Archive for September, 2016


Knox Brown-Searching

There’s no better way to describe Knox Brown than how he does it: “one of the greatest producers in the UK urban/electronic scene right now that you haven’t even heard of yet!” Still a no-name for the most, this skilled producer has managed to capture the attention of true Hip Hop fans with his debut EP, Searching. The project, which came out in early August, both denotes a proper introduction to the scene for the artist and implies what might be in store for the forthcoming career of an exciting young talent.

For a musician who is still looking for his official Wikipedia page, Knox Brown seems to already have inconceivable achievements under his belt such as working with the likes of Jay-Z, Timbaland and Mary J. Blige and producing loads of quality material in an extremely short span of a few years. Searching is a 6-track-extended play where Brown demonstrates his singing/rapping techniques in addition to displaying his usual -well, for the ones who were familiar with his music- production finesse and earns a vocalist title to go along with all the somehow unheard accomplishments he had made. Although this short album is undoubtedly no showcase of Hip Hop vocals, his indisputable harmony with new school Hip Hop voices makes a serious argument on how far his music can travel.

Most sources are going to tell you that Knox has been raised in Birmingham, UK, which is technically correct, nevertheless the major element contributing and giving heart and soul to his sound is his origins. It should be no surprise to anyone with a set of ears and some basic knowledge on world music history after listening to a random pick out of the six songs that Jamaica is the country where his roots lie, providing him the desired inspiration for his tunes. His style is as local as it gets for the most of the EP, with a pinch of musical futurism to make it a near perfect balance. Album’s intro song “Dear Mr Brown” is one of the examples for this successful combination whereas the musician, who now spends most of his time in the US working on new projects, has chosen to paint the sound all over with refreshing and laid-back Jamaican melodies on “Searching, Pt. II” where his vocals may be perceived as a Jamaican Anderson .Paak -not taking anything from Knox’s uniqueness- who’s also a featured artist in Searching.

Whilst Brown’s sound and productions focus on his homeland and his musical ideals, the lyrical themes surrounding the EP includes a lot of what happened during his term in the UK. Not everything has gone according to the plan after his move to Birmingham, especially his non-British identity causing him troubles he didn’t need and it’s rather easy to identify his lyrics as reflections of what he’s been through. If his extended play is to be described with one word, it should be nothing other than “freedom” as his concern over social issues frequently arise during his verses, where he highlights his yearning for being free and independent as a human being. Tough life experiences seem to have left visible scars on Knox and the only constructive outcome of it was how positively his music had been impacted by past ordeals. The vibrant “No Slaves” sees the musician singing, “Oh we don’t wanna be slaves, we don’t wanna be slaves / No, not gonna stand it, not gonna stand it,” just like an open letter to the cruel system that he believes to be entrapped in, while he ends the track “The People” by crying out, “Don’t you wanna be free? I just wanna be free” to underline his lack of the feeling once more.

Knox Brown is still at an early stage of his professional music career and it won’t be a smart move to come up with presumptions or predictions on his future, still there are lessons to be learned about this proficient musician based on Searching. It’s evident that he doesn’t plan on stop exploring innovative ways to improve his music and make sure it’s state-of-the-art, but he also unveiled how committed he is to his roots and representing his country and culture. Expect to hear a lot more from the versatile Jamaican in the upcoming years. The window to say “I listened to Knox Brown before it was cool” is closing rapidly.

Get the album here.