by Aaron Bishop
Rapidly gaining recognition for his laid back style, eclectic self- production, witty lyrics and well thought out visuals, we managed to catch up with 21 year old rapper, Knucks, to talk about his next single, balancing university and music, his creative process and more.
1) Who is Knucks? How would you describe yourself?
I'm a 21 year old rapper/producer brought up in northwest London.
2) Who inspires you? Who are your musical influences?
I get a lot of inspiration from various jazz and soul artists like Sade, Anita Baker and Rachel Ferrell. I also take inspiration from old school rappers like Nas and MF Doom and I think listening to them really helped shape my lyricism and how I write.
3) How do you approach writing your bars?
Well, because I produce as well, I start off by making a beat to catch a vibe to and once I've found the mood and the topic I want to rap about I start testing out flows to see what sounds best with the beat. Once I have an idea what kinda flow I'm using, I start writing.
4) Do you have to be in a certain mood to make beats? What comes easier to you, the beats or the bars?
Not really, I pretty much make or edit a beat everyday, it's like a habit and I think producing comes easier because writing requires more thought for me.
5) What is #NODAYSOFF?
#NoDaysOff started off as another name to use for my production, but now it's a team that consists of myself, Dir. Lx and Tom Lizzy. Dir. Lx does the visuals, Tom does graphic work and I produce.
6) If you had to choose one track of yours for someone who has never heard of you, which one would you pick and why?
I'd pick "21 Candles". I'd say that song because from the start to finish I rap about how I came up and what I've faced so far in my 21 years. The track’s the best depiction of who I am as a person so far.
7) How do you approach visuals, because they seem very well thought out?
Well, me and the director (Lx) are friends and we share a very similar vision so when I bring him a concept for a video we bounce ideas off each other and go with what works
8) What have you got in store for the rest of 2016/2017? Any upcoming projects or video releases?
I've got a single I'm releasing very soon called "Used To" and the visuals will come out soon after. As for a project, I've already started working on one and hope to release it sometime in 2017.
9) How do you balance university and music?
It's been difficult to find the right balance, because it's hard for me to split my energy into studying and being musically creative but I think I've done okay so far.
10) If you could pick three artists dead or alive to work with who would you pick and why?
Well, my first would be Sade solely because of the respect I have for her as a vocalist and because the production behind her embodies most of what I call my sound. Second would be Curren$y because I have been a fan of his for a long time and feel that the vibe he brings to a track matches the laidback approach I come with. And lastly, Nas because in my opinion he's one of the greatest lyricists to ever do it and I think I could produce something that would bring the best out of his lyricism, I'd also love to go toe to toe lyrically with someone of that calibre to test my ability.
11) What's one interesting fact about you that nobody knows?
As long as I can remember I've been interested in art, drawing and animating, and I'm currently working towards getting a degree in animation.
12) Where do you see yourself in five years? What are you aiming to have achieved by then?
I see myself still making the type of music I love and getting to go around the world doing it. By then, I just want a solid career in music and to be able to look after my people with what it brings me.
Listen to 21 Candles here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYWWIb10oWA