Bridesmen is Los Angeles based Kenton Chen, an indie neo-soul, R&B singer/songwriter who has set out to encourage others to find power within themselves and use compassion to enact change. Known for his work on NBC’s Sing-Off, as well as his performances with Postmodern Jukebox and Scary Pockets, Chen’s latest project is a radical departure from his jazz/a cappella roots. Chen strives to explore the darker side of human nature, the dichotomy of morality and how to be a good person in a world that ostracizes you, i.e. a ‘bridesmen’ at a wedding.
The root of the new project Bridesmen, is an outlet for Chen to convey the artistic side of himself, unrelated to other people. With a running theme of expressing individual freedom and responsibility, the singer narrates the emotions of loneliness and the effect it can have on people. Chen reveals, « We hurt when we don’t understand each other and we hurt when we are unwilling to change. The best thing we can do is be ourselves within the context of what we were given”. As a gay Asian second generation immigrant, he grew up feeling isolated, constantly hiding behind masks to protect himself.
In Bridesmen, Chen aspires to uncover these masks in an effort to live a boundless and truthful life. « I want people to know that as I have grown and matured as an artist and a human being, I’ve come to realize that my specific experiences of being gay and Asian are not particular to me. My life story reverberates far beyond my specificities, and anyone from any race or sexuality can empathize with the need to belong and be understood”, expresses Chen.
Leading single, ‘Someone Who Loves Me’ highlights Chen’s warm silky vocals, enchanting modern R&B melodies and hypnotic instrumentation. Thematically the single addresses the loneliness we all feel throughout our lives and assures others that we are not alone. « It’s okay to be sad, to be frustrated, even angry in our pursuit of life, love, and happiness. And the more aware and vulnerable we can be about it, the more we can be there for each other”, confides Chen.
The stunning visuals for ‘Someone Who Loves Me’ features friends of the artist of all races and sexualities, from all parts of the US. One thing they all share in common is their deep need for love. Chen explains, « The idea behind having bare skin is pretty simple. Each person is beautiful in their own skin. I want to highlight that. In our nakedness, we can’t hide behind any brand, or gadget and we have to face how we feel in our own bodies. When we come together at the end of the video, I want people to realize that we are on the this journey together”. Combined with Chen’s honest and raw lyricism, the result is a vulnerable yet empowering delivery.
Chen has found success performing/supporting with artists such as Katy Perry, Kesha, Sara Bareilles, Mary J. Blige and Jennifer Hudson, as well as touring with Portugal the Man and Ben Folds. His work with Postmodern Jukebox has reached over 8.6 million views on YouTube, garnering attention from across the globe. Chen continues to deliver listeners with poignant storytelling and his indulging neo-soul infused music, with ‘Someone Who Loves Me’ set for release November 2018.
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