Singer-songwriter Autumn Knight was raised right here in Los Angeles, and she’s already been compared to Lana Del Rey. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that she achieves a comparable level of success too; Knight has a similarly unique and entrancing vocal style, and a ton of rootsy pop tunes.
She received her musical education early — she says that she has been singing for as long as she can remember.
“There’s a video of me at 2 years old dancing and singing to Flashdance that’s hilarious and such a fun reminder that I was born to perform,” she says. “My parents used to tell me that I started singing before I could talk, but I was around 10 years old when I started taking private voice and piano lessons. I found an instant connection with the piano and by age 13, I wrote my first song ‘Don’t Ask Why’ — it was all about listening to your inner voice. I sang daily and practiced with different instruments, and it helped that my parents loved music as much as I did. They were always firm believers that if you have a dream, nobody can tell you to stop chasing it. When I was accepted into Berklee College of Music and was able to hold my own amongst some of the best musicians in the world, that is when I knew that I was destined to make music a career.”
Knight describes her sound as electropop, something that evolved over time culminating in recent full lengther Here and Now. She pulls influences from all over the place, including Adele’s vocals, Dua Lipa’s live performances, Lennon Stella’s aesthetic and, again, Del Rey’s lyrics. The release of Here and Now in November is the proudest moment of her career so far.
“It’s something I’ve been working super hard towards and to see it come to life was a dream come true,” she says. “The album release party was at Warwick in Hollywood, and I performed six of my 11 songs. My heart was pounding out of my chest, but when I got on stage and saw everyone singing along to the first song ‘Outline’ I was so happy and proud — it was one of the most surreal moments of my entire life. Meeting everyone after the show was the cherry on top. It’s fulfilling and humbling connecting with fans because they’re the ones who help fuel your passion to create music and inspire you to dive deeper into yourself.”
Knight worked on the album with Nashville-based producer Austin Shawn. Knight, Shawn and bass player, Curt Hovland co-wrote the album in Nashville over a 12-month period. The album was mastered by Grammy-winning engineer Mike Bozzi at Bernie Grundman Mastering in Hollywood. Bozzi mastered Lana Del Ray’s Lust for Life. Knight says that, so far, the response to the album has been superb.
“The fan base is growing all around the world and everyone is loving the album,” she says. “From the beginning, my intention with music has and continues to be empowering others to find their truth and follow their dreams. I think to inspire others, you have to be vulnerable with your struggles and goals, but there’s strength in vulnerability. It can let people know they are not alone and have a voice in the world. Writing each song on the album, I tried to do just that, and the fans at the album release party were receptive to it. As for the critics, it’s nothing I can’t handle — I focus on the positive. I keep my circle tight and everyone in it is there for a reason so I make sure to always hear my team out.”
This week sees Knight take another huge step up as she headlines at the historic Troubadour. The artist is stoked.
“To get a chance to perform on the same stage as Prince, Coldplay, The Strokes, Red Hot Chili Peppers, James Blake and Lana Del Rey is epic,” she says. “I believe you can manifest things into existence and this was definitely on my vision board. I’m looking forward to channeling all the star power that has rocked out before me and leaving my own original mark. I don’t take any opportunity, big or small, for granted. That is something people learn about me right away.”
Knight will be performing nine songs from the new album in Hollywood as she begins her 2020 tour. She will, she says, leave everything on the stage.
“My bandmates and I have spent many late nights and early mornings rehearsing to make the Troubadour performance the best one yet, and I’m so grateful they understand my dedication and intent for my music,” she says. “We have an undeniable bond, and when we step on stage, we know how to turn it on and connect with the audience. We can’t wait to share a part of our hearts with the audience. After the show, we will be out in the crowd interacting with fans, and I’m really looking forward to that. Growing up, I had always wished I could have one-on-one experiences with performers, so now I try to lend myself to the fans as much as possible — on and off the stage.”
With that show out of the way, Knight will be releasing the rest of her tour dates as she looks to hit every major U.S. city, then maybe Europe and the rest of the world.
“Music is a universal language, and I feel so strongly about my new album and its message that I want to share it with as many people as possible,” she says. “Fans can also look forward to some new music. I’ll be releasing a couple of new singles throughout the year about life on the road and stepping into my power as a woman and musician. The whole women’s empowerment movement has really inspired me and made me feel fearless in my career and personal life. Female musicians in the industry like Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish and Lizzo, for example, are not playing games when it comes to ownership over their identity, creative process and music, and it’s motivating to see such confident and authentic women at the forefront of pop music, hip-hop and so many other genres.”
She wants to explore acting too — looks like 2020 will be a busy year for Ms. Knight.
Autumn Knight plays with Aurora Vice, Brothers Beard, Tiffany Madadian and Burbia at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 4 at the Troubadour.