Knight in a shiny console

groovy beats

Knight in a shiny console

In the extremely fast changing and intensely competitive world of DJs, very few can claim global acclaim, longevity and literally be among the top DJs the world has known for years. DJ Mark Knight is all of that and more.

With a following in several millions, Grammy nominations, dropping hit records consistently and playing incredible sets at the best venues for electronic dance music (EDM) around the world, he is without a doubt considered to be among the most reliable DJs globally. What actually sets him apart is his ability to continuously innovate, as well as provide opportunities for young and upcoming talents through his own record label.

Growing up in Maidstone, which is not too far from London, he was indeed exposed to incredible music from the very early days. With a love for pop music, he went on to soul and hip-hop in a big way. “I didn’t really like House music until much later on. But once I was introduced to the soulful House stuff, I was hooked,” he says.

He did play some gigs in his home town in bars and pubs, which was rather poorly attended, to his dismay. He moved to London soon enough to find some “fairly proper gigs.”

He was influenced by music coming out of UK like SmK, Masters at Work, Todd Terry, and records with soul that worked so well on a dance floor. He goes on to add that “I’d never heard anything like it, and they’re still records that stand the test of time to this day.” From there he realised that music was the only career option he wanted. It was probably the residency at the Ministry of Sound that sealed the deal for him.  

Early years

In terms of his own production, the times he feels the most creative are when he is being challenged to step outside his comfort zone.

“It would be easy to fall into the habit of churning out the same stuff time after time, but where’s the fun in that? That’s why I have set myself the goal of releasing on other people’s labels: it throws up a whole heap of new challenges, and that’s often when I feel like I do my best work,” he quips.

About producing albums and performing live, he feels he cannot discriminate, saying, “You get different feelings of satisfaction from both, but I couldn’t pick between them.”

Talking about his record label (Toolroom), he says it has been quite a journey. “I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved as a label. I initially set it up as an outlet for my own music, but also in order to be able to champion music and artistes I loved and wanted to share this with the world. We have released some amazing music, and I have personally had the chance to work with some exceptionally talented artistes.

So yes, it’s been everything I wanted it to be. I think Toolroom’s success has been because of its consistency. We only sign records that we think have potential, and that people remember. Hopefully, every record we have released is somebody’s favourite.”

Talking about performances, where he has played at dance music bastions like Space, Ibiza and Amnesia as well as hosted a number of landmark festivals, he says it’s a mixed bag and every setup has been special in its own way.

“But if I was forced to choose, I guess it would have to be the time when
I was asked to record the Essential Mix live from Space. That was special, and something I’ll never, ever forget,” he reveals.

Dazzling performances

Talking about his favourite collaborations, he declines to mark out any favourites, but goes on to add that “ultimately, it doesn’t matter what my own personal favourite is. It’s about how much the music I make is enjoyed by my fans. It’s a nice thought to have anyway.”

Knight recently performed in Bengaluru at The Collection at the prestigious UB City and said, “The crowds are always so passionate and crazy, so the parties are usually ones to remember.”

Finally, talking about what the future looks like for him, he says, “Every year throws up something that I never saw coming, and usually that’s a good thing. It keeps me on my toes. I couldn’t possibly predict what’s going to happen, but I am excited, as always, to see what the next 12 months bring.”

His growing fan following would certainly hope for more spectacular music, and yes, he has established a good space for himself in India for sure. House and home secured.

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