The Real From Rob Knox

Author: 
Jarrett Lampley and Kyra Williams, GRAMMY Camp LA 2015

GRAMMY-nominated producer and songwriter Rob Knox stopped by GRAMMY Camp Los Angeles at the University of Southern California on the sunny morning of Tuesday, June 23, to speak with campers from the Electronic Music Production, Video Production and Audio Engineering tracks about his experience in the music industry and to offer some advice to the budding musicians and artists.

Knox, an Egyptian-born, Los Angeles raised producer and songwriter, is credited with producing hit songs such as Ciara’s “Love Sex Magic,” Britney Spears' “Mannequin” and also a few records on parts one and two of Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience. Knox is also a member of The Y’s, a producing trio that consists of himself, Justin Timberlake and James Fauntleroy. He is recognized in the industry for his infusion of Egyptian samples and exotic sounds in his work, adding a fresh approach to modern music.

As soon as Knox entered the room, there was a warm welcome of applause from students, counselors, and instructors. After beginning his talk slightly hesitant, Knox quickly warmed up to the audience. His conversation flowed with a combination of stories, motivational remarks and lessons that he had learned in the music business. Knox explained his first experience with beat making: “My friend from high school set me up and literally taught me how to make an entire beat in an hour, and I fell in love.” After that moment, in attempt to develop a sound, he would recreate Timbaland beats at home. He was and still is dedicated to the craft. Knox’s daily regimen was “waking up, eating breakfast, going to the gym, making a beat, going to work, and making more beats.” One important part of Knox’s creative process was never using the same beat twice. But when stuck and unable to finish a song at the moment, he would leave it and come back to it at another time. It was essential that every track he made was better than the last. He then credited this competitive trait to his past playing football.

Knox responded very truthfully and openly during the entire hour. He admitted that networking wasn’t for him but advised that making relationships in the industry leads to success because you never know what could lead to an opportunity. He also advised the young artists of GRAMMY Camp not to sign a publishing deal right away and to pay attention to the business: “Always negotiate from a point of leverage.”

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Hayley Corbett

GRAMMY Camp LA 2012 and 2014

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