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The Knocks performing in Chicago in 2014.
|Origin||New York City, New York, United States|
The Knocks is an American electronic music duo consisting of Ben "B-Roc" Ruttner and James "JPatt" Patterson. They are known for their own releases on labels such as Kitsuné, Big Beat Records, Neon Gold and Atlantic Records and for their remixes featured on HypeMachine, Beatport, and various DJs' set lists. They are also known for their singles "Classic", featuring POWERS, "I Wish (My Taylor Swift)" which was collaborated with Matthew Koma and "Kiss The Sky", featuring Wyclef Jean. Their debut album, 55, was released on March 4, 2016.
The duo's name, "The Knocks", refers to the early days in their career when neighbors would knock on their door for playing music too loudly. Before focusing on their own music and remixes, they were producing beats and remixes for the likes of Katy Perry, Britney Spears, Marina & the Diamonds, Flo Rida, Sky Ferreira, Theophilus London, Ellie Goulding, and others.
2010–15: Magic, Comfortable and So Classic EPs
Their single "Make It Better", released in 2010 on Neon Gold Records, was used in the US for a nationally televised Corona campaign. Their 2010 single "Dancing with the DJ" was an instant online success. Philadelphia hip hop band Chiddy Bang sampled The Knocks' "Blackout" for their single "Here We Go" (featuring Q-Tip) from their EP The Preview. Chiddy Bang subsequently sampled The Knocks' "When You've Got Music" and "Dancing with the DJ" for their mixtape Peanut Butter and Swelly. After the success of "Dancing With The DJ", their debut extended play, entitled Magic was released in 2011.
In 2012, their cover of "Midnight City" by M83 featuring vocals by Mandy Lee, had 10,000 downloads in its first week on the website SoundCloud. In June, the duo took the number one spot on the website HypeMachine with the track "Learn to Fly", which reached 100,000 plays on SoundCloud within a week of its release. "Geronimo", a collaboration with French producer Fred Falke, was released on Kitsuné Records in July 2012. Later on in November 2012, the duo were featured alongside pop sensation St Lucia in Icona Pop's song "Sun Goes Down", which was released through their debut album Icona Pop. It was later revealed that the song was the duo's very first feature and co-produced track.
Afterwards, the duo released another successful single, featuring St. Lucia, entitled "Modern Hearts", in the beginning of 2013 and earned the group another number-one placing on HypeMachine and reached the 100,000 plays mark on SoundCloud in four days. Within the same year, another single, entitled "Comfortable", which featured vocals from X Ambassadors, was released, which was the made the lead single of their second extended play, also entitled "Comfortable", and that was released shortly afterwards.
In 2014, The Knocks released a single on Neon Gold Records/Big Beat Records, "Classic", featuring alt-pop duo POWERS. An official video was released that paid homage to video game The Sims. After it was released, they released a "Powers Sunset Version" which followed on shortly afterwards. This followed the songs "Dancing with Myself", "Collect My Love", featuring Alex Newell, and "Time" being released in early 2015. These tracks made up their third EP, entitled So Classic, which was released in April 2015.
In November 2015, it was reported that The Knocks' debut album, titled 55, was to be released in January 2016, but was delayed to a later date sometime within the early months of the year. 55 features collaborations with Fetty Wap, Cam'ron, Wyclef Jean, Carly Rae Jepsen, Matthew Koma, Magic Man, Alex Newell, POWERS, Phoebe Ryan, Justin Tranter, Walk the Moon, and X Ambassadors.
Work for the album began to show in August 2015, when the single "Classic", released for their So Classic EP, was re-mastered and released as a 2015 re-release, adding new feature vocals from Fetty Wap along with POWERS. Afterwards, the duo went on to uploading a brand new music video for their collaboration with Alex Newell, entitled "Collect My Love" and was classed as the second re-release from their So Classic EP. Both songs from the EP were considered to be a part of the new album at the time.
In the late months of 2015, The Knocks released a new single which was the first song outside of the So Classic EP and other projects that they had previously work on, which sparked much interest about whether or not the duo was working on a new project. It was titled "I Wish (My Taylor Swift)" and was collaborated with Matthew Koma. It was eventually released in September 2015. The trailer for their debut album was released on their YouTube channel in November 2015, announcing it under the title 55. This teased the release of another single, entitled "New York City", featuring vocals from Cam'ron, and was released the following month. Also in the same month, they re-released their official video for their 2013 single "Comfortable", featuring vocals from X Ambassadors, which was originally released under their 2013 Comfortable EP, and was classed as being another 2015 re-release.
