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Music, Fashion, Longevity and Wellness with Multi-Platinum Songwriter, Music Producer Jack Knight

 

 

Jack Knight is the Arranger, background vocals and composer

 

Vocal arranger and producer

 

Producer, Background Vocals, Composer

 

Jack Knight is the Composer on this album

 

 

 

 

Monifah Mo’hogany

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!

Jorge Milliano Miami Takeover

 

Over the last few years you’ve seen me feature Jorge Milliano  and on November 2, 2018, Jorge sent me a quick sneak peek of the album that he produced for reggeaton artist Melymel!  Here”s what he has been up to since November 2, 2018.

Nicky Jam

 

The Original Chairmen of The Board Music Influence Part 2

 

“The Original Chairmen Of The Board was put together by Holland Dozier Holland with four lead singers Harrison Kennedy (who was a singer/musician and performer from the hit Broadway play Hair), General Norman Johnson (singer, song-writer) Danny Woods (high energy lead singer and stage commander also known as Mr.Excitement), Eddie Curtis (lead singer of ballads).” Norman V. Johnson Jr

Part 1 of this who sampled Chairmen Of The Board showed you direct songs sampled or covered by other artists inspired by their music! Part 2 will show you more music but this time it will cover music penned by the song writer of the group General Norman Johnson. We hope that you enjoy!

The Honey Cone

Innocent Til’ Proven Guilty

 

Innocent TIl’ Proven Guilty was later sampled by Kanye West for Common’s song Testify 

 

Also sampled by Murs

 

Sampled by Bathgate

Lastly sampled in Lock my Love by Danoo

 

 

The Honey Cone Want Ads

 

Mary Mary later sampled Want Ads in their song Heaven

 

Sampled in Because I’m Me by The Avalanches featuring Camp Lo

Want Ads was also sampled here in Nikt Nic by Molesta

 

Stick Up by Honey Cone 

 

Stick Up was sampled in Get The Point by CEB

And many others but due to the language I will not post it!

The Honey Cone One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show

Covered by The Marvels

Freda Payne

Bring The Boys Home 

 

 

 

 

This was an impromptu collaboration thank you Norman V Johnson from Rollingout Magazine! Click Here to see more insider photos from his page!

Music Royalty Vivian Sessoms

Vivian Sessoms is an accomplished recording artist, song writer and music producer who worked with everyone’s favorite artists including Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Patti Austin, Cher and Whitney Houston to name a few.

I was very lucky to have an opportunity to personally meet her and talk about music, fashion and life lessons.  This Interview was conducted while Vivian Sessoms was overseas on her European tour.  Her highly acclaimed album Life will be available this fall.

Natalie: Congratulations on your tour!  I had a seat at the table when I met you!  My husband and I arrived from Boston  to New York City on a Friday night  which happened to be the opening night for Vincent Gardner’s performance with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.  Belinda Munro-Gardner planned a lovely dinner at Cafeteria and I can still remember the decadent mac and cheese trio and rosè that I had. 

Vivian Sessoms: I know, it was a great night wasn’t it? That mac & cheese trio at cafeteria is deadly!

Natalie: What goes into preparing for a world tour?

Vivian Sessoms: Quite a lot actually, it takes months and months of planning and sourcing.  There are a few people who help me pull it all together, publicist, booking agents, club owners, musicians, my hubby who is also the musical director. It is a ton of work, but in the end it usually ends up being a lot of fun and very rewarding which is the reason why I think people do it, although I can really only speak for myself.  But it allows you to get in touch with the people who love music and support you and you able to connect with new friends and supporters in such an incredible way.  When all goes well it’s a real high, being able to get your music and message to people.

 

 

Vivian and Mali Music

 

Natalie: I see the love that your fans give you, they are eager to post videos of your performance.  A lot of work goes into to keep the worldwide buzz going. How do you do it?

Vivian Sessoms: To be honest I’m still kind of figuring that part out, lol! Every day, I have a list of things I plan to do which is to post videos of the previous nights performance or post a live video of me just singing in my hotel room or videos of past shows, but sadly I’m not always successful in my plan!  As an indie artist, you wind up doing a lot of things yourself, and actually, I am lucky because I have a small team of people who help me get the word out about things what’s going on with me and keeping things moving.  Sometimes,  just getting info to them is a job in itself.   It’s a constant juggling act trying to keep all the things you need to have happening,  going all at once.

 

Alliance Française de Melbourne in Australia. Photo by Georga Byrne

 

Natalie: What habits do you practice or prepare your mind, body and soul for while on tour.

