#MEX Music Exchange Interview

#MusicExchange: Lynelle Kenned joins Finding the Light cast

South African stars will align in a musical extravaganza entitled Finding the Light - an evening with musical theatre stars at the Artscape Opera House in support of The Kolisi Foundation.

Hosted by Marc Lottering and featuring a stellar cast, the musical theatre showpiece will takes place from 17-21 April, with the gala night on Thursday, 18 April 2024.

Lynelle Kenned is just one of the stars on the show (West Side Story, The Sound of Music, Orpheus in Africa) and has become one of the most popular and sought-after cross over musical theatre performers. Roles include Maria in West Side Story, Maria in The Sound of Music, Mattie Allen in Orpheus in Africa, Musetta in La Boheme, Julie in Showboat,/i>, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, and Grace in the world premiére of Calling Me Home.

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Her list of awards includes a 2023 Fiësta for Best Classical Music presentation, 2022 Woordtrofee, the Kunste Onbeperk Young Voice 2019, a 2018 Naledi Award, a Fiësta Award in 2017, and a Fleur du Cap Award in 2016. Since 2012, she's been a television presenter on Pasella, and subsequently hosting other shows on KykNET and VIA respectively.

We chatted recently...

What is your purpose?

To inspire feeling and connection through the arts, and build an authentic life of meaning and community.

What does music mean to you?

Energy in motion, a vibe, a celebration, a meditation.

What is your motto?

“And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good” - John Steinbeck.

What is fame about?

Visibility, and other people’s opinions - a fickle friend at best.

When will retirement happen?

I die. I’m building wealth, while living a life I don’t need a holiday from, and hopefully I’ll be performing way into a ripe old age like legends like Joni Mitchell.

What don't you do?

Bad vibes, bad faith, or competition

Who would you like to co-write with?

Solange Knowles or Janelle Monáe.

Where do you find inspiration?

Road trips, camping, retreats, travelling, engaging with other forms of art and networking with creatives.

What's the most enjoyable aspect of your work?

The variety, the sense of community, the travel, the fun, the self-growth.

What's the one song you enjoy performing?

It changes constantly, but they include Lascia ch’io pianga by George Frideric Handel, Think of Meby Andrew Lloyd Webber, Moon River by Audrey Hepburn and Mali, Die Slaaf, Se Lied by Mimi Coertse.

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Do you have any funny moments on stage?

I was on stage with Jonathan Roxmouth in West Side Story. On stage there was a mannequin in a wedding dress and kept exposing a boob in the scene, and we and the audience were in stitches.

Who are your heroes?

Dr Gabor Maté (trauma expert), Blair Imani Ali (intersectional activist)

Who is your style icon?

Solange Knowles, Zendaya, Tracee Ellis Ross

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Who do you admire?

Alok Vaid Menon, for their activist art around queer identity and the harm of the patriarchy. Adrienne Maree Brown, for their work on Pleasure Activism, intersectionality, and collective healing.

What is your most treasured possession?

My time and energy.

What makes you stand out?

My hair, my smile, my quirkiness, my voice

5 words that describe you...

Curious, mischievous, sensitive, adaptable, versatile

What song changed your life?

Agitata da due venti, as sung by Cecilia Bartoli

What's at the top of your bucket list?

Touring Japan, and walking the Kumano Kodo (I did the Camino de Santiago in 2016, solo).

About Martin Myers

Co-owner at Triple M Entertainment, founder Music Exchange, manager Sipho Hotstix Mabuse
Let's do Biz