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NEAR TRUTHS: THE BEAST FROM THE EAST
The Republic empire grows. (2/29a)
DEEPER WELL MARKS KACEY’S “SATURN RETURN”
The planets align for genre-transcending artist. (3/4a)
SONY'S JOLLY GOOD NIGHT AT THE BRITs
Hip, hip, hoo-RAYE (3/4a)
TOP DAWG:
THE HITS INTERVIEW
A talk with Top Dog's "Top Dawg." (3/1a)
SONG REVENUE:
BUNNY BABIES
Picks of the litter (3/1a)
OUR TOP 10 LIST FOR 2024
Just kidding. But we'll get there.
STRUM AND DRANG
How guitar music got big again.
GRAMMY GRAMMY GRAMMY
Start digging out your formal wear and let's do this.
THE NEXT BIG MONEY PLAY
it's not what you think.
Blighty Beat
WARNER U.K. ACT: KNUCKS
11/22/23

Rapper Knucks released his debut album, ALPHA PLACE, last year. It hit #3 on the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart and was praised by Clash for its “immaculate self-production and refined wordplay” and credited with “raising the bar for U.K. rap.” Since then, Knucks has begun working with ADA (following two EPs, a mixtape and a short-lived deal with Island Records).

Trenton Harrison-Lewis, SVP Artist and Label Development, ADA and Warner Music U.K., says he’d wanted to work with the rapper for years, elaborating, “Knucks had been bubbling away in the underground scene for a while, making really good music, and I’d built a great relationship with his managers Sincere and Mark [Henry]. We were able to come up with a plan that allowed him to work independently with his team while partnering with us. It was a very competitive deal, but thanks to our relationship, we were able to bring Knucks and his team in.”

Alpha Place “cemented him as one of the most exciting up-and-coming artists in the U.K.,” Harrison-Lewis continues. “The record has streamed amazingly well and now we’re looking to build on that success as he continues to develop.” The first single released via ADA was “I Suppose,” which landed in August.

What separates Knucks from the pack? The ADA/WMUK SVP responds, “His work is distinguished by incredible lyricism, and he often produces his own beats, which is a really powerful combination. He also blends different genres, like hip-hop, R&B and jazz, which gives him his own sound. It’s like nothing else coming out globally today.”

In 2023 Knucks mounted a sold-out EU tour and a debut U.S. run, hitting eight cities. While he works on new music, the ADA team is cultivating his fan base. “We believe his sound has the ability to cross borders,” says Harrison-Lewis, “so we’re working hard to connect Knucks with as many fans worldwide as possible.”

STATS

Streaming: 3.8m monthly Spotify listeners

Social media: 65m+ YouTube views; 400k TikTok likes

TEAM

Management: Sincere, Mark Henry and Sandy Abuah at Tru Tribe

Label: ADA, Trenton Harrison-Lewis

Publisher: unpublished