenney released her first album in 2012, which Plaskett produced. Kenney is known for her lyrical prowess and engaging stage presence. Called "Nova Scotia's rising star" by The Scene magazine, she has toured with Plaskett as well as with Ron Sexsmith. In 2013, her song “Sucker” won the prestigious SOCAN Songwriting Prize.
Kenney began playing guitar when she was 11. She became interested in music via classic rock; among her favorite artists in her early teens were Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and Ozzy Osbourne. When she found herself grounded for two months by her parents at age 16, she began writing songs in earnest and listening to singer/songwriters such as Elliott Smith. Smith in particular inspired Kenney to learn finger-picking. At around the same age, she also began to draw inspiration from the indie rock world, thanks to exposure to the films of Wes Anderson, and the adventurous soundtracks he favors.
Kenney first began recording her songs at a small recording studio housed at the Shambhala School, a non-denominational private school in Halifax, when she was 17. Joel Plaskett visited the school one day to talk about playing and recording music, and listened to what she had recorded. Two years later, Plaskett's manager called Kenney with the news that she was invited to attend Gordie Sampson's Songcamp in Cape Breton. Kenney later began working on her first recording with Plaskett, starting in April 2011.
Although hampered by severe stage fright when first beginning to perform, Kenney now impresses critics with her at-ease and affable stage presence. Among her notable international performances to date, Kenney played at the Iceland Airwaves Music Festival in October 2012 and at the Great Escape Festival in Brighton in May 2013.
Her debut album, entitled Mo Kenney, was produced by Plaskett and recorded at his studio in Dartmouth. The album was released in September 2012 by New Scotland Records and Pheromone Recordings. Plaskett co-wrote two of the album's songs with Kenney. The two of them are the only musicians who play on the album.
In July 2013, Kenney's song "Sucker" won the SOCAN Songwriting Prize for the best song by an independent Canadian musician, sponsored by the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada. Also in 2013, Kenney won three Music Nova Scotia awards: pop recording of the year, female artist of the year, and new artist recording of the year. She received a similar designation, new/emerging artist of the year, at the Canadian Folk Music Awards.
The awards for her debut album continued into 2014, when Mo Kenney picked up four ECMA award nominations, winning the award for pop recording of the year. Also in 2014, Mo Kenney was released in England, Ireland, and Germany.
In September 2014, Kenney released her second album, In My Dreams, which was again produced by Joel Plaskett and released by New Scotland Records and Pheromone Recordings. The album delivered Kenney an ECMA award for Pop Recording of the Year for the second straight year. Kenney did a cross-country tour supporting the release of In My Dreams, and went to perform on Joel Plaskett’s Park Avenue Sobriety Test tour in the Spring of 2015, both opening for Plaskett and accompanying band on guitar and backing vocals for half of every show on the tour. In My Dreams was released in Ireland, the UK, and Germany in September 2015. On September 29, 2017, Mo released her third album, The Details.
- Mo Kenney (2012)
- In My Dreams (2014)
- The Details (2017)
- "Eden" (b/w "The Great Escape") (7-inch vinyl) (2012)
- "Telephones" (2014)
Awards and nominations
- JUNO Nomination Adult Alternative Album of the Year - "In My Dreams"
- International Acoustic Music Awards Nomination Best Female Artist – In My Dreams"
- ECMA Award Nomination Album of the Year - "In My Dreams"
- ECMA Award Nomination Solo Recording of the Year - "In My Dreams"
- ECMA Award Winner Video of the Year - "Telephones"
- ECMA Award Nomination Fans' Choice Video of the Year - "Telephones"
- The U.S.A. Songwriting Competition 1st Place Winner (Folk) – “I Faked It”
- Nova Scotia Music Award Winner Recording of the Year – "In My Dreams"
- Nova Scotia Music Award Winner Pop Recording of the Year – "In My Dreams"
