Thursday August 10, 2017

Declan McKenna's youthful wisdom

British artist Declan McKenna with Tom Power in the q studios in Toronto, Ont.

British artist Declan McKenna with Tom Power in the q studios in Toronto, Ont. (Melody Lau/CBC)

Listen 9:51

U.K. singer-songwriter Declan McKenna refers to government corruption, police brutality and teen suicide in his music and videos because he wants to challenge the stigma that his generation doesn't care about these issues. 

McKenna's first single, "Brazil," was written about corruption in FIFA World Cup soccer and the negative effects the 2014 World Cup had on local communities when he was 15 years old.

The song kickstarted his career, winning him the Glastonbury Emerging Talent competition and triggering a frenzy of record labels trying to sign him. Since then, he's been saddled with labels like "the voice of a generation" from critics and fans.

Now, two years later, he's released his much-anticipated debut album What do You Think About the Car? McKenna speaks to Tom Power about finding success at a young age, and the messages in his songs.

— Produced by Vanessa Nigro