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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Artist Of The Week - Silent Knight
Monday, January 12, 2009

Silent Knight is an artist I became aware of by virtue of being in the scene. We’d met at a few events and at the most recent one we were at he handed me a copy of his debut album, Hunger Strike. Hunger Strike, an album filled with powerful, message-based Hip-Hop, was originally released at the very end of 2006 and Silent Knight followed it up with a remix CD titled Restoration: One Step Back, Two Steps Forward. Staying busy, in 2008 he released a free album online at his website and co-founded an all-ages art and music event titled Hub City Revival. In addition to all that he’s also a finalist in Loud.com’s emcee competition, which happens to pit him against his friends Homeboy Sandman and Kaze. This week I caught up with Silent Knight to find out how he’s dealing with being in such a big competition against some of his good friends, what he hopes people get out of his music, and why he feels that despite his own style being highly message driven there’s still a time and place for a brainless rap artist or two.

Adam Bernard: Let’s start with your name. What about you is Silent and what about you is Knight?
Silent Knight: What's Silent about me... well, I'm a very private person in a lot of ways, and very much a thinker, so while Hip-Hop has helped me to be more sociable, I'm still a pretty quiet person a lot of times. Sometime after I wrote one of my first songs at age ten there was a gap where I would be writing every day, but not letting anyone hear anything I was working on. That actually contributed to the name Silent Knight. The part of me that's Knight is the fact that underneath the quiet, private, self-conscious exterior is a man with a lot to say. I try to use my music as a balance of entertainment and social commentary, or activism, even. A lot of people that know me, or have had at least one conversation with me, tell me I am a completely different person when I'm on stage performing and I think that's a perfect example of Silent vs. Knight.

Adam Bernard: Currently you are involved in a contest on Loud.com where you're up against two of your friends, Homeboy Sandman and Kaze. How do you deal with competing against people you both know and respect?
Silent Knight: The way I honestly see competing against people I know and respect is like this - if I don't win I sure as hell hope one of them wins, and I know they probably feel the same way. If you’re not gonna win it would feel good knowing someone whose music you like, and who you like and respect as a person, won. We all wanna win, but at the same time, the three of us, I can’t speak for anyone else, have been working hard for a while now and we will all continue to do so. When I got into the finals Boy Sand called me and congratulated me and I did the same when I heard Kaze was in.

Adam Bernard: The vast majority of your songs have a point to them. When was it that you started working messages into your music and why do you feel it's important to do so?
Silent Knight: I think I've been doing that since day zero. What I try to do is make music that sounds good while also having lyrics that mean something. I always had a pet peeve about cats who either had a lot of important stuff to say, but rhymed over a distorted weird sounding beat and were all off beat or mumbling, and cats whose music or beats sound really dope and really professional but weren't saying anything and they weren’t being creative about the nothing they were saying. So getting back to your actual question, when I first stared writing I guess I just naturally would write stuff that was raw and also had a point to it, whether that point was a story about a robbery, or about how we need to stop killing and robbing each other and learn about our ancestry. It comes naturally to me being a thinker. I try not to strain to think of the craziest most out there topic, but I think it's very important to have messages in the music, As much as Hip-Hop is a music for adults and contains "bad language" a lot of the time, it's also for the kids… more so even. I have done plenty of shows and festivals where little kids come up to me and tell me they liked my performance and I've had a lot of parents tell me how much they appreciate my music and its messages. With how unbalanced the airwaves and TV are, playing a lot of nonsense, I think positive messages are definitely needed. I'm not afraid to say that. Plus adults get bored with the same ol’ same ol’, too.

Adam Bernard: If only one of your messages could make it to the people which one would you want it to be and why?
Silent Knight: Aww man, I hate questions about my "favorites," or "what’s the best." I guess I'm an indecisive person. Most of the time it's about favorite emcees, albums, books or food, though… this is even more difficult. {laughs} Alright, the message would be, “we are priceless people. When will we realize this, people?! All walks of life, all shapes, colors and sizes, people!" That "we got more in common than we're led to believe, but hate mongers go around and spread the disease." Basically, that we can get more accomplished if we work together, that we should respect each other and love each other and respect our planet. Nothing else matters if we don't have a planet to love on and people living on it. That’s the foundation. Peace, Justice, Equality, Unity. Am I getting to deep or preachy? {laughs} Anyway, that would be the message. Either that or, “I'm mad nice at rhyming.” Take your pick!

Adam Bernard: Finally, as someone who infuses messages into his rhymes, do you feel there's still a time and place for artists who don't necessarily have anything to say?
Silent Knight: Absolutely. I really do. Some people take it so serious and think artists who don't really have anything to say should just give up or fall off a cliff. Sometimes I hear artists who I think should give it up, too, or at least switch it up, or work on their craft more, but I think it comes down to creativity. There are rappers who don't talk about anything but drugs and guns, or money and women, but they do it creatively. On the other hand someone could talk about a lot of powerful and important issues but have no creativity in their rhymes and song writing, or no energy and style, and I could hate it. Some singers could sing about nothing but love, have a whole album with nothing but love songs, which sounds boring and played out as hell on paper, but if he or she could sing their ass off and be creative with the love songs it could be one of my favorite albums. I think it's about balancing it out. The artists I appreciate and admire most have a wide variety of styles and walk that line of having something to say and making it sound good.

Related Links

Website: elementalityproductions.com
MySpace: myspace.com/silentkngihtma


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:34 AM  
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