His name is Tijuan Frampton, but you can call him Jack Knight. Is that name not “ringing a bell”? Well, his songs for sure will. He has written, recorded and/or produced hits for many including Lil’ Kim, Diddy, Keyshia Cole, Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera and Biggie being just a small number on that list. He’s talented in so many ways. Aspiring artists, writers and producers, he has some advice for you. Get to know the industry heavyweight with our Jack Knight interview
Parlé Magazine: Congratulations on being a Partner and music executive at “TheGenesis.com”. Please tell us about this newly created platform and about the album, The Legacy.
Jack Knight: Thegenesis.com is a division of Billion Dollar marketing cloud Gravity4. It’s an innovative platform that allows labels and artist to better engage with consumers and fans . Our Patented software tools help collect data from visitors and fans, which in turn is used to attract advertisers. As a songwriter and artist myself, I wanted to develop a product that helped put more money into the pockets of artist outside of the traditional revenue streams like touring, merchandise, and digital sales. The Legacy Album was part of that software launch and a chance for up and coming songwriters to showcase their work.
Parlé Mag: Tell us a little about the Jack Knight Songwriters Academy.
JK: The Jack Knight songwriting Academy was a vehicle I used online and offline to educate kids on the power of using songwriting to promote social change. I had seminars, workshops, and programs running in New York, Sweden, London, Canada, and Virginia. It’s something I’m looking forward to doing every summer.
Parlé Mag: Did you know that you wanted to be a singer at an early age? What were some of your musical influences at that time?
JK: I always loved music overall. I was rapping, singing, breakdancing, and writing songs since I was kid. Some of my favorite artist growing up were Prince, Michael Jackson, Sade, the Bee’s Gee’s, and Rakim. I was also heavily influenced by Jazz and old soul classics.
Parlé Mag: What convinced you to go after being in the music business professionally?
JK: At first my dream was originally to be a boxer or to join the military, but I was married young at 19 and I had 2 daughters to raise, so making money was a priority. Music was something I was good at and I was gaining traction within the downtown Manhattan music scene.
Parlé Mag: What was your first big break?
JK: My first break was writing songs with Teddy Riley for Blackstreet and then I wrote a song called, “Virgin” for Chico Debarge of the legendary Debarge family.
After the initial success of that I was getting hired to write for Monifah, Diddy, Total, Jennifer Lopez, Carl Thomas, Faith Evans, Mario Winans, Keyshia Cole, Lil’ Kim, Snoop Dogg and others.
Parlé Mag: How did it feel to be the first songwriter signed to Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs publishing company? How is it working with Puff?
JK: Writing for Diddy at the height of his success was a magical journey. I was able to travel the world, and meet people from various backgrounds. Doing what you love to do along side one of the greatest entertainers and entrepreneurs was truly a humbling experience. His worth ethic in the studio and with his other ventures was the foundation for my drive.
Parlé Mag: Out of all the songs that you’ve written; if you had to choose just five songs to call your favorite, which would you choose and why?
JK: That’s kinda of hard because all my songs are like my children, however I’d have to say:
“Last Night” Diddy feat. Keyshia Cole : was a true story of me and someone I loved parting ways.
“So Lonely” Ghostface feat. Jack Knight : my girl friend at the time was living in London and I was missing her. Ghostface took the song to the next level.
“Live like a Warrior” Matisyahu : that song was about my daughter and her going thru teenage challenges. I wanted her to have something to listen too and get inspired by.
“Sitting Home ” Total – marked a time when me and my wife were having issues because I was on the road all the time, so I wrote that song to let her know that I was aware of how she was feeling.
“Future Girl” Jack knight. This song to me marked the launch of thegenesis.com, and reminded me of all the songs my parents danced and vibe too.
Parlé Mag: What one piece of advice can you give, to help someone aspiring to be a songwriter/producer/artist, that might be on the outside looking in at the glitz and glamour part, of the music business?
JK: Think about what you want to do first… put a plan together… then work hard every day to stick to that plan until you reach your goals. I have a saying “make the honey sweet and the bee’s of life will attract.” Whatever your craft or profession do your best and the right people will begin to take notice.
Parlé Mag: As a multi-talented person, what is next for you?
JK: I think creativity and innovation on levels is what’s next for me. Music was one expression, but screenwriting, directing, acting, and diving deeper into software and technology are well on the horizon. I think being African American and the head of a small start-up in Silicon Valley is the perfect incubator for everything I dream of doing.
Jack Knight’s book, The Art of Writing A Hit Song: The Urban Experience is recommended reading for upcoming songwriters and entertainers.