Zachary Knowles knows himself and knows songwriting. The 21 year old Contemporary R&B artist from Magnolia, TX has been steadily gaining popularity over the last 4 years with his honest and warm bedroom recordings, amassing thousands of streams on SoundCloud and Spotify. His recent single ‘Cherry Wine’ is bound to be another stepping stone on his journey to success.
Knowles has managed to create a piece of art that is both stunning and gloriously emotive. While he draws influences from the likes of Frank Ocean, Kevin Garrett, other contemporary artists, his music feels fresh and unique. The production and lyricism work together to convey a sense of soft dedication and heart wrenching obsession. He allows us to become entwined with his deepest vulnerabilities in the most penetratingly authentic way.
Cherry Wine eases you in with a fingerpicked nylon string. The intimacy of which makes you feel as though you are in the room with him. The song starts the same way Zachary wrote it; alone in his bedroom with his guitar and a heart wrenching obsession. When he starts singing is when the real magic begins. His voice is warm and buttery and the long tail reverb creates a vastness that illustrates the loneliness and isolation he feels.
The major tonality of the chorus projects hope and love while the verse’s tensions create desperation. He bathes in the joy of romance, then repents at the altar of a broken heart, performing with an unflashy sincerity and yearning. He has to keep it together or he’ll loose her completely. Playing it cool on the outside while he’s broken and desperate on the inside, which I think we can all relate to in one way or another.
Knowles’ blend of contemporary elements with honest sentiment is perhaps a step away from what south-western Texas is known for, but a good indication of where it is going. While he is surely not the only contemporary R&B artist to come out of the area, he certainly is one of the most unique. And fans are starting to notice.
Zachary Knowles is one to watch, and I for one cannot wait to see what he does next.
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Find cherry wine and more chill, lazy tunes on our Lazy Indie Morning playlist.