An artist of this caliber clearly belies an introduction, for the mere fact that his contribution to the genre of RnB / Soul music genre has not only enhanced its foundations but shaped the careers of a legion of singer/songwriters that emerged from the late 90’s RnB scene. Brian McKnight was and still is a force to be reckoned with given his multi-talented arms of artistry that include guitarist, pianist, trombone, tuba, trumpet playing singer-songwriter, arranger and producer and of course custodian of a voice that has been gifted from the gods, these components and more are what have McKnight a formidable part of the musical fabric of so many for so long.
Returning to Australia this year for this first time since 2016 thanks to Delta Bravo Touring, for a series of intimate shows with his stellar band known as the Brian McKnight 4, Brian Mcknight comes prepared for a series of intimate shows in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and the Gold Coast. Set to release his 19th studio album to date this June called Bedtime Story, along with his brand new single ” When I’m Gone”, guaranteed to become another McKnight masterpiece, the journey for this 25 year strong, 16 Grammy Award nomination recipient genius from Buffalo NY, ensues as his music continues to be the gift that keeps giving, spreading messages of love, romance and ultimately heart break, Brian McKnight has and continues to be there in there in the musical wings of his fans lives the world over.
Given the opportunity to speak to the artist who gave us endearing hits such as, ” “Back at One”, ‘’One Last Cry’’, ‘’6, 8, 12’’, ‘’Anytime’’ and ‘’The Only One For Me’’ , to name but a few, was truly one of the most exalting experiences of my writing life thus far and one that I will hold forever with gratitude. He is the consummate artist, charming, insightful, honest and a true class act that stands to reason why he is such a pioneer in the RnB realm. Our conversation, whilst brief, was inspiring and fraught with flattery (mostly on my part lol) which provided a small portal into the life of this phenomenal artist’s mind and see just what lies behind the effortless love songs, heart-wrenching lyrics and of course music that have become the canvas to countless date nights, weddings, anniversaries and conceptions…… continue to read below on an artist that never fails to deliver just what his fans want, every single time. Ladies and Gentlemen, Brian Mcknight!
Such an honor to speak with you today Brian ….. how is life treating you?
Oh thank you so much, the pleasure is mine, thank you for your time. Life is beautiful right now, busy but beautiful and I feel very blessed.
Thats wonderful to hear. Now you are no stranger to performing in Australia and will be returning soon for a series of concerts here. What do you love about Australia and what can we expect from your shows?
I would have to say the fans are my number 1 reason for returning. I mean you think about from an artists point of view that you have all these fans on the other side of the world that have been following your career from the very first album back in 1995, that just blows my mind to this day and it really is such an honour to come back to tour Australia as you guys have always been so good to me. In terms of the shows brace yourselves for what will be an incredible, live and intimate performance with the music you know and love from the last 27 years of my career!
You have a new album dropping in June called Bedtime Story, interesting title as with most of your previous albums, I am especially intrigued by this one. Care to share how you arrived at this title and what the album is based on?
Well I wanted to create an album specially about lovemaking, not just the physical side of it but delve deep into the mental and emotional sides that contribute to satisfying lovemaking, cause lets face it, no one has time to waste when it comes to this topic am I right ( laughs). I wanted the songs to touch the inner most parts of the listener and take them on a journey that is as fulfilling as their lovemaking sessions with their significant others and to be a part of that special time through my music I guess. Its like Brian is there, in the speakers, encouraging you to do what it do basically ( laughs).
Well I’m here to tell you that you have been a part of my love life and my marriage for the past 14 years now Brian so lets just continue this union shall we (laughing)
Oh wonderful, I’m glad to hear it Maxine and yes I believe we have may more years ahead so lets do this (laughs)
I believe the secret to your success lies in your ability to create stories within your songs that create a realistic bridge between fantasy & reality, and leaves the listener all in their feelings. Brian McKnight is the elixir to soothe all ills basically. Your new single ” When I’m Gone” is truly sublime and is set to become another McKnight classic. What do you love about creating the music you do and how do you ensure your next album is different from your last?
Oh wow can I use that first line to your question? That was packaged amazingly and better than I could have described my music, thank you. This single is very special to me as it is about my wife and how we just want to spend every moment together, but given our busy lives and schedules ultimately we have to endure long periods apart and even though its a difficult part of our relationship it really is the only component of our relationship that is difficult. So much of what is good in this world is in my marriage and I so truly grateful and blessed to be with my incredible wife that I just wanted to write this ode to our love even during times of separation, so she knows that no matter where I am in the world we are always together is one way or another.
Brian and wife Leilani Mendonza
What would you say motivates you as Brian McKnight the man as opposed to Brian McKnight the artist? Do you believe there is a difference at all?
No i don’t believe there is a difference at all. I mean the focus I would have as an artist to my craft would bear differently to that of me as a normal human being but the intention is still the same. I have to be the best version of myself everyday regardless of whether I am in the studio or at home and I have to operate at that level consistently or its just not me, you know what I mean. Whether it be creating in my studio or spending time with my wife I give 100% of myself all the time and have to ensure that both the personal and professional side of Brian McKnight are always take care of to the utmost degree because anything less is just not who I aspire to be.
How do you feel about the rnb canvas of late? Do you feel rnb as a genre has changed over the years since your journey began and if so how and is it an industry you are still excited to be involved in?
Well that’s just the thing you see, I have always thought of myself as being in the industry as opposed to being of the industry and therein lies the difference. You know I cant speak for other artists obviously as I don’t know what their journey’s have been but for me Im of the opinion that if you just keep creating what you love from an authentic place nothing else matters. I appreciate the newer artists and what they bring to the table as at the end of the day there is enough to go around for everyone as long as the intention to create is true, you know what I mean and that’s all I focus on. Music has to change and evolve, its life and some people are going to like your music and others aren’t but that’s the journey, I mean heck I cant tell you how many albums Ive created that my parents are yet to like ( laughs) but it’s music and as long as artists are out there wanting to create then I’m also excited about that.
For more information on Brian Mcknight visit: www.mcknight360.com
The Brian McKnight 4 will be touring Australia through Delta Bravo from end of May.
Ms Hennessey x