Interview | Steve Knight

Our alumnus lets us in on his musical journey since leaving ICMP...


ICMP alumnus Steve Knight has been a prolific songwriter and producer ever since he left our classrooms, working with many of London's top talents. 

Now based out of Hoxton's Premises Studios, Steve has enjoyed songwriting cuts with many musical success stories including contributing to rapper Potter Payper's best-selling album.

You can catch Steve playing a special live gig at the Camden Chapel on 4th April where he will be joined by friends and collaborators in an intimate space.

Grab tickets now and find out more about him and his music below...

Where did your love of music come from? 

For me, I've always loved creating, the magic of going into a room, then six hours later you come out with a new piece of music that no one has heard before. I'm addicted to that feeling. 

I love telling other people's stories as well as my own too. There’s a magic to it that nothing else can top. 

I wrote poems when I was younger, I loved rhyming and Eminem's discography when I was probably a bit too young and just the way that words work together - I'm fascinated by that. I started playing guitar and joined a band when I was 14, that's how I started making music.

Who were your inspirations? 

I loved Muse and Matt Bellamy, then my dad’s record collection, Stevie Wonder David Gilmour. As a writer, my biggest inspirations have been those artists, I find the way they write almost mystical."

Frank Ocean and Bon Iver are also amazing contemporary artists. I fell in love with songwriting through them and I've been in love with it ever since. 

Was there a breakthrough moment? 

I promised myself when I was 15 that I would commit to it. At the time, my band was playing lots of gigs, it was so much fun, we were played on BBC Radio 1 on this unsigned show. 

I've battled with it since then as a career and I guess it's taken until now that I've worked out that it can be viable. All the music I have coming out now has been done over the last year, two years. There's a real time-lag on doing the work, then seeing the results. 

How did you find ICMP? 

ICMP gave me the ability to write on command. It's three songs a week, and even now, if I'm feeling a bit unmotivated, I'll try and write a couple of songs just to see if I can - it's almost like a gym workout, flex your muscles and keep it moving. 

I met some great people there too, James at the Hub is the best, he's helped me throughout, it's good to talk to someone who has the knowledge. If I'm struggling, I'll speak to him. 


How did you approach the industry? 

Going to gigs was good, I moved to East London with two of my best friends after university, then found a whole new group of people through following the music I was into. I met a lot of people with similar outlooks and tastes and gravitated to authentic music makers and creators. 

Was there a breakthrough moment for you and your music? 

In the industry, it's weird, I've had moments when I thought things were going to change. I was on a New Music Friday with a track, had support from BBC Introducing - then it didn't happen. I’ve become a bit more realistic about what I'm doing and now see everything as a step in the right direction. 

I work with amazing artists everyday and the ability to do that, for me, is a breakthrough moment. It's something that doesn't happen instantly and you don't really notice it but I surround myself with incredibly talented people on a daily basis and noticing that feels like a breakthrough moment in itself." 

How do you run your studio? ​

My Premises Studio space is my spot for everything and I like it to be a great place just to hang out, never mind make music. If you want to work with me, then just get in touch via social media though, I'm always looking for new artists and collaborators. It's such a nice room, it's the first one that's become available for some time and I'm super lucky to have it. I love the place, the people and the vibe there. 

How did you end up working with Potter Payper? 

I work very closely with ADMT, he's a good friend of mine and a really great artist that I’m lucky enough to work with. I also work with a great writer called Alex Oldroyd who worked with Scouting for Girls. We did a session at the Cube in West London, this producer DJ Friction had a studio there, we went to his studio and wrote a hook that became 'Midas Touch' by Potter Payper - we didn't know who it was going to go to. We had Friction on the beat and created it. I learned a lot of lessons from it. 

What's next for you? 

I have a show on 4th April called A Knight with Friends. It'll be a headline gig from me but interspersed with guests I've worked with and songs I've written with them. I've always wanted to do it and it should be a really special evening. 

I'm always looking for great artists to collaborate with too - so feel free to get in touch… 

Listen to a playlist of Steve's songwriting and production cuts below. 

Connect with Steve on social media: 

Instagram | Facebook 

Take the first steps in your music career with ICMP

We've been developing and delivering contemporary music education for over 30 years – longer than any other music school in the UK. With a proven track-record, countless music industry connections and unrivalled access to facilities, it's easy to see why hundreds of students choose ICMP each year. 

To completely immerse yourself in your music career, chat with our friendly Admissions Team via email or give them a call on 020 7328 0222.

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by ICMP staff writer
April 1, 2024
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