Arts & Entertainment

Marrickville’s Liyah Knight Fuses R&B And Acoustics

By Elysia Cook

Co-written by Diesel, Liyah Knight’s new single Moon Baby coalesces unembellished lyrics, lilting melodies and funky guitar chords. The end result is a rich and multidimensional single.

It would be a mistake to try and define the genre of Liyah Knight’s latest single Moon Baby. And that’s the point, says Knight, who has earned herself the title of the ‘genreless artist’. You can’t put Knight’s sound in a box; the colourful blend of her music would just ooze back out.

“It’s a natural thing that humans do, we categorise,” Knight acknowledges.

Upon first hearing Moon Baby you might think of Willow’s head-bobbing Wait A Minute!. Or perhaps, the floating tunes of Umi or Mahalia. But delve into her discography and you’ll realise how limited these comparisons are.

Moon Baby, a musical landscape where dreamy lullaby meets slinky acoustics and anchoring drum patterns, is proof of this sonic versatility. Co-written by Diesel, the Australian singer-songwriter’s influence is palpably embraced on this track. Knight reflected on her collaboration with Diesel as refreshing and humbling.

“Working with someone different is an opportunity to branch out because you’ve got different people bringing things to the table. If you respect an artist enough you’ll allow them to do what they do – that’s truly collaborative.”

Knight told the City Hub that fans should also expect the unexpected when it comes to her soon to be released TRAVELLER’S GUIDE EP.

“Pretty much all the songs coming off this upcoming EP are just totally different because I leaned into doing that whole ‘genreless thing’, not trying to hold on to any one sound.

“I didn’t want to control it. It’s just this is what was created, it tells a story and this is how it sounds.”

For Knight, TRAVELLER’S GUIDE acts as the encore to her debut project NESTING, a collation of six songs which progressively unstacks her outer layers, alike to a Russian Nesting Doll. The songwriting process behind TRAVELLER’S GUIDE both navigates and mirrors the vulnerabilities attached to opening yourself up to a new relationship.

“You might have to deal with some uncomfortable situations and the ups and downs that come with it. That’s a huge part of why I wanted to be so free and flowing with whatever sounds came out – I was being vulnerable with the music.”

Speaking on her plans for the future, Knight said that aside from releasing TRAVELLER’S GUIDE, performing live was at the top of her to-do list.

“I’ve only released music during COVID so I don’t have anything to compare it to.”

The former Marrickville resident did manage to squeeze in a few performances of Moon Baby at venues across the Inner West; the live music scene she calls home.

“For musicians in Sydney, that’s where we are. Everyone’s so accessible and intertwined and connected in such a beautiful way.”




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