The duo made up of KnuOrigen and Kay Sade call themselves TheKnuBlack, and they believe they represent a tribe of people who tend to find themselves on the outside of what’s “cool” and popular. Their combination of uplifting storytelling and soulful instrumentals fuse together into a sound that can’t be found in the music industry today. Some parts Black Eyed Peas and some parts Fugees but all parts themselves, TheKnuBlack is forging a new path and fans all over the country are starting to follow.
“We do music that is imaginative,” KnuOrigen said. “It’s based inside of imaginative storytelling, but it still has resonance with people in the melodic pieces that Sade puts together. That musical background and storytelling take people to a place that is unknown and yet powerfully familiar - like returning to a house from your childhood. We like to expand on normal topics and rhythms to provide musical refreshment in a time where music is over saturated and monotonous.”
“We try to write in a way where the sound is familiar to people but still stretches them,” Kay Sade said. “We’ll reference things from pop culture, but we’ll do it in such a way that it makes people intrigued. We’ll stretch you with our music, but not so far that you can’t bop to it or listen to it and enjoy it.”
KnuOrigen started writing as early as middle school and later developed his skills into the crafts of poetry and music. During and after college, his parents moved away from his hometown and he found that he didn’t really have a place to return to that he could call “home.” He began to write music out of this experience, creating songs for those who, like him, at times feel out of place and on the move.
Kay Sade grew up writing and performing in instrumental ensembles. She was heavily influenced by hip-hop as a child and so it was natural that she began to explore sounds within that genre. She earned a degree in audio engineering from Belmont University in Nashville and has continued to hone her craft in the years since graduation. She said she hopes her creativity will inspire others to seek God, max out their gifts and dream without limit.
“We want to be known and remembered for presenting musical ideas in ways that are unforgettable,” Sade said. “We’re from an era when music is completely digitized and forgettable and disposable. But we want to create the kind of music where you sit next to your radio just waiting for it to come on – one that’s so catchy that you go to school the next day and can’t help but sing it with all your friends. In the age of Spotify and all these playlists, there’s so much music coming out every week that it’s hard to keep track. We just want to make classic music – music that’s rare in this day and age… unforgettable music that uplifts people.”
The group’s newest album Ohana was released on October 30. The first single from the album to hit radio, “The Kids That Can,” was featured on New York’s leading station for hip-hop, Hot97. It is available for digital download on all digital distribution sites.
Buy on iTunes.