Not many musicians find themselves on Sky News within a few months of putting out music for the first time. It’s even more unthinkable to find them fielding questions from Adam Boulton about politics and the responsibilities of football’s governing body. But that’s just a glimpse into the last few months of Declan McKenna’s life. He’s gone from an unknown to the Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition winner and one of the most sought-after new acts, in the space of half a year.
December saw McKenna self-releasing ‘Brazil’ on Bandcamp, booking a gig by himself and getting a venue to hire the place out for free. The song took on FIFA and its role in bringing football’s biggest prize to a poor country, without “doing anything for the communities,” he explains.
It was intended to be a quip on corruption. It’s since taken on a new life, being attached to the downfall of grubby money-grabber Sepp Blatter. Sky News invited the teenager on air to talk big issues, like he’d been studying football’s contrasting relationship with poverty as a hobby. “It’s expanding into things further than I ever meant it to. It’s quite cool, thinking about the monster I’ve made with that song. People take a lot of different things from it,” he says, backstage at a DIY Presents gig that meets the industry hype head-on. With just a loop pedal by his side, it’s clear there’s a long way to go for this newcomer, but the wheels are already turning quickly.
Sunday 29th January 2017
Price: £8.50 advance (+stbf)