When I was six years old I performed my first show.
I still remember that I was a little bit of a slow reader. I wrote down the words on cards in the way that I thought they sounded so I could memorize them. My mother was still singing back then. With her feathered rocker glam hair and what seemed to me at the time to be strange outfits, she was a living legend to many people. I stood by her most of that night with my cue cards trying to retain the lyrics, until she told me it was my turn to sing. I still don’t know if I even sang the right words, but I know that adrenaline rush and feeling of joy after would be something that would never leave me.
I’m Kentö: An Afro-Brazilian-Japanese-American artist raised around the world and trying to blend and bend borders as often as I can with my music. Growing up in this crazy world of being shifted from culture to culture I always felt like I was different no matter where I was.
Through my music, I learned for myself what I wanted to be. What I need to be.
‘Complicated,’ my first EP, debuted in 2013. It was my first attempt at something in the states after several record deals overseas and started to get a lot of attention around the world, only to be halted very quickly 4 months later when I was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer.
My career felt like it was just starting, but I did what you’re supposed to do. I took the time to stop everything I was doing to make sure that I got better. Initially, the diagnosis rocked my world. It was a long 3 years on the road to remission and writing my upcoming album helped me process all of the pain. It helped me visualize my future. It helped me see that I couldn’t give up because things had only just begun.
I wanted to share this story to anyone out there who is battling with any kind of illness, whether physical or mental. We all have something to look forward to. If we find the power to push forward and look to the future, we can be invincible. And I know, it is naive of me to not acknowledge that some people may not make it through. At the very least, your life will be full of something that will get you through to whatever the next phase is.
I’m proudly two years in remission and fully recovered. It takes a while for your body and your mind to bounce back, but I cannot wait to share what I have been creating all of these years.
Kentö’s debut album ‘Mata Hari’ will drop in July of 2018.