Kenne Blessin - Show preparation
We all have daily rituals which get us ready for the task ahead. Whether it be grabbing a coffee before hitting the shower, walking the dog or even taking a different route on a Wednesday because that’s when the cafe you like makes their special muffins. Some of us have superstitions, rituals, tasks before a meeting, a race or performance. Whether we write a list or speak off the cuff, we do it because it’s our way, our comfort.
When booked for a show, is Kenne’s preparation straightforward? Does he follow a format? Carry out rituals? I asked him his process from booking to performance...
What was apparent as I listened was how seriously he takes every moment of being on stage. He researches the crowd, who is there, what age, what do they want to hear? He sees how the stage will be set, will he be working with a band, a DJ or PA setting? All of these elements feature in his decision on what songs to sing.
Contadictorally it doesn’t seem to matter to him the size of venue when thinking about his performance. I think part of his signature is that regardless of size of crowd, venue or stage is that Kenne will always try to get the party started. He will give as much to an audience of one or two as he would to thousands of people.
For band shows there is of course rehearsals, sound checks. But the same can be said even if it is Kenne alone or him with a DJ. All the guys work so hard to bring us their best. There is the need to create the right look; what to wear, how the stage should be lit. All these ingredients cultivate the performance we see and enjoy. It’s all for us.
We know music is powerful, it is what we turn to as we wake, when we’re happy, down, in celebration or commiseration. What we want for one party may not be the same for another but that’s not to say a set can’t be mixed. Music’s rainbow of colours has us blending a song from here to a sound from there. Kenne has to get his set right and have a plan for each individual performance. But he knows that however much he prepares, the show is live. Anything could happen. He may need to adapt, tweak or change whilst up there...at a moments notice.
Kenne likes solitude before a show, doesn’t want the clutter of a crowd, needs focus, the right mind set. On the day of performance he juxtaposes this by listening to songs that are a far reach and different to what he will be performing. This gets his mind right and focused.
I’ve learnt Kenne to be a complex character. He is human and like all of us that take pride in what we do, has insecurities. Will it go well? Will they like what I do? Will I sing on key? Will they even listen?
It’s with a pounding heart that he steps up to the mic to sing that first note. He is where he should be, the topsy turviness of nerves rights itself and suddenly he’s calm. Kenne Blessin is on stage.
And then the magic happens.