Aaron Knight's basketball passion paved the path for his music career
He talks his competitive nature, singular sound, and plans to be a legend.
Athletes want to be musicians and musicians want to be athletes. That sentence is just one example of the direct and strong correlation between sports and music. And although Aaron Knight is both an athlete and an artist, the tight connection goes beyond just the court and studio. In his recent EP When It Gets Knight Out, the Queens native utilizes the mental strength that he has learned during his basketball career and during rough patches in his life.
REVOLT spoke with Knight to find out about his challenges and how basketball has played an instrumental part in his music career.
Tell us about the inspiration behind your project?
It’s got to be my eagerness to show the world that it’s my time. I’m a fan of music and I know, 100%, that I don’t sound like anyone. I sound like myself. That’s always been a key point for me since day one. Being from New York City put me in front of so many different cultures that there isn’t one demographic that is not going to like my music. I genuinely believe if you’re a fan of music, you’ll catch the vibe.
You have a trap&B sound in this new EP. A lot of people are incorporating those two genres into their music these days. What would you say makes yourself different from the rest of the pack?
That it’s really hard to put a label on me. You look at me and can’t tell if I’m about to sing a love song or flex. I love that I’m not being boxed in. I have street shit and even have pop songs that could be on the radio right now. That’s just who am. I don’t try to be someone I’m not and I take pride in saying that I’m paving my own lane. Every artist has their thing, you know? A$AP is fashion, Wiz is weed. My thing is “me.” I’m not afraid to be me.
Your first passion was basketball. Is there anything that you’ve learned from sports that you implement into your music making process or career?
The drive to be better and work harder than anyone else – on or off the court. I gotta be the best, so I’m going to put the time and effort to make it happen. Coaches used to tell us that there’s some kid in Idaho working on his game right now, while you’re chasing girls or playing 2k. That really stuck to me. I’m not big on wasting time. I love the effort it takes to get better and I think you can see that if you have followed my career.
Is there a close correlation between sports and music? If so, what is it?
The hustle is the same. You go hard in the studio just like in practice. It is the same thing, just different elements. Sports gave me that competitive nature towards everything I do and I hate to lose. If I lose at something, my day is over until I finally beat you at it. It’s the same thing with music. If I don’t get the love I deserve or support from my peers, I’m going to work at it until I do. At the end of the day there isn’t anyone from Sunnyside, Queens who made a name for themselves, so why not me?
You’ve had a lot of tough life situations growing up: parents dealt with addiction, you lived with your grandma; how does music help you to overcome these hard moments?
Because music is my voice. It’s the only way I feel comfortable expressing myself. I don’t talk much because I don’t think people care. But when they hear my music they seem to listen. I’m not going to lie, when I first started making songs at 17 I just wanted to be famous, get girls, money, and buy jewelry. Then I was really hit with some trial and error that made me appreciate the gift that I have. In order to reach my full potential, it had to be more than materialistic things. It had to be the inspiration you’re giving your fans. That’s what keeps me going.
What do you want people to take away from your project once they listen to it?
When people listen to this project I want them to know that my team and I have been preparing to get this point. All these blessings we are receiving now, we worked our asses off to receive. Nothing was handed to us and nothing came easy. Overnight success was never in my mind; it was perfecting the craft that mattered to me. I think all this notoriety couldn’t have happened at a better time, because I’m ready for everything that comes my way and no one can say otherwise. I’m not going be a one hit wonder; I want no parts of that. Longevity has always been my number one goal. I’m going to be a legend!