By Paula Sanderson
Aidan Knight is wandering around a grocery store in London, Ont. He’s with his band, and they are trying to find something to eat.
The 25-year-old Victoria, B.C. native is in the middle of telling a story about crowd-surfing to Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” when he finds the apples. “Oh, hold on. What is this? Royal Gala…”
As he shops, Knight takes a few minutes to talk about his passion for music. The young singer-songwriter is currently touring Canada with Hey Ocean and is slowly making his way east to Halifax.
Knight first started playing guitar at 15 when he went on a road trip up to northern British Columbia.
While traveling, he wanted to learn to play intellectual songs, so one of his friends began teaching him the music by ska-punk group Sublime. Knight says he started out writing songs with really big words.
“I probably just chose them out of the dictionary,” he says.
The whole point, he laughs, was to impress girls. “It was about getting girls to pay attention to me.”
Ten years down the road, Knight is starting to get some major attention.
“I don’t know how comfortable I am with it overall, but I certainly appreciate all of the attention and how people are responding to the music,” he says. “I feel the same way about music.”
He has worked with numerous Canadian singer-songwriters including Dan Mangan and Said the Whale.
He is currently working on a new album. His last EP, Friendly Fires, is a transitioning piece to his new music.
“I don’t really know if anyone knows we’re working on it,” says Knight. “We have a few of the songs finished, but there is still a lot more work to be done.”
Knight says the recording process is difficult to navigate,
“When you’re talking about creativity, and then you’re pairing it all down to a sort of scheduled work period where we have to go and record this here and this here and somehow make them all go together, it’s a very weird thing,” he says.
He notes how organization is key for the navigation.
“I’m not very organized,” he says. “I’m trying to fight both those things to have something that feels like it’s inspired and effortless but at the same time just have so much work put into the final product”
A lot of Knight’s music has been about Canadian landscapes. His most popular song on iTunes is “Jasper” from his Veriscolour album.
Knight is moving away from this, though.
“A lot of the newer songs that we’re working on are less inspired by Canadian landscapes and more inspired by personal landscape; they don’t have as many geographical references or giveaways.
“I’m trying to create great characters that can say the things I don’t necessarily know how to say,” he says.
He has become good friends with others in the industry, particularly Dan Mangan.
“I feel like I’ve learned a lot [from Mangan] about how to be someone who is business savvy but yet full of human kindness,” he says.
These friends have allowed Knight to be more ambitious with his music.
“I feel mostly embarrassed about a lot of the things I say or play; it’s just my personality. I’ve had a lot of good lessons by people I look up to and have them tell me that they really like what I do,” he says.
On March 21, Knight will be playing at the Seahorse with Hey Ocean.
Knight says the two bands are quite different.
“We are kind of the salty to their sweet,” he says.
At the concert, Knight says you should expect some “very off the cuff, awkward but extremely endearing banter in between songs; lots of tuning and just, really, five friends playing music on stage. And hopefully somewhere in that map an enjoyable six or seven songs that we will play.”