Stepping into the limelight producing his own music after years of working alongside fellow London artists, bedroom-pop newcomer KNIGHT's buoyant blend of modern pop, tender-electronica and R&B tones is set to see him soar.
With his effervescent new single 'Carried Away' solidifying both his potential and determination to grow, we spoke to KNIGHT about branching out as an artist, how his work with fellow upcoming artists has influenced the way in which he creates and where to find the hottest new talent in London.
Hiya! You’ve spent most of your musical career producing and writing for other artists, when did you decide it was time to work on your own music as KNIGHT?
Hi there! My musical career has actually mostly been spent as the lead singer/writer of varying bands since I was 15. I started writing and producing for other artists fairly recently in my musical career as I enjoyed the process of creating a song that really means something to someone. It’s a great feeling meeting, learning and creating with new people.
I started producing for myself after producing for a variety of artists mainly as a necessity because I didn’t want to have to rely on anyone else for my musical progression. I always found myself waiting for others and decided that if I could produce for others, I could produce for myself.
Your work is rooted in the emerging pop scene, is that where you see yourself staying for a while, or do you have some surprises in store when it comes to your own songwriting?
My influences lie in many different areas and I intend to explore them all. The most recent releases (bar a few) are from songs I’d written a few years ago. I’ve been dropping loads in an attempt to reach a point where I can release stuff more reflective of where I’m at at currently. It’s gonna be moving towards more hip hoppy vibes and leaning into the soul and R&B stuff that I love so much. I’ll obviously keep the pop sensibilities but feel like if it’s it my voice on it, it’s still gonna be inline with my artistry.
You’ve just dropped a new single, ‘Carried Away’ - tell us a bit about it?
Carried Away was written about losing love then finding the drive to try something new and get “carried away” with it. It was written a few years ago with the help of my friend Ina Shai after a writing session for another artist. I absolutely adore Bon Iver and I really wanted to write a song he would be proud to sing. I’ve always loved falsetto so really enjoyed featuring it heavily in the chorus. I produced 2 versions of the song, one electronic and one mainly organic and acoustic based. I got my friend Todd Blackmore on the lead guitar (as I always do) and the track came alive but I struggled to choose which version I preferred. I sent both to my mix engineer Ash Krajewski and he combined them into a really nice combination of vibes. I was really happy with how it turned out.
Do you think these solo tracks are in any way influenced by the work you’ve done with other artists in the past?
I think I’m constantly influenced by the incredible people I work with. As I’ve been doing this for so long it would be hard not to get inspired by the wealth of talent that I’m lucky enough to call collaborators.
How do you see KNIGHT translating in a live setting? Are live shows something you’ve been thinking about?
My favourite part of creating my own music is bringing it to life in a live setting. I’ve gigged profusely around london for over 10 years and honestly nothing makes me happier than people singing along to something I’ve made. This recent worldwide pandemic has really stunted the live performance industry and with more venues being closed daily, I feel that we are seriously at risk of losing one of the most important aspects of music making. I truly hope there is some light at the end of the tunnel.
So you’re based in East London and obviously have your finger on the pulse when it comes to new artists, that said - where’s your favourite venue in London for finding new talent?
I used to run an unsigned music night called Plate Sessions before the pandemic. This allowed me to bring the best acts I knew and showcase them. This also meant that word spread and through that I discovered insanely talented artists that would play the night.
Unfortunately it seems the venue we hosted this in “The Hackney Empire bar” has sadly closed (as far as I’m aware). Another casualty of the unfortunate worldwide circumstance.
I also used to discover artists at Earth Bar in Dalston, and the night “Earth Jam”, run by some friends of mine, exhibited some phenomenal talents, many which I went on to work with.
Is there anyone particular we should be listening out for?
Listen out for Effie, Georgia Meek, Le Montais, David F Walker and Lexi Berg. They are all my good friends and crazily talented.
You have a ‘new project’ in the works - what can you tell us about that? Exciting news on the way?
I previously set out to release a track a month this year and I think I’m gonna take a break from that goal. I feel like I’m gonna let my release schedule breathe, put finishing touches on some stuff and come back with a newer sound, new direction and hopefully you guys will vibe with it too.