Local talents like Louis Knight provide an optimistic outlook to the future of the Philly area music scene.
At just 19 years old, the British-born Knight, who resides just outside the city’s confines in Narberth, is doing all he can to make it known that he has an outspoken voice. He shares stories that are close to his heart through his music.
Knight’s debut EP, “Small Victories,” was just released on Sept. 20. His single off the album, “Change,” is about his best friend who committed suicide while they went to school together at Lower Merion High School.
Writing the song proved to be a difficult experience for Knight. He tried to write it several times, but never felt like he could write something that properly captured how he was feeling. However, once he found the words, they began to flow fast.
“I wrote the song in about 30 minutes, really,” he said. “It’s kind of weird how those things play out.”
Capturing such raw emotions in a roughly four-minute song couldn’t have been easy for Knight. This is part of why writing the song is the proudest moment of his music career thus far.
“This is the song where I’ve had to reflect the most,” he said.
Through writing a song based on such a painful experience, Knight hopes to raise awareness surrounding mental health and ensure people that they’re never alone.
“I wrote it as a tribute to him, and hopefully to give hope to other people that are suffering mentally,” he said, noting his plans to donate all of the proceeds made from “Change” to the Philadelphia chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
He will also be performing the song, in addition to the national anthem, at the AFSP “Out of the Darkness Greater Philadelphia Walk” on Oct. 6.
“I’ve always wanted to get involved and try to advocate for suicide prevention, and try to use this experience to help others,” Knight said.
Knight performed “Change” on the FOX 29 show “The Q” on Sept. 10. This appearance on regional TV gave exposure to his bright personality and endless talent. He sat center stage as he played his keyboard and powerfully sang his single. There was an apparent rush of emotion in every lyric he sang and his unwavering voice throughout the performance proved him a future force to be reckoned with in the rising talent pool of Philly’s music scene.
“Change” wades into decidedly more serious territory than his other single “Just Kiss Me,” which is also featured on his EP. The latter is about a relationship he had in high school that ended when his girlfriend went to college. Nevertheless, it’s a stunning example of Knight’s ability to translate his emotions and experiences into meaningful pop songs for the masses to enjoy.
Knight said he was inspired to become a musician by his dad, who was in a rock band for about 15 years. His dad motivated him and his siblings to play instruments and become involved in the music world. Although he claimed he has been singing since he learned how to talk, Knight said he didn’t write his first song until he was 14 years old.
“I only knew the main four chords to every pop song ever,” he joked.
After finding his passion, Knight began writing more music and posting covers of his favorite songs to YouTube. He released an EP his junior year of high school to only his close friends and family.
He realized that he wanted to pursue a music career when he began working with his friend, co-producer and bandmate Matt Fell, during his senior year.
“It was like a dream, finding your passion at such a young age,” he said. “I’m really lucky to have found music.”
Knight draws influences in his music from powerhouse pop performers like Amy Winehouse and Jon Bellion, whose strong voices have led them through much success throughout their music careers. Although he’s just starting to break out, Knight already has a vision of becoming a well-known, internationally touring singer-songwriter five years down the line.
Fulfilling this goal would mean the world to him.
“This is all I’m good at, to be frank,” Knight laughed.
Follow Louis Knight on social media: @louisknightmusic.