Afterwards, in 2016, other projects also began to take place, such as their American "Route 55" Tour, which started on 15 January and ended on 13 February. Also, their first remix of the year was also released which was of Taylor Swift's single "Welcome to New York", taken from her album 1989. This was made the last bootleg of their "Summer Bootleg Series" which was released on SoundCloud. Remixes included Carly Rae Jepsen and her single "All That", and Skrillex and Diplo's collaborative single "Where Are Ü Now", featuring Justin Bieber.
Away from the announcements of such projects, before the release of their collaboration with Wyclef Jean, they announced further that the duo were made executive producers for Jean's 2016 album. Their first single of the year, entitled "Kiss The Sky", featuring vocals from Wyclef Jean, was released in January 2016. During the premiere of the track, it was reported afterwards that the release date for the debut album 55 was confirmed to be 4 March 2016. This was followed on by the track listings from the album being released with single "Comfortable", featuring X Ambassadors, confirmed to also be on the album. This was also among all tracks from the So Classic EP being confirmed as songs on the album, as well as the collaborations with Matthew, Cam'ron and Wyclef.
During their tour in late January, the duo were interviewed by The Daily Nebraskan, stating news about the album 55. B-Roc, who makes up one half of the duo, stated, "I think the new album is similar to our So Classic EP. That's a good representation of what the album will be like." He also added that, "We didn't get to meet Fetty Wap, but Carly Rae was cool. Every artist we featured we previously had worked with or knew someone who knew them. The label didn't put them on our record; we wanted them on there." After the tour in February, they announced that the duo is hoping to arrange some shows in Europe, but details of that are yet to be revealed.
In mid-February 2016, the duo then released their next song from 55, entitled "Best for Last", which features vocals from Walk the Moon. In just under a week after that song was released, the song "Love Me Like That", which features vocals from Carly Rae Jepsen, was made the next single from the album. The day after it was released, one of Carly Rae Jepsen's labels known as "SB Projects", which was run by Scooter Braun, signed the duo under their label to which afterwards they stated that they are "looking forward to this new chapter in our career."
Starting in the turn of the month, the duo launched a video series called "New York Knocks", which features the passers by reactions with songs off of the album 55. The episodes also revealed snippets or teasers of songs from the album.
55 was eventually released on 4 March 2016. On the day of its release, the duo uploaded every remaining unreleased song from the album onto their digital streaming profiles on SoundCloud, Spotify and YouTube. These songs were "The Key", "Dancing With Myself", which is a 2016 re-release of the 2015 version, "Tied To You", featuring vocals from Justin Tranter, "Cinderella", featuring vocals from Magic Man, and "Purple Eyes", featuring vocals from Phoebe Ryan.
2016: Post success and collaborative projects
The day after the album's release, the duo announced that it was topping the charts at number 2 on the US electronic charts.
A week after the album was released, the group teased the official video for single "New York City", featuring vocals from Cam'ron, and was released the following week. It featured footage from the new iPhone 6 and was promoted through the video. On the week of the teaser for the video they also premiered the official video for the acoustic version of single "Kiss the Sky", featuring vocals from Wyclef Jean.
At the end of March, the duo's second co-produced track was released (which was the first track co-produced by the duo since their collaoration with Icona Pop), which was of Wyclef Jean's new single "My Girl", featuring vocals from Sasha Mari. It was then announced at the same time that it was going to be the lead single of Jean's eighth album, entitled Carnival Vol. III (originally announced as Clefication) which the duo themselves later described as being so similar to their collaboration with Wyclef, that they see it as being "a new Knocks album".
When approaching April, the album's post success revealed itself as the collaborations with Magic Man, Carly Rae Jepsen and Wyclef Jean all received promotion from advertisements and shows across the US. They also released two remixes of Phoebe Ryan's single "Chronic" and Justin Bieber's single "Company" from his 2015 album Purpose, both of which were released on SoundCloud.
Later on in the month, they announced that they were releasing their own remixes of songs that they released through their debut album as part of a new project which is expected to be known as their fourth extended play, entitled 55.5, which was going to be 29 April 2016, but was pushed back to a later date. The lead remix from the extended play, which was of "Classic", featuring vocals from POWERS, was teased through SoundCloud not long after the project was announced. It was then released on the day of the EP's release.
