Get To Know Knox [Interview]

Ian Hansen

Nashville based singer and songwriter, Knox, is having an amazing first half of 2024. Between selling out a headlining tour to hitting the radio, he is checking off boxes left and right. He has found success with his recent track “Change Your Mind,” along with his hit record, “Not The 1975.” Get to know Knox below:

First off, congrats on finishing up the tour. What was it like doing your first headlining tour?

It was awesome, man. It was my first-ever headlining tour. I have only ever done shows where I’m the opener, and it is a game of let's go win these people over. It is way easier to play shows when the people are coming to see you. It is a crazy boost of confidence. The energy on stage is really awesome, but at the end of the day, it was just cool to go out and meet people that listen to my music. Because of those people, I get to have the coolest job in the world.

What does it mean to have all of these people actually come show up and support your music?

That is the part where it gets me. I have an Instagram video right now that has like 16 million views. You can be going crazy on the internet, but in public, nobody knows who you are. The internet views are cool, but it is kind of like playing an app. I’m like, “Oh, I have a lot of points today.” When I am actually doing shows, I am seeing physical bodies show up to see me. It is amazing. What really hits me is when I see somebody crying in the crowd through a sad song I wrote. It is crazy to see how much the songs mean to them.

What was the biggest thing you learned from your tour?

When I started this whole thing I was just a songwriter. I had never learned how to sing properly. When it comes to singing, I’ve never really known what I am doing. I feel like on this tour, my voice has gotten super strong. I definitely have levels I am trying to get to, but I can feel it getting stronger. An example is after playing a show and giving it 120%, but then not having my voice completely blown out the next day.

What was your favorite experience on tour?

When I was 11, I had this brain surgery. I had this thing called a Chiari 1 malformation. I have never met anybody that has ever had that surgery other than me. I had this girl in Salt Lake City message me and was like, “I saw you had this. I had the same surgery.” I finally met somebody who had it. It was cool because of that whole situation, I know what she went through. It is some serious and scary stuff. On stage, I was like, “I have a weird question.” I knew only one person in the crowd would know what I was talking about. The girl was like, “Oh my god.” It was so cool.

How did the surgery change your perspective on life, especially with making music?

Every day I think about it. I probably think about it more than I should because I am good now. It is one of those things that could have gone so differently. So to be in the position that I am, I feel like the luckiest person in the world. I will never take any of it for granted. I am super grateful.

I love that. Your recent song, “Change Your Mind,” is incredible. What does that song mean to you?

That song is so fun. I love it so much because it is such a singer-songwriter song. That is the kind of music that made me want to write music in the first place. I think it is very artistic and paints such a cool visual. “Change Your Mind” is the music that I have always really wanted to make. It was cool to finally step into that world.

Your songwriting is really strong. Where did you get that from? Take me through the journey of what got you into it.

I started playing guitar when I went to college. I learned it fast as a hobby, and that turned into an obsession. It snowballed from there. It went from an obsession to a lifestyle. After my second year of college, I moved to Nashville. After writing probably a thousand really bad songs, I started writing a couple that I was like, “I actually kind of like this.” One of my best friends told me writing songs is like going to the gym. You can’t lift 200 until you lift 150. You have to write all of those bad songs to get them out of you. It was a lot of hours and songs put in. No different than anything else. Now they are impacting people.

What is the biggest thing you want your fans to gain from your lyrics?

It is one of those things where if any song at any moment can be taken in by them and mean something at all, then I am happy. I feel like songs are kind of like timestamps. Any time I hear a song, it puts me in a certain moment or feeling. As long as my songs do that to one person on Earth, I am doing my job.

Who would you say inspires your sound and style of songwriting?

I was never a scene kid or anything like that. I did really love the poppier side of music. All American Rejects, Boys Like Girls, Fall Out Boy, and the pop-rock stuff. When I got into high school and going into college, I went on this huge singer-songwriter kick like James Bay, Ed Sheeran, James Arthur, and Niall Horan. When I started making music, I thought it would be cool to put those two together such as writing songs like a singer-songwriter, but then throw big electric guitars and solos with huge drums.

We are coming up on a year since you released “Not The 1975.” It had a huge moment and is your biggest song right now. What does that song mean to you and how have you taken in the success of the last year?

Spencer Jordan, the guy I write everything with, is one of my best friends. He is the first person I ever wrote a song with. We have been writing songs for six years, and we have always been really good about not putting pressure on certain songs or certain sets. We go in, and we write songs that we think are amazing, but we never were like, “This is going to go viral.” The second you do that, it is not going to get love. “Not The 1975” was funny because that was the one song that we made for radio. Even if it didn’t, we wanted to make it. We wrote the song on acoustic guitar and it did everything that we wanted it to. It is cool to see that it has lived the expected life that we thought it was going to. We’re really proud of it. We’re glad people enjoy it.

What kind of goals do you have? Where do you want to take music?

I had certain goals set out for this year. All of those goals have already been checked. The goals were to sell out every ticket to the headline tour, and we did that. Another goal was to have a song on the radio, and we did that. Another one was to start getting festivals, and now I got the main stage at Lollapalooza. It has been an incredible year. I just want to keep playing shows, selling tickets, and putting out the music I love. I hope the people that listen love it, and I am proud of the songs we have coming out. They are different, and I am definitely stepping into new territories and waters. I am excited.

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