This is the interview. An insightful, introspective, on going, behind the scenes look into what many just call, “THE INDUSTRY”. The people we sit down with will express how to make it in the business of entertainment. The information provided will translate into a guide of game. So please take notes boys and girls. Our first good look is with the style purveyor himself, Mr. Kenny Burns. ((The crowd goes wild)) Dim the lights for the set up story…

Written by: Kenton Clayton

Kenton:
Your hometown is our nations capital, home of the famed Howard University. Known for its lively campus life and notable alumni industry movers and shakers like P Diddy, Andre Harrell and Ananda Lewis. With all of legacy you made a decision to go to Morris Brown in the AUC over Howard. How did that decision come about?

Kenny:
Well, I hung out at Howard all thru out high school. When I was there Puffy was throwing parties… so I had my Howard experience. But the real reason I left was because I had a scholarship in basketball but I got in trouble my senior year. Basically, I got locked up. When I got thru my lil trouble my cousin was going to Morehouse. He was like you got to come for Freaknic. Now I was like what the fuck is Freaknic? He was like trust me dude you need to come down here. And I needed a break man so that was Freaknic 92. So I came down and never went home.

Kenton:
My first was Freaknic 94 and it changed my whole being. Everything in my body was different after that. Do you think that events like Freaknic, made Atlanta so attractive to our generation?

Kenny:
Yeah, I felt like I could meet so many people like me from all other parts of the country. I moved around a lot when I was young, which forced me to be out going and I became really good with people. So when I moved to Atlanta I was ready to build with folk my age. It was my whole experience that propelled me into the party scene…knowing everybody by default. It just opened up to me. Back in the day my man Claude Austin, Dallas Austin’s brother, put me on and my man Dave Gates gave me an opportunity at Rowdy records. And we put out Monica’s first album. We had a whole bunch of fun.

Kenton:
I know how instrumental you were in that first album’s promotion. The other day I was up at Dopplar visiting my partners Denny Lavish and Sam I am (Producer/Engineers). And saw the platinum plaque and since I was preparing for this innnerview, it made me think of you. Hmm wasn’t it Ms. Thang (Monica)?

Kenny:
All yeah that was my joint. Two million copies later, you know. I am thankful, it was a fun experience. Monica was Ms. Thang for real. She was like 14 at the time and the project had a lot of great energy. That was a good project to initiate myself into the music business.

continued.

Kenton:
Your profile is synonymous with cool and being the host with the most, making you the life of the party. When the world thinks of Kenny Burns you think of style. What made jump into the fashion world after your stint @ Roc-a-fella?

Kenny:
Well, I think for me it was always a passion for clothes. You know what I am saying. The passion to dress… so it was a natural transition for me. I felt that when we started Ryankenny I was ready to make an exit from the music business. I had been in the music for about 8 years and at that time I felt like this isn’t what I had signed up for. Plus, I wanted a change. Ironically, my friends were talking about creating this line and you know…two years later we were the first black designers in Sax Fifth Avenue since Willie Wear in the eighties. So, for me and everything I do, it is about putting one foot in front of the other. Progress is key… so that is how the whole fashion thing came into plan. I love clothes. You seen me at a exclusive clothing store or you see me in the magazine. Styling that is my thing.

Kenton:
So what positions did you hold at Roc-a-Fella? How did those business positions prepare you for running a fashion company?

Kenny:
I was vice president for Roc-a-Fella records. Being at the Roc and having the access and inside view into what they were doing at roc-a-wear, was great . The opportunity was a big deal. Man, I was with Dame Dash every day. And I was seeing how he was running his clothing business. Seeing it going from nothing to what it is now. So it was about me paying attention… learning the in’s and outs. We (Ryankenny) was a high end couture brand and that was our goal. That is probably why we are not in business today. We were importing Italian goods and our price point was crazy. And it was also crazy expensive to make it. So I learned a lot of things from it. What to do and what not to do. So I will be prepared before I dive back into that. I will be ready.

Kenton:
Wow. That is a naturally lead into my next question. What’s up with the Kenny Burns Show?

Kenny:
Man, we moving now. By hosting focused, relevant events, tours and things of that nature. I just hosted the Heineken Red Star Soul Tour. Did a big blowout in Miami. Did the Versace mansion for my bday. All these things we are branding as the Kenny burns show.

 

Kenton:
Ahhhh. Ok I see. I get it

Kenny:
The Kenny Burns show is an experience. I am the new Robin Leach (host of the 80’s show Life Styles of the rich and famous) ...I am the black Robin Leach with taste and fashion. Letting you know what’s hot. Showing the world how to do it and taking it to that other level. You see you got a lot of pretenders out here. You can’t fake style and class. I wanna show the people that. Not that if you don’t have or can’t afford it but a glimpse to show you what it looks like. You know what I’m saying. You got a lot of these squares out here false preaching about things. You got a lot of people pretending that they this or that. I wanna put the world on they head. I want to show them exactly what it looks like, smells like, what it taste like. You know what I am saying.

Kenton:
And thru the show you can let them know the innovator is here. You mentioned the Heineken Red Star Soul Tour. Was that in conjunction with Alloy Media?

Kenny:
Yeah…Alloy Media (www.alloymarketing.com) is a premier marketing agency and is the one behind the Heineken Tour. Man and it is so funny when we pitched the Heineken business. Umm, we did a presentation to do the Redstar Soul Tour. Red star was a boutique label Heineken started I believe in 2000 but it got buried on the shelf. They didn’t have any ideas… so we dusted it off and got it poppin’. So as we did the presentation and the Heineken people said we love your energy…You should be the host!

Kenton
What advice would you give a young lady on how to carry herself in this new world of fashion? Taking the video and magazine fame and translating it to another level.

Kenny:
The biggest thing I can tell them is respect yourself. And if you do that, then people gonna respect you. It is something to be said about the beauty of a woman. And it is the greatest gift god has given us. And not just from a physical stand point. Just the appreciation of what they give us. I mean they are the creators of life.

Check out:
HYPERLINK "http://www.myspace.com/thekennyburnsshow" http://www.myspace.com/thekennyburnsshow
HYPERLINK "http://www.myspace.com/markymusicpage" www.myspace.com/markymusicpage
www.thekennyburnsshow.com/

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