Interview: Jay Knight, Standing Bright In A Shadow

Interview, Music

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At the beginning of New Zealand Music Month, Jay Knight released his first free EP titled E+M meaning Emotions + Motion. It features a track titled ‘Keller Helen’ for which he says only Diaz Grimm knows the meaning since he came up with it. For Jay, this May has been focussed heavily on pushing for votes to get that track to #1 on the theaudience.co.nz. The plan is to go to Australia with other featured rappers Diaz Grimm and Raiza Biza, as it is widely accepted Louie Knuxx can’t or shouldn’t re-enter New Zealand, so Jay’s busting his ass to get to Oz. It ‘s no wonder though – as soon as you hit play and the seconds tick over, ‘Keller Helen’ doesn’t fuck around. Whendidyoufallinlovewithhiphop is in full support of  some of Australasia’s hip hop underground crema making visuals for such a sexy beat.

However, with all this commotion over ‘Keller Helen’ and keeping it at #1 (where it now sits), Jay feels E+M – as an entire body of work may have fallen into the shadows. Possibly he’ll re-release it once his pockets ain’t empty no more, touch wood, and he’s on his way to Melbourne with Diaz and Raiza. Having  just hosted the Assembly with his mates, Tony Douglas, Spycc and INF, Tom Scott, Jane Deezy, Raiza Biza and Amara Fleur it’s safe to say the young prodigy is mastering the art of juggling. Let’s not forget, as well, entering the Super Brawl Invitational beat Battle at Sandwiches the previous week. Tom Scott in an earlier interview described Knight as, ’18 years old and hungry as shit, he influences and inspires me’. Check the interview below to see why he inspires us:  

 HH: You’re going for the $10,000 Audience grant, what are you hoping to do with the cash if you win?

J: The 10k from theaudience.co.nz is to fund the music video for the song (Keller Helens Ft. Raiza, Louie Knuxx & Diaz Grimm) we want to go over to Australia and film it there so that’s my plans. I think you get 6,000 for the video and 4,000 for recording. We’ll see!

HH: You have managed to keep up your #1 spot, are you feeling the love right now?

J: Yup definitely. It was a last-minute decision to go for it so I’m surprised it’s actually working out to be honest. I could lose that spot any-day so I’m still not expecting to much.

HH: Who came up with the idea for Assembly happened May 24th?

J: I came up with the idea to just throw all the biggest up and coming hip hop artists and a couple well-known faces together in one building. What’s dope about it is we are all a fan of each other and actively collaborate: YGB / AMMONATION / SWIDT / 7GANG.

HH: What were your visions of how the show would go?

J: Just for everyone around Wellington & New Zealand to take notice of the talent we really have.

HH: Was it a challenge to put such a strong line up together?

J: To be honest it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. It was a joint venture between me and Lex Sim. Shout out to him, he put hard work in also.

“I guess I wanted to understand what I was listening too. Now it’s turned into an obsession of moving sound forward.”

HH: You are very young, does that at all affect you or cross your mind when you are producing at such a high level and standard?

J: Not particularly. I don’t think age has much to do with it, it’s just about what you’re exposed to.

HH: You have just released your E+M EP, what has the response been like so far?

J: It’s been pretty good, although I haven’t been able to promote it as much as I want because I have been trapped trying to get the $10,000 funding. I might re-release it.

HH: What does E+M stand for?

J: Emotive+Motion

HH: Do you have a favorite song on it, if so what?

J: Train Of Thought and Mind Control – they were both made in a weekend between Auckland & Hamilton. Fun times with Tony Douglas.

HH: What have you found most challenging about putting your EP together?

J: Myself finally coming to a finished product.

HH: Is it your first one?

J: Yup. Not the last though.

 HH: Where are you from?

J: Born in Timaru. Moved to Christchurch, moved back to Timaru. Now living in Wellington – think I might stay around here for a while.

HH: How did it occur to you to start producing music and making beats?

J: A mix of too much time on my hands and the love for music. I guess I wanted to understand what I was listening too. Now it’s turned into an obsession of moving sound forward.

HH: Who were your musical influences when you began?

J: Around the time I think I was heavily into a mix of Arctic Monkeys, Kanye, Linkin Park. Nas.

HH: Are they the same now?

J: Definitely. I read once the music that you were into between the ages of 10-15 is the music you will love for the rest of your life. 

HH: What’s next for Jay Knight?

J: I start back studying advanced media in July so I’m not sure how much time I’ll have to work on music. But I have a beat tape ready to drop anytime. Just experimental samples thrown together, nothing major.

HH: When did you fall in love with hip hop?

J: When grandaddy bought me The Eminem Show.

New video featuring Raiza Biza x Times Two-Train Of Thought:

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