- Nova Scotia Music Award Winner Solo Recording of the Year – "In My Dreams"
- Nova Scotia Music Award Winner Music Video of the Year – “Telephones”
- The Coast “Best of Halifax” Award Winner – Best Female Solo Artist
- Unsigned Only Songwriting Competition Semi-Finalist – “Telephones”
- ECMA Award Winner Pop Recording of the Year - In My Dreams
- ECMA Award Nomination Song of the Year - “Telephones”
- ECMA Award Nomination Fans’ Choice Entertainer of the Year
- The U.S.A. Songwriting Competition Top 20 Honourable Mention Winner - “Sucker”
- The U.S.A. Songwriting Competition Folk Category Finalist - “Sucker”
- CBC Shortlist Award Nomination Best Song/Earworm of the Year - “Telephones”
- ECMA Award Winner Pop Recording of the Year - Mo Kenney
- ECMA Award Nomination Songwriter of the Year - “Sucker”
- ECMA Award Nomination Solo Recording of the Year - Mo Kenney
- ECMA Award Nomination Fan’s Choice Entertainer of the Year
- Music Nova Scotia Award Nomination Entertainer of the Year
- 2013 English SOCAN Songwriting Prize Winner
- Canadian Folk Music Award Winner New/Emerging Artist of the Year
- Music Nova Scotia Award Winner New Artist Recording of the Year - Mo Kenney
- Music Nova Scotia Award Winner Pop Recording of the Year – Mo Kenney
- Music Nova Scotia Award Winner Female Artist Recording – Mo Kenney
- Music Nova Scotia Award Nomination SOCAN Songwriter of the Year – “Sucker”
- ECMA Award Nomination Rising Star Recording of the Year – Mo Kenney
- Ottawa Folk Festival Supernova Award Winner ** CBC Radio 2 Top 100 Songs of 2013 - “The Great Escape” (#73) and “Sucker” (#34)
- CBC Radio 3 Bucky Award Nomination Rookie of the Year
- iTunes Best Singer Songwriters of 2012
- "Young Blood: Mo Kenney". www.musicatomique.com. May 3, 2015.
- "Mo Kenney". exclaim.ca. Exclaim! Magazine. November 2012.
- Powell, W. Andrew (March 23, 2013). "Wildlife, PS I Love You, Mad Ones & Mo Kenney at Canadian Music Fest". The Gate Entertainment Magazine. Retrieved June 11, 2013.
- Cooke, Stephen (October 19, 2012). "Standing out means less is Mo". thechronicleherald.ca. Halifax, Nova Scotia: The Chronicle Herald.
- Mikhaylova, Sofia (March 23, 2013). "CMW Live Review - Mo Kenney". The Scene Magazine. TheSceneMagazine.ca. Retrieved June 11, 2013.
- "Mo Kenney claims SOCAN songwriting prize". CBC News. July 10, 2013.
- "Mo Kenney - Biography". CD Baby. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
- Dahn, Jessica. "The Welcoming Storyteller". Soupe Kitchen. Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Hot Soupe. Retrieved June 11, 2013.
- Briggins, Jonathan (May 23, 2012). "New Scotland Records singles: Mo Kenney, Jeremy Fisher and Joel Plaskett". The Broken Speaker. Halifax, Nova Scotia.
- O'Neil, Meghan (January 22, 2013). "Mo Kenney: Plaskett Approved". The Aquinian. Fredericton, New Brunswick: St. Thomas University.
- "Mo Kenney - News". mokenney.com. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
- "Scene of the Crime by Mo Kenney, shot at the Great Escape Festival". youtube.com. San Bruno, California: YouTube, LLC. May 27, 2013.
- Cook, Glenn (March 20, 2013). "Surreal times for Mo Kenney". St. Albert Leader. St. Albert, Alberta: RJ Lolly Media Ltd.
- "Award Winners & Nominees". East Coast Music Association. Halifax, Nova Scotia: East Coast Music Association. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
- Wheeler, Brad (November 13, 2013). "Kenney's awards haul stretches across the country". The Globe and Mail. p. L7.
- Stitt, Lisa (November 10, 2013). "Music Nova Scotia Music & Industry Award Winners 2013". Music Nova Scotia. Halifax Nova Scotia.
- "Artists: Mo Kenney". East Coast Music Association. Halifax, Nova Scotia: East Coast Music Association. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
- Gordon, Holly (September 23, 2014). "First Play: Mo Kenney, In My Dreams". CBC Music. Toronto, Ontario: CBC Radio-Canada.
- "Artist: Mo Kenney". CBC Music. Toronto, Ontario: CBC Radio-Canada. Retrieved September 2, 2015.
- Skinner, Ron (August 21, 2015). "CBCMusic.ca Festival First Play Live: Joel Plaskett". CBC Music. Toronto, Ontario: CBC Radio-Canada..
- "Interview: Mo Kenney". Flazéda. Liverpool, UK: http://flazeda.co.uk. October 3, 2015. External link in