Kenna Zemedkun, the Grammy Nominated artist known professionally as simply Kenna, is an Ethiopian-born American musician. His mother and father had left the country soon after his birth to escape persecution from the new government, moving first to England and then to the U.S. He spent his formative years in the place that really affected his music: Virginia Beach. It was there that a friend lent him a copy of U2′s Joshua Tree, an album that profoundly changed Kenna’s perspective on how an album could sound. Soon, he started teaching himself how to play the piano and studied singers like Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye, as well as listened to his fair share of bands like The Cure and Duran Duran. Outside of his music career, Kenna is passionate about global water issues and social change. He helped organize the Summit on the Summit Kilimanjaro climb (summitonthesummit.com), which reached the top of Africa’s highest mountain on January 12, 2010.
Other celebrities, including Jessica Biel, Emile Hirsche and Lupe Fiasco joined him on the treacherous climb, which started on January 7, 2010 and was completed on January 12. The documentary on the climb aired on MTV on March 14, 2010. The climb raised money and awareness for the Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program (csdw.org/), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (unhcr.org) and PlayPumps International (waterforpeople.org). At Camp Mighty he briefly described his charity efforts and their beginnings, before sitting down with Camp Mighty creator Maggie Mason for an interview. This is that interview, edited for content by Kenna’s staff. His introductory presentation is a separate movie on the Camp Mighty Vimeo Channel.