‘American Idol’ Alumni, Louis Knight Talks New Single “Maybe That,” Idol Memories and How His Dad Influenced His Career

Louis Knight; Photo by James Foley Photography

Louis Knight is an artist originally from London, now a Philadelphia resident and was one of the Top 7 American Idol Finalists from Season 18. On American Idol, Luke Bryan claimed that Knight, “might be the biggest star we’ve had on American Idol” following his performance of his original song, “Change” and Katy Perry labeled him, “such a big star!”

In 2019, Knight released his EP, Small Victories, which is home to his singles “Change” and “Just Kiss Me.” His single “Change” is a song that he penned as a tribute to his late friend who he went to Lower Merion High School with, that he lost to suicide. Knight has since partnered with The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to help carry the message of hope to those that continue to suffer.

When Knight auditioned for Idol, he was working as a pizza delivery driver for Narberth Pizza and actually during this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Narberth Pizza owner, Todd Rash, had Knight deliver 20 free pizzas to Children’s Hospital Of Philadelphia (CHOP).

We recently sat down with Knight to discuss his latest single “Maybe That,” American Idol memories, how his dad influence his musical career, his upcoming single “Twisted Conversations,” Three fun facts about himself, How Philadelphia has inspired his career, and more, which you can read below.

You recently wrapped up your trek on American Idol, finishing in the Top 7. Could you tell us a bit about your experience on Idol? 

It was honestly just such an incredible experience full of growth. I learnt so much about not only who I am as a person but also as an artist. There were some incredibly testing times, but those are the times where you are your most raw self. And being able to go through it all with people I’m lucky to now call my idol family was so amazing.

What was it like working with judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan before coronavirus forced contestants and judges to film the show from home?

They were always so kind, and truly just want the best for all the contestants. Lionel especially was always emulating positivity, and giving pep talks!

Do you have any fun memories with any of the Idol judges that wasn’t aired on TV?

Yeah, in my audition, as soon as I walked in the room, Katy started screaming “ello govner” in an english accent. I was so nervous that I was shaking and just said, “that’s a great accent”. She then said “No it isn’t!” and then we started laughing. I think that really helped get some of my nerves out going into my performance.

How would you say Idol has changed or boosted your career as a singer?

I’m so grateful to Idol. They’ve given me the opportunity to chase this dream and career full time. I’ve gained a platform and an audience of incredible people to listen to my music.

Did you ever think that you’d make it as far as you did on Idol when you were delivering pizzas before the show? 

Honestly never in a million years. Performing and writing my own music is what I’ve always wanted to do with my life but once I arrived for Hollywood week, the immense talent there was unfathomable. I just kept trying to put my best foot forward every step in the show. It was a dream to be able to make it to the top 10, each step further was such a blessing.

You released your EP Small Victories in 2019, can you tell us a bit about that?

I basically took some sort of an open ended gap year haha. After graduating high school in 2018, that following September, I began working part time pizza delivery while writing and recording my debut EP. Each of those songs are about an experience I had or something I was going through at the time. I was dealing with the loss of one of my brother and I’s best friends to suicide, and my girlfriend at the time and I had just ended as she was heading off to college. I’m so fortunate that I have songwriting as my outlet because it’s truly therapeutic for me.

Can you pick two of the most meaningful songs from the EP and tell us about them?

I’d have to say “Change” is the most meaningful by far. I wrote It as a tribute to Russell who passed away, and as a message of hope to everyone else in the world suffering. It had been something I had tried to write about for ages. After he passed, I fell in love which really helped lift my spirits and bring me out of the dark place I was in. Then my ex girlfriend went off to college. I was left with a lot of unresolved feelings that bubbled to the surface. One morning I got up early to get on the piano and the whole song came out in about 45 minutes. I’ll never forget that day. I finally found some peace.

