Zubble caught up with the multi-talented Knucks before his show in Leicester. 2016 was a big year for the North West London rapper. 21 Candles, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and the newly-released Turnover have grown his fan base, with fans eagerly anticipating another Knucks project following his debut tape Killmatic.

After meeting Knucks, I have a newfound appreciation for his music. Like his singles, he is very mellow and chilled. Yet his gleaming gold grills are a reminder that he is eager to stand out from the crowd which is reflected in his choice of lyrics. He aims to differentiate himself from the “oversaturated trap sound”. I see Knucks developing a cult-like following from which the sky’s the limit. Enjoy the interview and check out his music.

Interview by Jonathan Rukundo

Growing up in London, everyone’s a rapper, everyone’s got a 16-bar. So at what age did you start taking rap seriously?

I started taking rap seriously at 15. From 12 to 14 I started doing grime, but when everyone started listening to UK rap, I started rapping as well.


Do you think you’ve developed as an artist since your last mixtape Killmatic?

I’ve developed a lot. I think it’s even evident in the production and my vocal recordings on Killmatic compared to the songs I release now. You can definitely hear the improvement.


The first track I heard from you was 21 Candles, I noticed on Snapchat you recently turned 22, can we expect a 22 Candles?

It’s out already! It’s not called 22 Candles, but it’s a freestyle released on my birthday November 12th. So on my birthday I released From Rome with Love.


Tell me about your new single Turnover

It’s a different kind of style to what is out at the moment. I’m trying to bring a contrast to the very oversaturated trap sound. I’m trying to bring mellow music back, and have people actually listen to the words that I’m saying as opposed to just jumping to a beat. And that’s what I feel my music does.


You’ve produced for Blade Brown and Fekky in the past. What do you enjoy most - rapping or producing?

I feel like producing and rapping come together, I feel like I produce every day. When I find a good song to produce, that’s when the bars come and I start rapping. So it works hand in hand for me.


“You get me though” - I feel like you should get that trademarked

Haha, that’s just the slang from where I grew up. That’s how we used to speak, "{chatting} you get me though”. So I just incorporate it. I like using things that I experience and things that are around me in my music.


I have to ask. Obviously, a few of my friends have been shipped in the past for being naughty in school. So how was being sent to Nigeria when you were 12? Did it shape who you are?

100 trillion%. At the time obviously, I didn’t see what it could do for me. I was crying, I didn’t want to go. But it made me who I am today. It gave me a lot of thinking time. Before I went, I feel like a lot people don’t really think, life moves too fast out here. But in Nigeria, it’s very slow and you have time to think. And because I went to a boarding school, I was alone a lot so I was able to find myself and find faith. I was only 12 when it happened but I felt like I was able to look inside myself and know where I was going in life. So when I came back, I had a completely different attitude.


2016 has been big year for you! I see you’re still at university. Is it becoming harder to balance both of them?

It’s difficult. It’s my final year and I’m just going to keep at it.


So you’ve had a chance to see Zubble. What do you think?

I think it’s really sick. The concept behind it is very intuitive. And the fact that it’s been made to look similar to apps that we use today, just to familiarise us with it already. I feel like people are going to get straight into it, because I feel like they know the app already. I like it man, the concept is needed in the industry.


Turnover is out now. What can we expect from Knucks in the near future?

I’m just trying to drop singles until I release my project. I’ve already started working on a project that I’ve got loose songs for which eventually I’m going to connect and add more songs to. But right now, I’m trying to just focus on releasing singles to continue building my fan base.


Can we get a Zubble exclusive? What’s the name of the project?

The Art of Nonchalance, I’m not sure if I’m sticking with that but that’s the name I’ve got so far.


Cheers Knucks, good luck with the show.

Safe for that, cool.


Knucks will feature as an artist on Zubble. Be sure to connect with him on the app to keep up to date with his latest music, favourite tracks and what inspires his sound. You get me though?


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