In our ongoing quest to find out what keeps models together, OKP talked style with Ben Kenney, former guitarist for The Roots and occasional t-shirt model (he can be seen above rocking the classic Mpozi tee, available now at the okaystore). Read on to discover the influence of Gundam robots on his formative style, his current projects and copyright issues with bottling his scent.
OKP: You got style. How would you describe it in 3 words or less? You got a style icon?
BK: Function, freedom and freshness. I try not to get into clothes that limit where the day can go. I don’t really have an icon. I just never want to be a “got to go home and change first” type of guy.
OKP: Tell us a story from your childhood. Is there one story that your parents or siblings tell that encapsulates what you were like as a kid?
BK: I get roasted by my brothers cause I would do shit like put on roller skates and football pads and pretend I was a Gundam robot. I used to get embarrassed but fuck that. I was five.
OKP: Whats ur favorite item of clothing?
BK: I bought vegan Doc Martens a while back. I try to not wear leather/suede and I have been waiting for DM to re-issue these for a while. I’m pretty into them. Hey Adidas, how about some vegan Rod Lavers?
OKP: What’s your favorite item of clothing to remove from a female fan?
BK: That info stays in the bedroom (I really wanted to say something sexy like “her catheter” or “her swastika armband”)
OKP: If you had your own cologne – let’s just say you bottled your body odor – what would you name it?
BK: “Jameson,” but if we get into copyright issues with that we could call it “Kool Kief.” Okayplayer Fragrances 2013, let’s do this.
OKP: Name your spirit animal.
BK: The Narwhal.
OKP: What are you working on right now – any interesting projects? What’s going on with Incubus? How do find time for both your solo stuff + the band stuff?
BK: I just moved to Brooklyn. After ten years of living in California I felt like I needed to come back and reconnect with my family and friends. I’ve also been recording a new solo record. That should be out next year. Incubus is taking a break for a while and I’ve been itching to get my solo group on stage again. Time has been good to me so far. I’m not a patient person but the big things always seem to eventually happen when they need to.
OKP: Wait, wait one more!What do you miss the most about being in The Roots?
BK: I miss being on stage with Thought and ?uest. Making music with those guys night after night was the most important learning experience of my career. Those two are easily the most talented performers I’ve ever met. I still trip on it.