Then I’d have to say “State Lines”. It’s the complete story, start to finish, of my relationship. I wrote the first few lines as we were falling in love, “in your yellow dress… nothing less than beauty at its finest”. Then I didn’t know what to do with them. I eventually began adding to it as things progressed. I wrote about our expiration date nearing as she was leaving for school, and then about our relationship slowly fading out while she was away. And that’s how it ended up being another sad love song hahaha.

Honestly they all hold a deep place in my heart.

You recently released your first post-Idol single “Maybe That,” Could you tell us about this song?

Again of course, this is another sad love song haha. It’s the self reflection a year after a relationship has ended. One person has moved on and the other hasn’t. In this case that was me.

It has been said that you are gearing up to release another song titled “Twisted Conversations,” can you tell us about that single and when fans can expect it? 

I’m so excited for this release. It’s coming out on July 6th!! It’s sort of another love song, but way more fun and upbeat. I actually wrote it inspired by one new year’s eve. One of my good friend’s sister’s and I ended up kissing, which he did not take too well. It’s about the idea of two people wanting to be together but there’s something in the way.

With Father’s Day approaching, Can you tell us how your dad has helped shape or inspire your career as a musician?

My dad is one of my biggest influences. He was in an English band called “The Fabulous Conga Brothers”. From a young age, him and my mum would put instruments in front of us kids just to see if we would take to any of them. They’ve always encouraged us to pursue our passions which I’m so fortunate to have that support. My dad sits in the room sometimes while I’m writing songs and I’m always running lines/verses by him and my mum. They’re the litmus test to all my songs haha. Not only did my dad inspire me as a musician, but also as the kind of man/dad I hope to be one day.

As a Philadelphia based music publication, we are always delighted to showcase up and coming talent from the area. Can you tell us three things in Philadelphia that inspires or has helped your music career? 

I’m so lucky to be able to now call Philly home.

Firstly I’d say the people I’ve met here. From my friend Ori who I first started writing/producing my first demos with at 14, to Danny Gervitz an incredible friend/videographer who filmed my first videos pro bono just because he believed in my music. And then my producers, and managers. Honestly more people than I can fit into this paragraph. I’m so fortunate to have had such a great team around me.

Next I’d say just the amazing music scene Philly has.

Lastly, I’ve been doing open mics around the city since I was 16. Sneaking into most of them because of being underage to get into the venue haha. My first, and favorite would be “World Cafe Live”. The experience of having a stage to grow and share with other amazing, upcoming talents in the city is almost invaluable.

Can you tell us about your partnership with The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to help carry the message of hope?

Since Russell’s passing, and writing “Change”, Suicide Prevention has been a huge part of my life. When you experience a tragedy like that, I think it’s important to take that experience and try to turn it into something positive in the world. We all have mental health, whether we struggle or not. And we need to end the stigma around it, and let people know that it’s okay to struggle, and that they’re not alone. That It’s okay to talk about it, and that it’s okay to seek help. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Can you give us three fun facts about yourself that fans might not know?

  1. My middle name is “Christian”.

  2. The first two full songs I ever wrote were “Without You” and “Haunted Heart”

  3. I love smoothies and like to pride myself in thinking I make really good ones haha.

We see you got a new puppy named Poppy, can you tell us what inspired her name and how she came into your life?

My sister, Daisy, has wanted a new puppy for ages. She finally convinced all of us, and we ended up getting this adorable Border Collie girl puppy. If my mum was ever going to have another daughter she was going to name is Poppy, so we’d have a “Daisy and Poppy” in the house. It seemed only fitting 🙂

Anything else you’d like to tell your fans that we haven’t covered in the interview and where can they find you online?

Thank you so much for your support. It truly means the world. Please keep an eye out for my next single, “Twisted Conversations” coming out July 6th! My Small Victories EP is available on all platforms if you’d like to listen 🙂 And if you’d like to stay more up to date with my music follow me on instagram @louisknightmusic. Love ya x

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