Kenny Smyth (formerly known as Kenny Smith) was born and raised in the small village of Nain, one hour from Kingston. He grew up with his two brothers in this peaceful rural parish of St Elisabeth known to be the “breadbasket parish” of Jamaica, where he got the nickname of “breadbasket singer“ from.
As a child, Kenny used to sit in awe and watch as his father played guitar. He begged him to teach him to play, and in no time, Kenny was strumming out his own melodies. Passionate and encouraged by his family, then he began to learn by himself bass, drums and keyboards, and “his musical journey started”.
“My dad was a long-time musician and, from I was a toddler, I just wanted to learn how to play, but to learn something, you must have a good passion for it, and I wanted to learn more, learn more and more. Its love, its passion, and music just captured me. My dad told me, “you can live from music, so don’t take it for a joke”, and from the day I picked up the guitar, I’ve never stopped playing.”
At the age of twelve, Kenny set up a band with his second eldest brother Randy, and some friends. He also practiced writing his songs during that time and soon realised that he “wanted a professional career” in the music industry. In 2013, at just 18 years old, he entered the famous talent competition broadcast on Jamaican television, ‘Digicel Rising Stars’, and attained a very respectable fourth place in the hotly contested show.
“I wanted to sing for millions of people, and the easiest way to get people to get to know me was the competition. I reached the final rounds, but the focus was on the exposure… not on winning”.
This exhibition at the national level gives him the opportunity to be on the line-up of different stage shows in Jamaica and to work with Craigy T from the group T.O.K of Gafjam Records who was his former manager from 2014 till 2016.
“When I finished the competition in 2013, I made a few tracks with Craigy T’s Gafjam Records… I said it straight to him, ‘it’s reggae me a deal with.” I recorded my first instrumental at Tuff Gong Studio and the vocals at Big Yard Studio. It was a good vibe.”
He then starts recording for several of Kingston’s top producers such as Stephen “The Genius” McGregor of Big Ship Records, Emanuel Schirmer of Emudio Records, Sheldon Stewart of Calibud Records or with the musical duo Wayne ‘Unga’ Thompson and Jason ‘Big boss’ Welsh of Notis Records.
He also collaberate with Bay C of T.O.K Group in 2016 on the remix of justine bieber’s song “Sorry”. Then, the next year, he release his first Ep titled “Serious Business”, produced by Emudio Records, before embarking on his first European tour in 2019 alongside Darrio & Tamarley.
During his time in Europe, he got the attention of RIDDIM Magazine (the most important Reggae magazine in Europe), that dedicated a page to him and by Reggaeville.com. He also met some local producers and recorded a handful of singles for labels like the Uk based Luv Number One Productions, Star Gate Backing Band Productions in France, Dancehall Station Productions in Germany or Germaica-Austria. On the return of his first European experience, Kumar, the lead singer of the famous Jamaican reggae band Raging Fyah, offers to record a track with him. The song “Truth” was produced by Bloodfireclothing germany sylt and was released in 2020, “It was such an upful vibe to represent our place… St. Elizabeth… a natural country vibe.”