During May 2016, the duo have been touring with Justin Bieber on the Canadian branch of his Purpose tour and with Ellie Goulding. Then, in the end of the month, the second remix from their remix extended play was released and was of their song "Love Me Like That", featuring vocals from Carly Rae Jepsen.
In June 2016, they release their third remix from 55.5 was of the song "Tied to You", featuring vocals from Justin Tranter and was released on June 6, 2016. Shortly after, the duo announced that they were starring as a collaborative artist with Norwegian electronic music band Lemaitre, on their single "We Got U", which was eventually released on 17 June 2016. On the same day, Wyclef Jean's second single from his new The Knocks produced album, entitled "Hendrix", was released.
On 7 July 2016, the duo announced that their fifth extended play 55.5 was expected to be released the following day, revealing the official release of their last remix of the EP of the song "Time".
In August 2016, hip hop singer and songwriter Jason Derulo revealed a cover of their song "Kiss The Sky". The next day, it was followed by the announcement of the official release of the Japanese version of their debut album. This revealed a hidden track, entitled "Endisco", which was released through SoundCloud. The duo said, "When we started putting together our debut album, 55, the original working title was Endisco. This was going to be the title track. As the album took shape and evolved, so did the title."
In late August 2016, the duo revealed that they were steadily making their way back into the studio. The duo and Carly Rae Jepsen both revealed on social media that they were working on musical material together. It was later announced that The Knocks are going to be amongst producers Jack Antonoff and Rami Yacoub, which are expected to take part in producing material for Jepsen's fourth studio album, being released in 2017.
2016-present: Testify EP
In October 2016, Whilst the duo were embarking on their European tour, they announced that a new single, entitled "Heat", featuring vocals from X Ambassadors lead singer Sam Nelson Harris, was to be released on 21 October 2016. Upon release, the song was revealed to have been co-written and co-produced by Styalz Fuego. A week after, they conducted a surprise remix of Tove Lo's single "Cool Girl". The remix was released as a surprise track on her second studio album, entitled Lady Wood, on 28 October 2016.
In late November 2016, it was revealed that the duo were working on their fifth extended play and that the single "Heat" was the lead single.
In December 2016, Wyclef Jean announced his third single "I Swear", featuring vocals from Young Thug, from his upcoming album, entitled Carnival Vol. III: Road to Clefication, which was said to be entirely produced by The Knocks. This was the third song that was produced by the duo with Wyclef for the album. Then, in the turn of the year, they announced that they were going to be collaborating with MNEK on the EP.
On 4 January 2017, they released the trailer for their fifth extended play, which was announced under the title Testify. A couple days later, they announced their second single from the EP, entitled "Trouble", featuring Absofacto.
On 21 January 2017, the duo released the official track list of their fifth extended play, confirmed to be released on 3 February 2017. It is expected to feature the likes of Delacey, Tayla Parx, and Jerm, as well as MNEK, Sam Nelson Harris and Absofacto.
Later on in the month, it was reported that Patterson is working with Julia Michaels on her debut studio album.
The band have actively encouraged fans to set up after-parties following their shows where they DJ. Typically these are at colleges, dorms, late night spots or anywhere available.
The Knocks' first US tour was opening for Ellie Goulding. Supporting Dragonette's American/Canadian tour in 2012, they also played alongside Diplo, Justice, Boys Noize, and Knife Party on the Holy Ship!. During 2013, The Knocks began touring with Alex Clare and commenced a college tour with Grouplove.
They have done very limited touring in Europe. However, they have a significant and eager fan base in the continent (especially within The Netherlands) that are anxiously awaiting a new tour.
The Knocks have shared the stage with artists such as Deadmau5, Skrillex, Big Boi, M.I.A., Sleigh Bells, Tiesto, Martin Solveig, Weezer, Die Antwoord, Two Door Cinema Club, and Calvin Harris.
Ahead of Daft Punk's 2013 album release Random Access Memories, the band were accused of unmasking Daft Punk with photos of the band playing beer-pong with champagne glasses in Columbia Records' offices. The band responded that they did not take the photos, which were in fact a re-post from another user, and furthermore many pictures of Daft Punk without masks freely and openly exist.
- 55 (2016)
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