If you tuned in on the iPhone X Keynote, you may have noticed the song ‘Best Friend’ by Sofi Tukker accompanying the release. Some collaborators on the song include Nervo Music, Alisa Ueno, and The Knocks. Who are The Knocks? They are a new and upcoming group that started in New York. In their apartment, they used to get noise complaints and had neighbors knocking on their door. Today they are a mainstream group that has toured, played with, and worked with several major names in the music industry today. How did the Knocks start out so small, only to grow as big as they are today? This is mostly attributed to the friendship and creative minds of the two individuals Ben “B-Roc” Ruttner and James “Mr. JPratt” Patterson.
For those of you who are keen on fashion or have visited malls, with similar stores like American Eagle, Diesel, Express, H&M, Hollister, Pier 1 Imports, or others of the like, then you may have heard The Knocks playing on their speakers. They weren’t always on the radio, in shopping malls, or on commercials. I first stumbled upon The Knocks back in 2010 on YouTube. I remember seeing a video with a repeated 8-bit animation of guy doing the running man to the song “Dancing With The DJ” I was a third year at UCLA and I was starting to realize that I would be graduating in the following year. Back in those days, I was going to a lot of parties, kickbacks, barbecues, and basically anything that involved food and alcohol. I was still productive, but those were my pastimes outside of the classroom and on campus organizations. I guess these two things are still a part of how I like to spend my free time with friends. While my eating and social habits have changed a bit since then, my love for The Knocks hasn’t.
Their genre encompasses mainly electronic, nu-disco, and dance. Their vibes are very positive and if you go see them at a live show, you can easily dance to their singles. It’s amazing what these two musicians can do with instruments and digital technology. I like the way the incorporate both. Some DJs just mix and move some knobs to edit their music live as your listen to it, but Ben “B-Roc” Ruttner and James “Mr. JPratt” Patterson play instruments along with their electronic beats and synths. The Knocks were able to capture how I was feeling and they did stick to one method of producing a song.
While I was studying, dancing, exercising, or relaxing, The Knocks and their music complimented whatever I was doing at the time. Their upbeat music allowed me to feel good about where I was in life, despite any financial problems. One of their music videos “Brightside” put a smile on my face because of the plot twist and I shared the same job with the protagonist in the music video. I was able to feel that butterfly feeling in my stomach when I liked someone and when I listened to The Knocks, they were able to have the same effect that Daft Punk’s Discovery Album had on me. That type of feeling when you like someone so much you start dreaming about them with a music soundtrack to accompany it. Cheesy? Yes, but in all honesty, it’s a great feeling. Whether I was in a relationship, studying with my roommates, out with my friends, or sleeping, The Knocks made my college years more enjoyable. I was able to pass on my love for The Knocks to my friends and my little brother. We went to their concert in Los Angeles in July 2014 for the Crystal Arcade Tour and again in August with RAC for the Something Classic Tour.
At first I thought it was just me and a small amount of people who also came across them by chance on YouTube. Since those early YouTube days, they have been growing their fan base. I remember excitedly messaging my brother to tell him that I saw their music featured on a Victoria Secret commercial. To be represented as the background music on something that pays thousands of dollars for airtime means a lot. That was definitely a milestone for the group and it has allowed them to reach new heights. Their music has been featured in advertising campaigns and they have been marketing with designer brand names. They have also upped their video production game and now their music videos look professionally done and they have played and worked with names like Ellie Goulding, Justice, Diplo, Boyz Noize, Justin Bieber, Knife Party, Fred Falke, Wyclef Jean, Mat Zo, Tove Lo, Deadmau5, M.I.A, Weezer, Die Antwoord, Two Door Cinema Club, Calvin Harris, Martin Solveig, Big Boi, Skrillex, Sleigh Bells, and yes even Carly Rae Jepsen. The list goes on. They are more than just artists. They are DJs, producers, song writers, and innovators. They are taking an older genre and making it modern. They even have experimental projects such as Amelia Airhorn with Skylar Spence and Mary Nixons with Mat Zo.
Their newest album ‘Testify’ was released on February 3rd so check them out for free streaming on Spotify, Soundcloud, Apple Music, and Deezer. If you would like to purchase their album, it’s available on iTunes, the Google Play store, and Beatport.