Caribana weekends in Toronto were solid when songs created by Jack Knight would play!
Jack Knight wrote, composed and produced songs for Diddy, Faith Evans, Jennifer Lopez, Total, Notorious B.I.G, Carl Thomas, Lil’Kim, Snoop Dogg and many others.
Natalie: I was in Toronto’s Club Miami dancing to your music! When I was finally old enough my friends and I went to Studio 69. As a performer, I choreographed and opened up a Bad Boy pre-Caribana kick off. I forgot the name of the hotel on Yonge Street! Maannnnn full circle I’m featuring you on my website! Thanks for blessing all of us with your music, wisdom, and Gems!
Jack Knight: Songs and Creativity are like seeds. You plant them, you water them, and they eventually grow in the minds and hearts of people. It’s a blessing to inspire and be inspired on this journey. I’m humbled and thankful for this interview 20 + years into my career!
Natalie: What was it like during the beginning stages trying to get your gift heard/noticed?
Jack Knight: It was like a huge mountain to climb that took a unique set of circumstances and talent to maneuver. You always run into people they want to exploit you for a quick buck, and I’ve had my fair share of bad agreements, but persistence and talent to this day propels me to the next adventure. Your talent becomes its own entity in a funny way. Talent and creativity go on auto pilot if you put yourself in the right situations. To this day I go to a few meetings and events, but I still think if your dope, people and things will gravitate towards you.
Natalie: What’s Your Super hero music to get you into your zone?
Jack: Good question! I would say Marvin Gaye, Drake, Michael Jackson, Billy Joel, Manu Chao, Thelonius Monk, Miles Davis, Kitaro and Old school Hip hop!
Natalie: What mellows you out when the world gets too cold?
Jack: Meditation, chanting, reading books by Thich Nhat Hanh, an occasional Church service and hanging out with my kids. They are 6, 8, 25, and 26…they give me comfort when things get tough.
Natalie: You use your platform to encourage, uplift and even speak about mental health! What tips do you have for anyone who is too proud or scared to seek help?
Jack: Emotions are temporary anger, jealousy, fear, suicidal thoughts, depression we must take care of our emotions like we would do with a baby when it’s crying. You don’t yell at a baby when it’s crying you give it comfort, you talk to the baby, rock the baby, etc when you’re in those states and you don’t have medication or someone to talk too. You must talk to yourself in a loving way. Happiness and mental health is an everyday practice of love and forgiveness.
Natalie: Did you know that each stage of your music permitted us the audience to be our best selves as we progressed in life? Thank you and the others who dreamed big and utilized your ordained gifts of therapy through music and your courage to be bold enough to create!
I still reference many of your work when I need to get over a hump or receive energy. Your blood, sweat and tears, deadlines, gut feelings poured out on wax/digital and those of us who get it received it became great because of it!
Jack Knight: That’s so amazing to hear and heartfelt. I wrote a song called “Live like a warrior” a few years back for an artist named Matisyahu.
The song never went mainstream but thousands of his fans would write me privately to say that song stopped them from committing suicide. That experience for me was bigger then receiving a grammy because my lyrics helped to sustain life.
Natalie: What does a day in the life of Jack Knight look like?
Jack Knight: Everyday for the last 20 years of my life has been a constant hustle and grind. I get my work ethic from Puff Daddy and Teddy Riley who are my mentors.
I usually wake up at 5:30 am every morning to speak to my clients in China. Then I speak to my coding team in India. I then go through beats sent to me by producers, at the same time I’m loading content on my platform www.hiphoperiod.tv. I usually multi-task throughout the day everyday. If a piece of String falls from the sky I want to know why and what type of string it is ..lol…I’m on it. As an African American male I have to be consistently focused and disciplined.
Natalie: Prior to the MCM Wizpak launch not too many outside of the Luxury fashion world had privy information. As a luxury personal shopper/stylist/fashion insider working with and for the luxury retailer full-time while I was in between photoshoots freelancing Boston-NYC MCM gave me the knowledge first hand.
Jack Knight: In quantum physics they teach you that when energy or waves are being watched it changes. Just from being watched the wave does something different. My songwriting partner Shannon Ridely and the founder of Wizpak like’s us to keep our next moves pretty quite when it comes to partnering with luxury brands. Basically what people don’t know about they can’t mess it up. Wizpak has some exciting partnerships coming up over the next few months that are very special.
Natalie: I too believe in that quantum physics theory, thats why I don’t post much of what I do! How important is fashion to your self expression?
Jack Knight: If I had a clothing line it would be called LAZY GENIUS. My fashion has become more minimalistic over the years. I love to be comfortable no matter who the brand is under. Over the years I was spoiled with free Sean John, so any brand outside of that was just accessories.
Natalie: I think that you should trademark that name ASAP! People who do not like to put in the work are always watching and thrive on watching what creative people are doing for personal gain to steal ideas!
Did you get to attend any shows during NYFW? If so which designers do you have your eyes on?
Jack Knight: I was in N.Y but only attended a few private events I like some of Neil Barretts collection, I like Virgils off-white brand, Louie Vuitton.
Natalie: What is your key to longevity?
Jack Knight: Laser focus and recognizing opportunities through hunches and downloads from my higher self. Being quite and listening is the key to my longevity. I also know how to sharpen my saw when its time to hustle and get money. I took classes on screenwriting…..Learned to speak some Chinese….learned about coding and building websites….social media marketing…etc……In between life and jobs you have to constantly sharpen your saw as explained in Dr. Stephen Covey’s book “7 habits of Highly effective people!”
Natalie: What was the hardest project that you’ve worked on?
Jack Knight: I would say the “Biggie Duets” album! When your writing hooks for a hip hop legend who has passed away…thats a tremendous amount of pressure. Thats the most pressure that I’ve ever put on myself to be perfect. It definitely was an out of body experience connecting with Biggie’s lyrics and songs under new beats and hooks. It was more spiritually challenging then anything.
Natalie: Favorite memory of creating a project?
Jack Knight: My favorite memory is working On Jayz’s American Gangster album….the 20 hooks I wrote for the Song “American Dreaming” were never used, but working with him and Beyoncé for one week straight was an amazing experience for me. Seeing Jay-Z rapping the words to me and Beyonce eventually coming in to help me with some words was legendary. We had some issues writing over Marvin Gayes Sampled backgrounds…eventually I just did backgrounds and Jayz rapped the hook….but it was still fun for me. All of Carl Thomas’s projects were fun for me…Diddy’s albums….Lil’ Kims albums…etc..
Natalie: Current Playlist?
Jack Knight: I mostly listen to my own music ……but I love SZA….HER…Drake…..Kendrick Lamar….Azaelia Banks….and a ton of indie artist and bands.
Natalie: What are you currently working on!
Jack Knight: I’m currently working on a Top secret project involving my company the Jack Knight Creative Lab.
It will push the envelope on how people Create, Listen and Connect for years to come. Stay Tuned.
NYC needs a Jack Knight Day to celebrate Jacks’s achievements!
Click here for my favorite Jack Knight songs on iTunes!