Vivian Sessoms: I try to work out consistently, not every day but a few times a week. I also  try to really watch what I eat because I realize that eating badly, makes me feel bad.  I don’t really drink a lot and I don’t smoke.  I try to just take it easy and stay peaceful, and you know, do things that make me happy and that make me feel good.  I try to see friends often in other countries, or visit places of interest.

Natalie: You love fashion and beauty and have a great sense of style. Who are your favorite designers and what looks do you like to wear on stage?

Vivian Sessoms: Right now I’m into a lot of African designers.  There are some really fabulous young designers out of Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and several other African countries.  As for my favorite American designers that’s kind of a long list, although I’m very into mixing pieces from stores like COS and Zara and Top Shop with high end stuff, or combined with thrift store finds.  I would say my personal style is a hodgepodge of things.  I like a lot of color, and texture. I really love deconstructed pieces. 
On stage I might go from jeans and sneakers with the funky T-shirt to a tailored suit and heels to a pretty or a flow-y type of dress.  Lately I seem to be opting more for real comfort.

 

 

Smiths Alternative Cafe in Canberra Australia. Photo by Andrea Hutch

 

 

Natalie: “Trying to work through shit we go through sometimes losing my way I’m walking through clouds looking for my sunny”.  This is something that everyone goes through weather it be work, personal relationships, friendships, developing your personal business.  What were you going through when you wrote those words?

Vivian Sessoms: I wrote that song with two really good friends Wondress Hutchinson and Jenny Douglas Foote and at the time I had just lost my mom, but I think that each of us were dealing with life situations and, I don’t know, I just remembered that my heart was really broken and so.  That’s what came out..

I can say that I really love collaborating with people for the different colors and ideas that it brings out of you as an artist.  Collaborating always seems to spark new ways to create, interesting ways that you might not think of when you’re writing or creating alone.
Natalie: I wanted to throw something on my floor like a towel when I listened to your angelic voice on Both Sides Now.  Your voice reminded me of the Ocean waves.  While I was creating these questions I was sitting in my living room with a 7 minute walk to my beach on the Atlantic Ocean and all that I could see during that moment was blue!  Do you see how music, creates and aligns things for some of us? 

Vivian Sessoms: Absolutely and positively.. I asked an audience during the show in Melbourne if they could see the aura that we had created at the end of a show. I was saying to them that coming out to see a show, even though you may feel like you’re not doing much besides  listening and watching, is a form of active participation and what the audience gives to you definitely feeds you as an artist, and in some instances can inform or drive you or what have you.  So I was saying to them that they had participated so much and so beautifully that the energy swirling back-and-forth between us was colorful and bright and had a lot of love it.  I really mean it when I say that music is healing, and that it can change the world.

Natalie: I recently visited the Past is Present exhibit at the MFA Boston.  Knowing that the past is present please tell the Luxhop4u audience who you shared the stage with including writing credits/ producing credits and what you have in store for them this year. 

Vivian Sessoms: I’ve shared the stage with Joe Cocker,  Patti,Austin and Cher, P!nk and numerous others.  I’ve had a wonderful journey before deciding to strike out on my own.  This year I’ll be releasing my third studio recording entitled Life which I’m really excited about.

 

Sinbad, Vivian Sessoms and Scooter.

 

Vivian Sessoms, Joe Cocker, Jenny Douglas Foote and Stacey Campbell.

 

Sara Levine, Sherri Shepard, Chaka Khan, Vivian Sessoms, Marvel Allen and Whoppi Goldberg on the set of the view

 

Vivian Sessoms and Mali Music.

 

Vivian and Lalah Hathaway

 

Kimberly Davis, Jenny Douglas Foote, Patti Austin, Nancy Wilson and Vivian Sessoms.

 

Vivian and Bruno Mars

Cossandra Cella, Cheryl Pepsii Riley, Shondra Rhimes and Vivian.

 

Vivian performing with Patti Austin for the Inaugural Ball of Governor Duvall Patrick and his wife Diane

 

Vivian on stage with P!nk

 

Vivian on the P!nk Funhouse Tour

 

Vivian and Andre Leon Talley

 

Vivian and Roberta Flack

 

 

Natalie: I have a lot of friends in the entertainment industry who work on major projects and do not receive credit/publishing for their work.  What should  artists do to ensure that they receive credit for their work?

Vivian Sessoms: Try as best you can to get everything in writing, contracts are important.. Then get a good lawyer. 

Natalie: I want to thank you for your personal advice and mentorship!

Vivian Sessoms: I adore you!

Be sure to purchase Vivian’s music on her website www.VivianSessoms.com

Follow Vivian on Instagram @VivianSessoms

*Luxshop4u will be in NYC for the Life album release party working behind the scenes. This website will be updated with playlist details from the Life album. This website will have a release date for Vivian’s Life album.

Photos were provided by Vivian Sessoms.