New York, NY (Top40 Charts) Today, the Jamaican-born, Charlotte-based musician Sanya N'Kanta has shared his new song "Waste My Time." The track is currently streaming via Under The Radar who writes, "the steady pulse of N'Kanta's guitar and his chiming acoustic licks carry the song along beautifully, while his impassioned vocals give the track a punch that recalls the best of Brittany Howard's work. N'Kanta speaks moving universal truths with soulful power on 'Waste My Time.'
Sanya N'Kanta will release his new EP These Are The Days via Cash Hill Records on February 12th.
"Waste My Time" follows N'Kanta's previous single "The Hard Lesson," which MXDWN calls "'a reluctant anthem... the song's straightforward lyrics hash out the response to losing a friend and letting go of the relationship." Watch the video for "The Hard Lesson" HERE.
Sanya N'Kanta's career has been defined by being undefinable. He gracefully moves through rock, reggae, hip-hop, house music, and electro-pop, letting fine songcraft and a well-developed artistic identity be his signatures rather than embracing trends or coloring within culture-defined guidelines.
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Sanya absorbed an expansive musical tastes of his father, a Reggae musician who first introduced him to playing guitar at age 13. When his family relocated to the Midwest U.S. from Jamaica, Sanya found himself immersed in a new set of artistic influences, but also facing issues of culture and racism. His new schoolmates laughed at his accent, but his father expected him to keep it and holdfast to his culture. "I remember studying TV, and practicing how to talk without a Jamaican accent with my older brother. My dad overheard us one day, and we received a swift punishment," he recalls. Sanya eventually perfected his US accent, and then had to endure a different backlash.
"Most of the black kids then thought I was trying to be white, that I had 'sold out,'" Sanya says wearily. "I never accepted this because I was already aware of my culture and rich Jamaican heritage, especially the music. They made fun of my darker skin and gave me the nickname 'Midnight' because my skin was as black as midnight. This didn't offend me though, I loved my skin color, and I remember feeling sorry for them that they did not. I just got off the boat from a mostly black country, so nothing they said could convince me that I was not black enough."
Sanya sought solace from it all in music and explored a variety of genres, including 80s synth-pop, backpacker hip-hop, neo-soul, alt-rock, industrial grunge, retro-rock, and indie rock. As a musician, however, he defined himself as a rocker in the Midwest scene where he recorded and performed regionally. After his band split up, Sanya immersed himself in the indie hip-hop world producing and dabbling as a label owner.
When Sanya remerged as a solo artist, he cultivated a career that allowed him the freedom to explore a bevy of genres, sometimes within one song. His recent full-length album, The Counterfeit Revival grappled with challenging but timely issues of race, immigration, and the black experience. It was followed by two tensely vibrant video singles "I.C.E. At The Door" and "Lesser of Two Evils." It was a potent, political-themed purging that cleared room for the personal explorations that characterize These Are The Days.
"When the pandemic hit, I decided to jump right back into the studio with an acoustic and an electric guitar," writes Sanya. "My most significant adjustment was having my wife and kids around 24/7. My goal for this album was to be introspective, and family and friendships were my inspiration." He continues: "I've been known to blur music genres, but I decided early on that this would be a rock record. I've always done rock n' roll-my early bands were all rock-it comes naturally, and it's what I love."