Kenya (whose full name is Kenya McGuire Johnson) has been singing since the age of 8. Raised in Denver, CO she was active in citywide choirs, jazz bands, show choirs, musical theater, jazz ensembles and gospel choirs. While in college at Howard University in Washington, D.C., Kenya performed in the renowned Howard Gospel Choir and opened for artists such as Yolanda Adams and Bebe & Cece Winans. Upon graduating from Howard University with a degree in physical therapy, Kenya became a clinician, educator, clinical instructor and administrator in higher education. After years of being away from music, she took a massive leap of faith and made the decision to leave her academic career and follow her passion!
Kenya has performed at a variety of leading venues across the nation and has opened for such recording artists as Grammy Award winning recording artist Lalah Hathaway, Rachelle Ferrell, and Stokley Williams of the acclaimed R&B group Mint Condition. She has shared venue bills with neo-soul artist Algebra Blessett and recording jazz artist Raul Midon. Venues include a sold out audience at Washington, D.C.’s legendary Blues Alley, Chicago’s House of Blues, Billie's Black in Harlem, The Biltmore and Molly Malone’s in Los Angeles, Dazzle Jazz Club in Denver, CO, Cullen's Live in Houston, TX and The Tralf Music Hall in Buffalo, NY. Kenya has headlined at the Soul Mountain Music Festival in Beaver Creek, CO, the infamous Pine Grill Jazz Festival in Buffalo, NY and The Africana Music Festival in Virginia Beach, VA.
Kenya’s first release from her forthcoming debut LP/album My Own Skin titled “Be Here” featuring the soulful recording duo Kloud 9 peaked at #28 on the US R&B Billboards and #2 on the UK Soul Chart. Her second release from the same album “Wednesday Girl” is a stirring neo-soul/jazz groove that also peaked at #2 on the UK Soul Chart. My Own Skin is an eclectic soulful album that will be released in Europe by Expansion Records March 2015. Early reviews of the album describe it as being filled with “scorchers” and being “very sophisticated and diverse.” ~ kenyamjmusic.com