Vanessa Knight
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Vanessa Knight

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For one day only, BritWeek took over the iconic Union Square with a fun packed day of British themed festivities. Visitors came from far and wide to sit back and enjoy the sunshine in our typical British beer garden and browse through the Festival Village for British treats and souvenirs. A fantastic show of British theatre, live music and other entertainment acts took place throughout the day and fun was had by all at the British Airways photo booth as people were transported to London and beyond, direct from the heart of San Francisco.
singer and songwriter, Vanessa Knight was an absolute pleasure to have at the BritWeek Festival. Recently featured on NBCs tv show Jimmy Lloyds Songwriter Showcase, we know she’ll go far! All the way from Wales, via Los Angeles, we were also joined by Alex Troup, lead singer of rock band Troup. Listen here! Also performing throughout the day: The Sardine Family Circus. Originally from the UK, this close-knit family circus regularly performs to 1000s of spectators on the streets of San Francisco. Fred Anderson. A spectacular street show of comedy, juggling and more, as performed at festivals around the world a including The Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The “Les Edwins Show” a one man band playing music for all occasions. - BritWeek


1. Top three (or more) tips for new and emerging talent to stay afloat and last long term.
Do as much as you can yourself. You’re a singer? Learn to play an instrument enough to accompany yourself. A guitarist? Learn to sing enough to do your own material. You can always work with other people but the more you can do for yourself, the more opportunities you can create. Don’t be afraid to travel – there are gigs out there if you can perform but they might be more than a drive away and don’t apologise for being new to the game – one of the biggest revelations to me was that even established artists often feel like frauds, like a “real” musician will turn up one day and expose them. We all have insecurities as musicians but get over it, go out there and make as much music as you can.

2. What has been one of the toughest music related experiences you’ve faced?

Wow there have been a few – stuff sure happens on the road… There was the time when I finished a gig in the Caribbean and came outside to find two men fighting with machetes on the roof of my car. For real. But in more musical terms, I once arrived at a gig in Norway to discover the middle octave of the piano didn’t work – those 8 notes are pretty crucial in most songs. But hey, you work round it, and if you can overcome stuff like that it makes you even stronger (for when the notes actually do work).

3. How did you get through or deal with it?

With my kind of music – lots of loops recorded live and using different samples – little things are always going wrong, well I prefer the term “constantly evolving”, especially if I’ve had a stage whiskey or two but the trick is to recognise it, don’t show it on your face and think musically on your feet to make it work. This was hard at first, of course, but the more gigs you play the easier it is to deal with the unexpected. I love the spontaneity of live music and it can be great if a technical error means you play a song in a new way -often that’s where the best shows come from.

4. What did you learn?

If you don’t let anyone know that something is wrong, they’ll never know! I could explain to a crowd – “the voicings on my piano might sound strange because someone spilt a drink so middle C sticks…blah blah…” or I could just play the hell out of the notes I’ve got. Never apologise, just play better.

5. What music/entertainment related book, Blog, film or documentary would you recommend to inspire someone and why?

When I was 7 I was given “the Beatles live at the BBC” on a double cassette. I knew all the songs, but it was the first time I heard a band start and stop, doing different takes, making little changes and joking about. I listened to it constantly. I still love listening to demos of big artists, whatever the genre, to hear how they got to their final tracks.
- Diverse Music Solutions


Beautiful to look at and to listen to, 5 stars - Three Weeks - Edinburgh Festival


Review - Circles
Opening with a meaningful piano, that makes a statement, you will feel like something important is about to commence, almost dramatic like a West End musical piece. The composition is down-tempo and the sounds are full-bodied and rich. The track vaguely resembles a James Bond theme (a very exclusive club, if you can get into that world). To me it moves much the same way as Alicia Keys' Go Ahead. The way it is composed and constructed has purpose and meaning, helping to dramatise the sombre mood and demonstrate her ability to score orchestral pieces. Vanessa comes through sounding confident with her work, and has every right to. The lazy soft tones somehow portray the desperation the lyrics suggest, but the phrase "harsh words, softly spoken" springs to mind. It's music to listen to, not dance to, and I suggest you head to her website and give it a listen. Like me you might find it a humbling experience. Vanessa I doff my hat to you. - The Colchester Circle


Discography

All of the below are available on iTunes, Spotify, SoundCloud, Amazon etc.

"Hidden Song" EP released 2010
Also available as CD at www.vanessaknight.co.uk
Track Listing:
1. Introduction to Hidden Song
2. Circles
3. Midnight Sun
4. London Lights
5. Lay Down Your Devils On Me
6. Better To Hide

"Live at the Edinburgh Festival" Album released 2013
Also available as CD at www.vanessaknight.co.uk
Track Listing:
1. Circles (live)
2. Introduction to Sweet Child
3. Sweet Child of Mine (live)
4. Introduction to Stand By Me
5. Stand By Me (live)
6. Introduction to Lay Down Your Devils
7. Lay Down Your Devils On Me (live)
8. Love You More (live)
9. One More Year ft Neil Robinson (live)

Love You More - Single released 2011

One More Year - Single released 2012

iTunes Link: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/vanessa-knight/id407387223

Spotify Link: http://open.spotify.com/artist/2RxeOJNdhvPx4kXH9du23M

Photos

Bio

Vanessa Knight is a British-based singer/songwriter/loop master who has been touring the globe for the last 6 years with her piano and army of instruments.

In 2013 alone she headlined the BritWeek Festival in San Francisco, appeared on NBC TVs "Jimmy Lloyd's Songwriter Showcase" (see here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bYUkzoSifE) and is on course for her fourth year as a sell-out performer at the Edinburgh Festival.

Vanessa spends her life on the road, most notably around Europe and Scandinavia where the fan base grows stronger by the day. Her unique use of looping builds layers of acoustic, synthesised instruments and vocal harmonies live in front of the audience, in both original material and unexpected covers of classic songs.

Her songs have been heard on British and America radio, across football stadiums, and Vanessa herself appeared in the oscar-winning film "The King's Speech".

Often described as an artist who needs to be seen to be believed, Vanessa has also been called "Kate Bush meets 30 Seconds to Mars". Having been brought up on a healthy diet of The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Nina Simone, Vanessa cites her current favourite band as Manchester's Elbow, and carefully follows the story-telling techniques of artists such as Tom Waits and Beth Hart.

With two albums and two singles under her belt, Vanessa Knight is currently working on the album "Songs I Wish I'd Written" - a collection of her favourite songs, reworked in a very Vanessa style.

"Beautiful to look at as well as to listen to, ?????" Three Weeks, Edinburgh Festival