Declan McKenna reveals weirdest thing about fame at a young age

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This interview is a part of #KanvasLive, an interactive, cross-platform content series brought to life on the Kanvas App and AOL.com. See more on coverage here.

It seems like Declan McKenna is everywhere these days. Since winning Glastonbury Festival's Emerging Talent Competition in 2015, the 17-year-old has been busy touring and penning hit songs, like 'Brazil'. The British teenager keeps a busy schedule, most recently performing at Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival in San Francisco, CA.

AOL.com was lucky enough to catch up with the Declan at Outside Lands, where he opened up about his whirlwind year, how he penned his first big hit and the weirdest part about being famous so young.

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What was your first musical memory growing up and the first time you fell in love with music?
I just remember being in love with 'Busted' and pop punk and all the pop that my sisters were listening to and that sort of stuff. The first show I ever went to was called Farm Festival in 2010 and I saw Bob Dylan and other loads of great band and that was a really great start.

When did you start to take on the role and as songwriter?
I've always written songs. I learned guitar when I was 9 or 10 years old and it sort of developed from there. When I was 13 and got a loop pedal, I started writing a little more and trying to make a musical project of songs. I tried to be in loads of bands and it hadn't really worked out. My friends weren't as into it as I was, so I started doing it on my own and eventually, released some songs and stuff just happened from there.

Stuff has happened pretty quickly for you. How have you kept up with this whirlwind of the past few years?
It's been crazy. I released 'Brazil' the first time at the end of 2014, just before my 16th birthday. Then it got picked up by a couple of labels in 2015. And then it just kind of spun out from there. I played loads of shows and did some fun festivals. I've done Glastonbury twice now and everything that I've wanted to do has come together really quickly. It's been a really, really crazy year, but it's been really fun, as well. I'm just excited to do more of it.

Let's talk a bit about 'Brazil'. What influenced that song?
It kind of started as just a guitar part and then I came up with a chorus, melody that didn't have too much substance to it. Eventually, it just turned into this song about FIFA and corruption and Brazil and the World Cup. It was just like, 'Oh, I've done this now.' I didn't really know what I was doing until I had written it and then I was like, 'Okay, that's what I've written about. Cool.' Sometimes, it takes a while to figure out what I'm actually writing about. I don't know why I did it, I just did.

Is that something you're interested in -- having your music have a core message?
Yeah. Not all my songs do, some of them are just personal stuff. But I think it's fun to write about some things like that. My friends and I are all pretty engaged and into politics. I think young people nowadays are all pretty engaged with these kinds of things, politically and socially. I think I'm just glad to be a part of that and just be able to write songs and show who I am to the world and hopefully, help make change.

Check out the crowd from Outside Lands Music & Arts festival:

How difficult has it been navigating the music industry at such a young age?
It's not been too bad. I've found a load of really good people to work with. My biggest worry is, 'What songs am I going to write?' 'Is this going to be any good?'. I'm just trying to be creative as much as possible and I'm writing as much as I can. It can be a bit stressful doing all the emails and stuff like that. I'm not into that kind of stuff, I'm sure not many people are. But most of all, it's just been very fun. I've had a ridiculous year. I could be at home, but I'm here at Outside Lands Music Festival, playing the same day as Radiohead.

Is it hard going on tour and still trying to maintain a typical teenage life?
It's a bit weird. It's difficult with friends and stuff because pretty much every person my age sees their friends at school every day and I've been on tour a month and I feel like I haven't gotten to see them in ages. When I do get to see them, I've got a week to hang out. It makes you not take friends for granted. But it does make it difficult when you barely get to hang out with people who are your own age. It's gotten better now that I can hang out with my band, but it's really weird being so young. It's still really enjoyable. It's not like it's awful but I would like to see my friends more often. That sort of stuff is important to me.


See more photos from Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival in the gallery below:

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Outside Lands Festival 16
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Miguel performs on Day 3 of Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Steve Jennings/WireImage)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Miguel performs on Day 3 of Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Steve Jennings/WireImage)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Lionel Richie performs on Day 3 of Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Steve Jennings/WireImage)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Major Lazer performs during the Outside Lands Music Festival 2016 at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Douglas Mason/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Lionel Richie performs during the Outside Lands Music Festival 2016 at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Douglas Mason/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Lana Del Rey performs during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by C Flanigan/WireImage)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Kehlani performs during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by C Flanigan/WireImage)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Major Lazer performs during the Outside Lands Music Festival 2016 at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Douglas Mason/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Recording artists Diplo Major Lazer performs during the Outside Lands Music Festival 2016 at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Douglas Mason/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Lana Del Rey performs during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by C Flanigan/WireImage)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Brandi Carlile performs during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by C Flanigan/WireImage)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Music fans watch Major Lazer perform on the Lands End Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Musician Erick 'E.D.' Coomes of Lettuce performs on the Panhandle Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Musician Erick 'E.D.' Coomes of Lettuce performs on the Panhandle Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Festival goers attend the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Festival goers watch Major Lazer perform on the Lands End Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Recording artists Walshy Fire (L) and Jillionaire of Major Lazer perform on the Lands End Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Comedian Fred Armisen performs on The Barbary Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Recording artist Diplo of Major Lazer performs on the Lands End Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Comedian Fred Armisen performs on The Barbary Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Recording artist Diplo of Major Lazer performs on the Lands End Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Recording artist Walshy Fire of Major Lazer performs on the Lands End Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Musician Lotti Benardout of Haelos performs on the Panhandle Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Festival goers are seen during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Festival goers are seen during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Festival goers play mini golf during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: DJ Lee K performs at The House by Heineken during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Recording artist Chance The Rapper performs on the Lands End Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been converted to black and white.) Recording artist Chance The Rapper performs on the Lands End Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Musicians Kryz Reid (L) and Stephan Jenkins of Third Eye Blind perform on the Lands End Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Festival goers visit Sound Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: A parade is seen among the festival goers during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: DJ Lee K performs at The House by Heineken during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Recording artist Chance The Rapper performs on the Lands End Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been converted to black and white.) Recording artist Chance The Rapper performs on the Lands End Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Festival goers are seen at the Lands End Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Festival goers are seen at the Twin Peaks Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Festival goers are seen under the Windmill during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Festival goers are seen under the Windmill during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Musicians Stephan Jenkins (L) and Alex LeCavalier of Third Eye Blind perform on the Lands End Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Musician Stephan Jenkins of Third Eye Blind performs on the Lands End Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Musician Josephine Vander Gucht of Oh Wonder performs on the Lands End Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem performs on the Lands End Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem performs on the Lands End Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Comedian Jo Firestone (C) performs on The Barbary Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: A musician performs with Natalia Lafourcade on the Twin Peaks Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic)
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