Raising the bar for R&B artists everywhere, Dareo Knott releases his flavorful and empathic single titled, "On My Mind."
Being raised in a foster home led Knott to personal struggles with trust and neglect, which are recurring themes in his heartfelt lyrical content.
Recently losing his family to ongoing racism issues, Dareo Knott quickly turned to music to help cope with the situation's discomfort. Leading us to his deeply heartfelt and sincere single "On My Mind," Knott packs consistent harmonies and atmospheric production into this naturally warm tune.
He sings lyrics of having his mind made up and finally committing to someone, as they're one of the few who sincerely understand and support Knott and his challenges.
"On My Mind" opens with blissful electric guitar melodies setting the tender and mid-tempo R&B tone. While the surrounding instrumentation enters the track with subtle dum breaks and violin strings, Dareo Knott begins to sing incredibly balladic lyricism where he's ready to settle down with someone he deeply desires.
The track exudes this raw R&B 90s flair that naturally intrigues any listener to get lost in the song's nostalgic and heartfelt atmosphere. Dareo Knott's vocals are dazzling; each note he sings and the effortless shift from chest voice to head voice is truly something to experience.
We're lost in the song's sweet and passionate vibe; everything from the melodic instrumentation to Dareo Knott's warm vocal performance, "On My Mind" gives us all the love and desire we can sonically experience.
We can't help but get lost in the warmth of your single, "On My Mind." Could you tell us more about your lyrical inspiration, and how you shifted your family's challenges into this heartfelt piece of music?
Lyrically my biggest inspiration was myself. I was going through so much, I couldn't let that pain go to waste. At the time I was speaking to this guy from Wrexham and he was always on and off, couldn't make up his mind whether he was interested in me, I would go days without hearing from him and then all a sudden he responded again, after weeks of that I threw in the towel and blocked him. Meanwhile, I and my foster family blew up in this massive argument and they said to me "black people won't ever have equal rights" and "we don't get involved in it (BLM)" then they banished me from the house, I tried reconciling with them but they were probably so ashamed of what they said they couldn't even face me again. If this song has taught me anything people are so self-destructive. All in all, going through such an emotional time, losing people I care about and more boy drama 'On My Mind' became an anthem about loss. You've mentioned that your single "On My Mind" has elements of 90s R&B with a twist. Why did you choose this sonic route to help reflect your delicate and passionate lyricism? What do the instrumentals add to the song?
I feel like it's about going back to a simpler time for me. Even with 'Freakquency', It was the 90s inspired and it's because I always feel like I don't belong here and every day I think to myself I wish I was born in a different time, obviously, the shortage of a time machine prohibits me from doing so, so the next best thing was to creatively express this in the best way I know-how. I often go deep in YouTube for hours watching old MTV live performances of Destiny's Child, Shai, Boyz II Men, Britney, Xtina, all the people who just kill it on stage every time. Especially Boys II Men, how their voices blend together like milk and butter is what I live for, that's why the harmonies and the vocal compositions of 'On My Mind' works because of the training I had from listening to that music my whole life. Instrumentally, this is my most complex composition. But the instruments in this song are really just playing on the back burner, I wanted to give the vocals their time to shine. With the instrumentation being this way it adds more of an authentic, retro feel like it was recorded in some dusty studio with carpets and blankets for soundproofing and old school mixing boards. Could you tell us what your vocal recording process was like for "On My Mind," and how you achieved such intricate and flawless harmonies?
I made this song, 100% me. During the lockdown, there were no studios, nobody who could come to me and help me. I mean I was not only on lockdown but under house arrest from the hospital too due to serious mental health issues. I was all alone and I'm grateful for that 'cuz I got to make something I'm proud of, my own production style and my own spin on what a record should sound like. I get criticized for not mastering my music properly but really I have a very unique style. I think my background in singing helps me create harmonies really easily. I was in so many choirs growing up so I feel like I know how to build harmonies really well. Also, Ariana Grande is a huge help when you're obsessed with her as much as I am. I watch youtube videos of her vocals stems all the time and that gives me so many ideas. I also like to hide little vocal harmonies to kinda hug the overall melody, these are harmonies that don't particularly fit but when together creates a warm, fuller experience for the listener. Would you say that you regularly go for a nostalgic R&B atmosphere within your tracks, or do you experiment with both past and present instrumentation?
My whole music catalog has some sort of nostalgic, retro feel to it. Whether that be a pop track, alternative R&B, or EDM, I just love being inspired by other artists and using that to curate something new and revived. I feel in the future I want to stick with that but with me, you never know what your gonna get, I like to switch things up and do the unexpected. What has been keeping you inspired in 2020?
Honestly, if it wasn't for the masterpiece of 'It Was Good Until It Wasn't' by Kehlani I would not have been making R&B music. That album is just everything I love about music, lyrically, vocally, stylistically and the whole concept, it's the closest thing to perfection for me. Period. Also Liz (LIZy2k) her music has kept me going and going, I think it's so inspiring seeing an artist working their way to the top. Me and her bonded recently on Instagram over a loss of our pets and it was a complete fangirl moment for me. Other than that, people's continued love, support, and reading people's messages and letters to me about how they love the tunes and how I inspire them to be true to themselves and how I'm teaching them to be confident, that really inspires me in my darkest time.