With the current resurgence of pop punk, a key player in the rise of the genre back to the forefront of consciousness is none other than 23-year-old Kenneth La’ron aka KennyHoopla. Resident of Cleveland, Ohio yet having also spent an extended amount of time in Wisconsin, he first released music back in 2016 via his SoundCloud page before debuting his commercial single in the form of single ‘Waves’ in 2017. Building on this, his 2020 EP how will i rest in peace if i’m buried by a highway? was an eclectic and electrifying mixture of indie rock, pop punk, and something distinctly ‘KennyHoopla’, oscillating between genres without ever really landing on one thing.
With the announcement of his forthcoming mixtape SURVIVORS GUILT: THE MIXTAPE, out June 11 – which, in true KennyHoopla style, he eluded to on Twitter months prior – he has today shared his latest single ‘hollywood sucks//‘, collaborating once again with Travis Barker.
Compared to KennyHoopla’s preceding tracks, ‘hollywood sucks//‘ leans more categorically towards pop punk. Hinging on a dizzying guitar riff and relentless drums courtesy of Travis Barker, Kenny’s gorgeous tenor commands the track, showcasing his awareness of the genre as well as his ability to effectively borrow from it while still making it sound fresh.
The track comes complete with a DIY video that harkens back to the early 2000s. With a grainy texture and hand drawn graphics, we see Kenny cruising around Hollywood on a bike, friends in tow. Finally he boards a Starline Tours Sightseeing bus, wreaking havoc with his friends, accompanied by a cameo from Travis Barker.
We caught up with KennyHoopla over email ahead of his mixtape announcement. Check out ‘‘hollywood sucks//‘ and read the exclusive Q&A below.
The seemingly meaningless question but one that’s necessary in these weird times. How are you doing, how have you been?
I have no clue, everything is a blur. I try to look to the present as well and just stay grateful to wake up for another day and making the best I can out of every day I can//
What or who originally drew you to the genre? Punk/indie rock is having a revival at the moment for sure, but what you’re doing is on another level – it’s so inventive, genre-blending and alive. I’d love to know who inspired you to make this kind of music.
Thank you so, so much, that was a really nice compliment, I don’t think anyone necessarily did. I’ve always just been in love with music but with rock music specifically pop punk and indie rock there are certain languages of heart and younger that I get a lot of pleasure from sonically and more challenges to as opposed to other genres. Personally//
You’ve recently worked with the legend that is Travis Barker on your track ‘ESTELLA//’ and the live reimagining. What was that like for you, what did you take from the experience?
I mean, it was a blessing first and foremost. It showed me I was doing what I’m supposed to be doing and that there are no shortcuts for the most part, it’s so cliche but it was a dream come true of course. Travis is a workaholic and that’s something I’ve always strived to be, you are who you hang around to it’s nice to have such a contagious energy to be around and look up to!
You consistently bring energy, passion and vitality to your performances. This really comes across in your music. What motivates you to give your all?
“I write for the fear of silence” -Young the Giant • it’s more so me having mental burnouts- I try to hold back but I can’t. When I feel the bass under me from the speakers, I come alive and die all at the same time. I could die any day so I have to give it my all. I can’t help it, wish I could sometimes – it can be embarrassing to make a scene//
The tone of your voice is simply gorgeous, it resonates in the chest. Have you worked on your voice growing up or was it something you were born with?
When I was young I use to sit on YouTube and sing songs in the living room and one day my mom was like “you’re really bad, you’re not very good just being honest” *laughs* she was joking but serious in a loving way and ever since then I dedicated myself to training my voice and just sing all the time, I was probably like 13 at the time lol. S/o moms
What’s your earliest musical memory?
nap time in kindergarten // only time by enya
When you set out to create a track, what’s the starting point for you? Does it vary or do you have a specific process when you create?
I’m still not sure yet, I have multiple processes, I’ve been only making music seriously but idk, I know I’m chasing something and I’m always trying to get closer to it with each song, it’s never enough. I can never get to the light. Not sure, I’m a slave to music honestly lmao //