Roughly nine months ago I was blessed to almost accidentally stumble upon the work of this young man that completely defied my senses. His cover of Beyoncé’s Flaws & All was nothing less than immaculately done. I previewed several other selections of his work and after about an hour, I realized I was experiencing the talents of someone that was divinely touched. We immediately connected and I soon discovered that behind this “divinely talented” young man also lay a humble gentleman that’s free spirited but possesses the upmost work ethic and integrity in his product. He possesses a keen skill-set and warmth that has allowed him to become one of the leading up-coming artists in his country. Several of his YouTube videos are numbered at over 30,000 views and his Facebook page is filled to capacity with adoring international friends and fans that hails the majesty of his voice, yet he is the most approachable, unassuming and grateful talent I’ve come across. Kennedy’s journey forces him to have a schedule that can challenge that of two people, yet even with our seven hour time difference, he always manages to fall thru with a warm and energetic “Hey Deo!!!” Without any doubt, I know Kennedy is the most intriguing sophisticate I’ve met within the last year and his work (and vocals) speaks for itself.
Kennedy Thal is an African American singer, songwriter, producer and pianist. His music, although primarily mainstream pop and R&B, is diverse and eclectic, ranging from classical to soul, R&B to blues and jazz to contemporary dance. Kennedy was born in Gaborone, the capital city of Botswana; however he spent roughly two years of his childhood schooling in Philadelphia. He currently resides in Cape Town, South Africa, where he’s studying Audio Engineering under a special achievements scholarship which he was award by the government of Botswana. The scholarship was awarded to him by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Arts and Culture in association with a talent search television show called “My Star” which he was the first runner up of in 2011. In 2012, Kennedy released his first official mixtape titled “Live Love Dream Hustle Pray” which he wrote, recorded, arranged, mixed and edited himself. He’s also credited with designing the cover material and artwork for his mixtape. Kennedy cyber collaborated with international producers to co-produce the beats for his project. This 17 track offering, “Live Love Dream Hustle Pray” was digitally released online in April of 2012. Three months later, Kennedy Thal released a physical copy of his mixtape and it has garnered international sales through his online pages. His top selling regions include the United States, Canada, London, Australia, Africa and Germany.
Kennedy’s first TV appearance was a popular South African kid’s talent search TV show called the KTV Talent Show in 1998. He has since performed at many upscale events including the annual President’s Concert, the annual Fete De La Musique and Miss Universe Botswana. He was a contestant and first runner up on the 2011 season of My Star, a highly popular reality television talent search competition in Botswana, and has since become a household name in his country doing corporate events, shows and event hosting. He has worked in cabaret shows such as “My Funny Valentine” and had his first solo production in 2010 titled “Kennedy In Concert” which was the opening act for the 2010 Maitisong Festival, an annual arts festival held in Gaborone, Botswana. He has developed a large online following with close to a million hits in 2 years and thousands of international fans and digital downloads. Popular on YouTube for his Rihanna covers, Kennedy has been featured twice under the “cover de la semaine” (cover of the week) section on Rihanna’s popular French fan site (www.rihanna-diva.com) and his humble cover of Rihanna’s “Farewell” has been #1 on YouTube worldwide since April 2012. In addition to his numerous magazines, television and newspaper features, Kennedy landed his first magazine cover on the February 2012 issue of Botshelo Magazine, a local magazine in Botswana, profiling his resilient yet humble strives towards success.
Currently unsigned, Kennedy is a full time student at the SAE institute in Cape Town. He is also a full time artist, singer and songwriter. In addition to his heavy school load, he is working on his second project, an EP titled “Love Fearlessly”. He is also currently writing demos for artists in Poland, the UK, the US and Germany. Kennedy is also cyber collaborating with upcoming international artists. One of Kennedy’s goals is to become a successful ghost writer for international acts as he is a very talented songwriter and often writes his music with different the idea of them being sung by a specific type of artist. Furthermore, Kennedy wants to one day be in a position to manufacture and produce other artists.
Kennedy’s work has become a soothing inspiration for me and my peers as we search for a melody to ignite our creative juices. Below you will find my personal favorite video “Still”, directed by Ya’Shalan Nelson but first check out his newly released cover of Rihanna’s “Diamonds.” The international representation in the video, accompanied by his voice is purely breathtaking…cheers…Deo
Deo’s Favorite- “Still”
New- Rihanna- Diamonds