“Whenever I sing, I’m singing for you…”
A McKnight performance is something to behold. C McKnight means Soul. A stage and studio singer, songwriter, and musician inspired by life, love, and the beings therein, Melvin C. McKnight aka Blaqmel is a man in love with love. And there’s just something sexy about him. Sensuous and passionate he delivers an intimate experience one-on-one with his audience. “Whenever I sing, I’m singing for you,” are lyrics from Mel’s iTunes release “Whenever I Sing” that expresses how he feels about and is inspired by his family, friends, and fans and maybe explains why Mel is so loved. He wrote this song to assure everyone he was still connected to them even though his music career sometimes does not allow him to interact with them like they would like.
Blaqmel grew up in a foster home where over 100 children of all ethnicities were raised with lots of love and lots of music and musical styles. He's been on the music scene as a professional performer for 15 years, Melvin is also the Creator, Lead Vocalist and Arranger for his band Malicious Soul, a funky quartet that’s also a resident band at New Brunswick’s premiere Ethiopian restaurant, Makedas. He performs explosive solo acoustic sets to band sets at cafes, clubs, colleges, festivals, and major concerts. He's performed with TM Stevens’ touring band, the Tramps, and toured with John Legend and opened for Howard Hewitt, Regina Bell, Schoolly D, Leela James, Jazmine Sullivan, and Will Downing. Also an experienced studio session musician who's a regular on Mission Records (a house music label based out of Piscataway, NJ), Mel has laid guitar tracks for Eric Morello, Jose Nunez, James Holloway of Novakain Entertainment, Todd Gardner, Harry Choo Choo Romero, TM Stevens, Pras of the Fugees, Lauren Hill, and Lil’ Flip.
Influenced by Jehovah, his parents, P-funk, Stevie Wonder, Larry Graham, Sly Stone, Jimi Hendrix, Sam cook, Miles Davis, Living Colour, Bad Brains, Funkadelic, Fred Hammond, Vinx, TM Stevens, Jeffery Osborne, Steve Perry, Prince, Motown Greats, and Jeffery Gaines to name a few, Melvin feels a sense of history has emerged from his playing. “I want to show people that I respect where I came from while at the same time giving them something new to think about.”
Mel has the uncanny knack to make a cover his own while making his originals familiar. His catchy originals are woven seamlessly into the fabric of classic material from Prince, Bill Withers, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and Donny Hathaway. His lyrics are accessible and his arrangements textured. In 2006 Blaqmel released his debut album, “Straight From Uptown” co-produced by Jesse Fisher with Lee Hogans on trumpet and Antar Goodwin on bass. A flowing project filled with classics that makes one feel loved, missed, wanted, strong. In keeping in time with the digital market and his growing global audience, Mel in 2009 produced a digital release of his timeless project on 101Distribution.com and single "Whenever I Sing" on iTunes worldwide, Napster, Rhapsody, and Amazon. His catchy tunes and hooks are also great for licensing for commercials, soundtracks, and television. Currently, Mr. McKnight is working on a three single release for the summer of 2010.
His band, Malicious Soul, which is composed of students and alumni of the Julliard School, Berkeley School of Music, and Mason Gross School of the Arts, provides a stunning display of musicianship as well as laying down pure unadulterated funk.
Dubbed by his local media as the “Godfather of the New Brunswick Music Scene,” Melvin C. McKnight aka Blaqmel has a broad audience and cross-over market appeal. “A McKnight performance is something to behold with the guitarist playing like Jimi Hendrix and jumping around the stage … and sometimes on the bar … like a Lynn Swann.” —Chris Jordan (Central Jersey Home News Tribune)
With catchy lyrics oozing sentiments we all feel, Mel’s music becomes classic reverberating on the hearts and lips of the masses.
Blaqmel (also solo artist) - acoustic and electric guitar
Straight From Uptown (LP)
*01 Know Who You Are
*02 Come To My Party
*03 My Place
*04 Dark Chocolate 4Blaqmel
*05 Situations (in rotation FM broadcast)
*06 If You
*07 Brutha Why (in rotation FM broadcast)
*08 Whenever I Sing (single released on iTunes)
*09 Together (Clean)
*10 Together (Dirty)
Sets are based on the client's request. Blaqmel's repertoire consists of soul, alternative soul, funk, and progressive rock tunes and unless all covers are requested, a Blaqmel set is of a combination of covers and his originals.
Length: 30 - 45 minutes
Frequency: up to 3 sets in 6 hours
*covers from Bill Withers, Sam Cooke, Eric Benet, James Taylor, Harlem Blues and some Stevie Wonder incl. If It's Magic and Love In Need of Love
Band Set: covers include
*Michael Jackson: Billy Jean, Rock With You, Butterfly
*Sam Cooke: A Change Is Gonna Come, Cupid
*Phil Collins: Air Of The Night
*Eurythmics: Sweet Dreams
*Steve Miler: Fly Like An Eagle
*Ideal: Get Gone
*Prince: When Doves Cry, Pop Life, Kiss, Purple Rain, Sexy M***F***
Originals (Solo & Band):
Straight From Uptown (LP)
*Know Who You Are
*Come To My Party
*Dark Chocolate 4Blaqmel
*Whenever I Sing