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An accomplished musician is ditching record labels and teaming up with his fans — for good.

Singer-songwriter and producer Kenna wants to be the first-ever 'one-for-one' recording artist.

An accomplished musician is ditching record labels and teaming up with his fans — for good.

The music industry can be brutal.

Everyone wants their cut: record labels — especially record labels — agents, lawyers, managers, promoters, and other grabby middlemen.

It's particularly tough on artists supporting themselves while also trying to make a positive difference in the world through their craft.


Photo by Sascha Kohlmann/Flickr.

In the age of streaming, most recording artists face a steep climb just to make a living, let alone become philanthropists.

By the time we hear the songs, much of what we spend to enjoy our favorite musicians' hard work has been scattered by the winds of industry, and little remains for social responsibility.

Research by data journalist David McCandless, for example, shows that record labels take between 81% and 86% of payouts from streaming services like Spotify.

Photo by Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images.

Musician, producer, and activist Kenna Zemedkun has worked in the music-industrial complex for years and is ready for change.

He wants to produce and sell all of his music and perform all of his concerts as a "one-for-one" artist — one who "makes a commitment to improving the world through the daily sales and business of music."

Kenna Zemedkun (left) and his father. Image from Translator Labs (screenshot).

Being a one-for-one artist, according to Kenna, means cutting out the middlemen and clearing a path for partnership with his fans.

"Instead of giving the majority of money I make to the music industry, I could just use it to benefit the causes that you and I care about."

With fan support, Kenna plans to independently produce all of his music and send half of everything he earns to important causes.

"Every time you listen to the music I produce, get tickets to my show, click 'like,' 'buy,' 'share,' ... you knew it was funding change," he says in a one-for-one kick-off video. "Instead of giving the majority of money I make to the music industry, I could just use it to benefit the causes that you and I care about."

Among Kenna's causes are getting clean water to impoverished communities, fighting for women's rights, and (naturally) expanding arts education in schools.

Kenna's pilot one-for-one project is an album called "Songs for Flight." Here's the first recorded track:

Kenna hopes the one-for-one model inspires other musicians to seize their power, connect more deeply with their fans, and make an impact.

Time will tell if the one-for-one model can change the music industry, but in the meantime, Kenna's goal is straightforward: spread the word, raise money, make art, help people. Now that's a song worth hearing on repeat.

Watch Kenna's one-for-one kick-off video:

Courtesy of FIELDTRIP
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The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected diverse communities due largely in part to social factors such as inadequate access to housing, income, dietary options, education and employment — all of which have been shown to affect people's physical health.

Recognizing that inequity, Harlem-based chef JJ Johnson sought out to help his community maximize its health during the pandemic — one grain at a time.

Johnson manages FIELDTRIP, a health-focused restaurant that strives to bring people together through the celebration of rice, a grain found in cuisines of countless cultures.

"It was very important for me to show the world that places like Harlem want access to more health-conscious foods," Johnson said. "The people who live in Harlem should have the option to eat fresh, locally farmed and delicious food that other communities have access to."

Lack of education and access to those healthy food options is a primary driver of why 31% of adults in Harlem are struggling with obesity — the highest rate of any neighborhood in New York City and 7% higher than the average adult obesity rate across the five boroughs.

Obesity increases risk for heart disease or diabetes, which in turn leaves Harlem's residents — who are 76% Black or LatinX — at heightened risk for complications with COVID-19.

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via KrustyKhajiit / YouTube

Thomas F. Wilson played one of the most recognizable villains in film history, Biff Tannen, in the "Back to the Future" series. So, understandably, he gets recognized wherever he goes for the iconic role.

The attention must be nice, but it has to get exhausting answering the same questions day in and day out about the films. So Wilson created a card that he carries with him to hand out to people that answers all the questions he gets asked on a daily basis.

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Courtesy of FIELDTRIP
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The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected diverse communities due largely in part to social factors such as inadequate access to housing, income, dietary options, education and employment — all of which have been shown to affect people's physical health.

Recognizing that inequity, Harlem-based chef JJ Johnson sought out to help his community maximize its health during the pandemic — one grain at a time.

Johnson manages FIELDTRIP, a health-focused restaurant that strives to bring people together through the celebration of rice, a grain found in cuisines of countless cultures.

"It was very important for me to show the world that places like Harlem want access to more health-conscious foods," Johnson said. "The people who live in Harlem should have the option to eat fresh, locally farmed and delicious food that other communities have access to."

Lack of education and access to those healthy food options is a primary driver of why 31% of adults in Harlem are struggling with obesity — the highest rate of any neighborhood in New York City and 7% higher than the average adult obesity rate across the five boroughs.

Obesity increases risk for heart disease or diabetes, which in turn leaves Harlem's residents — who are 76% Black or LatinX — at heightened risk for complications with COVID-19.

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Sometimes a politician says or does something so brazenly gross that you have to do a double take to make sure it really happened. Take, for instance, this tweet from Lauren Witzke, a GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate from Delaware. Witzke defeated the party's endorsed candidate to win the primary, has been photographed in a QAnon t-shirt, supports the conspiracy theory that 9/11 was a U.S. government inside operation, and has called herself a flat earther.

So that's neat.

Witzke has also proposed a 10-year total halt on immigration to the U.S., which is absurd on its face, but makes sense when you see what she believes about immigrants. In a tweet this week, Witzke wrote, "Most third-world migrants can not assimilate into civil societies. Prove me wrong."

First, let's talk about how "civil societies" and developing nations are not different things, and to imply that they are is racist, xenophobic, and wrong. Not to mention, it has never been a thing to refer people using terms like "third-world." That's a somewhat outdated term for developing nations, and it was never an adjective to describe people from those nations even when it was in use.

Next, let's see how Twitter thwapped Lauren Witzke straight into the 21st century by proving her wrong in the most delicious way. Not only did people share how they or their relatives and friends have successfully "assimilated," but many showed that they went way, way beyond that.

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via WatchMojo / YouTube

There are two conflicting viewpoints when it comes to addressing culture from that past that contains offensive elements that would never be acceptable today.

Some believe that old films, TV shows, music or books with out-of-date, offensive elements should be hidden from public view. While others think they should be used as valuable tools that help us learn from the past.

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