Many aspiring young artists strum their guitars at home or just sing in the shower. Sean Kennedy, a freshman at Somers High School, decided to produce a professional album of original songs, which was released in March.
“Tell Me,” is a collection of ten songs that Kennedy wrote to express himself as he faces various issues that resonate with teenagers: the anticipation of starting high school, the struggle to maintain friendships and the pain of losing a relative are just some of the themes that the 15-year old has made into music.
“I kind of had an idea for an album since fourth or fifth grade and I wanted to make it out of all these songs that I had written,” Kennedy said.
“I decided to name it Tell Me because I just felt like that it was really an overarching theme of questions—it is kind of all about me leading up to going to high school; all these different questions that I’ve been asking throughout my life.”
The oldest of four boys, Sean moved to the Somers school district in third grade and has always enjoyed music and performing in school plays. In middle school, he had the lead role in the production of “Willy Wonka” and continued to work on his own music at home.
He said he is self-taught on guitar and piano and will usually write lyrics to a melody or a line that forms in his head. After recording his first song in a professional studio in New York, his family built a home studio for him to craft the songs that eventually made it on to his album.
“I just always wrote about stuff whenever something happened. It was just kind of my way of expressing feelings—anything that would happen to me, I would just write about it,” he said.
As for his musical style, pop is the first genre that comes to mind for Kennedy, who named artists like Taylor Swift, Imagine Dragons, Kasey Musgraves and Troye Savin as some of his favorites.
“My style is a little bit of everything—there is guitar but then there are beats to it,” Kennedy said. “There are pop songs, with I guess like an Ed Sheeran style to some of them; it kind of varies with some really upbeat songs and some very ballad-oriented songs.”
The soft-spoken teen said Tell Me is currently available on popular platforms like Spotify, Apple Music and iTunes and has thus far received close to 20,000 streams—and even counts listeners in Mexico and Russia.
Along with making music, Sean plays football and runs track at the high school and looks forward to adding performing live music to his list of activities, if he gets the chance.
“It makes me really happy because it’s something I’ve been working on so long,” Sean said. “I’d like people to know how much it really means to me when I hear that someone listens to it.”