Musicians often get tagged by the style of music they offer the public but singer/songwriter, Knii Lante says that practice is suffocating and only works to stifle creativity.To him, popular music is an extremely wide terrain and musicians should not be afraid to explore any patch of it that they fancy.
Knii Lante is generally regarded as a reggae musician. He has recorded several songs of his own in that genre and also put out a reggae version of Ed Sheeran’s extremely popular, Thinking Out Loud track.
His True Feelings album which was partly recorded in Jamaica with crack reggae producers like Mikkie Bennet and Dean Fraser, was launched in the country generally seen as the home of reggae.
He has also featured Jamaican known reggae acts like Queen Ifrica, G Blunt and Cherine Anderson on some of his work.
Speaking with Showbiz on the back of his latest song, Open Mic, which features Flowking Stone of Bradez fame, the award winning musician said, “I have had no reservations about being labeled a reggae act but my horizon stretches further than that. I do different kinds of stuff as well and I’m proud of that.
“Being into reggae and incorporating other popular styles into your body of work is nothing new. Superstars like Maxi Priest, Johnny Nash, Jimmy Cliff and even Even Bob Marley, all at various times, flirted with styles they are not usually associated with,” Knii Lante pointed out.
According to him, he sat with his management team at Deluge Entertainment around the beginning of this year and decided to do some songs for popular appeal.
Tackling material in a pop manner is not really new to Knii Lante. His debut 16-track, Love and Revolution album contained ballad and pop-flavoured tracks like Bo Noo, As Flowers Need Rain and Altar of Love which went down well with his fans.
“People ask me all the time why I’m not doing things like those any more. I tell them it all boils down to versatility. If you sit down to write a song and a pop piece comes out, you cannot throw it away because you are supposed to be a reggae artiste.
In the same way, you cannot discard a reggae song because you want to explore other territories,” he explained.
“We have songs already recorded which we will be rolling out soon and all of them have that pop feel. Some of them are in the pop-reggae vein, others are Afro-pop. It is a project we have embarked on and we will succeed,” he added.
The first piece that came out after Knii Lante and his management’s decision was You with Feli Nuna, a mid-tempo Afro-Pop love song. It hit the market in late August.
That has been followed up with the Open Mic track featuring Flowking Stone released last week. A sprightly blend of highlife and dancehall elements, Open Mic is a feel-good love song targeted at all people who appreciate different strands of contemporary popular music.