Southern California-based pop vocalist Kenton Chen is a songwriter/multi-instrumentalist with R&B and jazz influences, often compared to Frank Ocean and Kimbra. With a hauntingly pure and soulfully melancholy tone, Kenton captivates his audiences with lyrical poetry that is bare yet provocative.
A native of Irvine, CA, Kenton grew up taking violin lessons from his father and singing in church bands and school choirs. After studying Vocal Jazz at the University of Southern California, Kenton gained national attention as the music director and founding member of The Backbeats, 2nd runner-up on Season 2 of NBC’s The Sing-Off. Their dynamic a cappella renditions of everything from Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide” to Katy Perry’s “Firework” were a testament to Kenton’s keen sense of musical direction and versatility as a stage performer.
“That man can sing his ass off,” said Ben Folds, one of the judges on the show. After his season, Kenton joined Ben Folds on his national Lonely Avenue tour, performing a solo a cappella set. Along with Ben Folds, Kenton has shared the stage with artists as Sheryl Crow, Sara Bareilles, Stevie Wonder, Natalie Cole, and up-and-coming artist Rozzi Crane.
With two solo projects already released, Something About Love (2010), and Fierce Tears EP (2011), Kenton is working on his newest project, to be released in 2015.