UK lyricist Knucks has been making serious moves in the last few months, as his visual’s for ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s‘ have blown up and led to a huge surge of interest from all corners. He’s also gained critical appeal for his debut project Killmatic. L Ø S T C U L T U R E recently spoke to the MC about artistic growth, future projects and current world views.
Describe your journey thus far?
“I started at 12 doing Grime, I’d spit 8 bars, then I started looking for beats on limewire and would make a chorus with that, it sort of got to a stage where I like sampled grime beats, but I couldn’t find a singer when I reached out to other producers for the missing link to songs. Eventually I got to using echo studios which is production software this was like 14, 15 sort of ages. I started to really take this seriously and did my research, looking at J Cole and Nas in particular. Illmatic really inspired me so from 15 to 17 I collected the instrumentals and in my own time did the lyrics and had it all on my phone but no studio. My cousin eventually got me in a partnership when I pitched the Killmatic idea and I met my current engineer; NRG”.
How would you define your style musically?
“I’m definitely a mix of two genres. Jazz is foundational you can hear the influences in the sample production, however I add in trap too with the 808’s. I’m something a little bit different over here”.
When did your career really begin to take off?
“Well on my 21st birthday, I got inspired randomly to write something so wrote ‘21 Candles‘ and released it to Soundcloud. I already had a video for an older song ‘Told You‘ at the time so tried to get in on SBTV, I found a director eventually and shouted him, he was working at SBTV. He liked what I was doing he got the video on SBTV and agreed to do the ‘21 Candles‘ video, this dropped late 2015, it started to really receive hype and buzz in the first few months of 2016, so it really all started from there, that gave me the opportunity to really grow my fanbase”.
On that note, The reception to “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” has been good so far how do you feel about it?
“Shortly after the reaction of ‘21 Candles‘ I wrote and released the track, it got a huge buzz that’s when the shows all started and people were interested. The trajectory completely changed! Features and interviews came in too. I also see the amount of views it got in such a short space of time in comparison to ‘21 Candles‘ it’s almost reached its views in two months whereas ‘21 Candles‘ has been out for a good 8 months now”.
What would you call yourself an artist, producer or both, which comes more naturally to you?
“Definitely more of an artist and rapper because one – I started off rapping first and foremost and two – I always write after I make the beats in the studio so it’s more than just simply producing the track”.
Where do you see your music in 10 years ?
“Everywhere that’s what I wanna do, get it abroad do shows in different countries. I feel like my music is different and it’s something that people have familiarity with old school samples and current with 808s i see it going to a lot of different markets too”.
What’s the story behind your stage-name?
“It was about Year 7, so 12 years old. The game we used to play at break’s was called knuckles, where you bang your knuckles in an arm wrestle type way punching each other knuckles and whoever gave in first lost, that’s where it came from, but I shortened it to Knucks because there’s already a few knuckles out there”.
Let’s look at the future, are there any projects to come over the next few months?
“Okay so this year, I’m looking to release a single called ‘Used To‘, which I produced, and after that [still this year] drop a freestyle ‘The Cannes Freestyle‘ and then visuals for ‘Used To‘ then working on dropping a project in the first half of 2017″.
Any exclusives on the theme of the project?
“The name right now that I’m looking at is The Art of Nonchalant. The word “nonchalant” means you know not caring and not being bothered and that’s the persona I’ve come into the game with and not listening to other people’s perceptions. This will be the art of not caring”.
What are some sources of inspirations in and out of music and why?
“Well Sade, I love her music. Generally, I love Soul, Old School classics like Michelle Ferrell, some newer people are George Benson, Ronnie Laws people like that in terms of actual modern day music Quentin Miller, Drake and Trey Songz writer. My favourite UK artist right now is Stormzy he’s doing it big man and he’s so humble!”
What are your current views on the world today for example Hillary and Trump and Brexit?
“Brexit, Donald Trump, what can I say? As long as I can perform abroad, I’m okay. What I will say is that I do believe that Brexit was stupid! It shows where we are as a nation if we voted out, because the main reasons why people voted that way was to get the “foreigners” out of the country, it shows where their heads at it was eye-opening event”.
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