Brian McKnight’s New Project To Include ‘Ode To Steely Dan’

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(Photo: Joe Murphy/Getty Images)

(Photo: Joe Murphy/Getty Images)

the-wave-blue-gold-125 Britt Bickel
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Though Brian McKnight originally “hadn’t planned on making another CD or record” anytime soon, the R&B crooner had a change of heart once creativity struck and ideas for songs started coming in.

McKnight sat down with The WAVE’s Pat Prescott for a candid conversation about his new project and dealing with harsh criticism from fans after his recent foray into the x-rated world, explaining that his focus for songwriting has now gone back to his roots.

Listen to our complete interview with Brian McKnight in the segments below.

Part one – Brian explains his writing process and why he likes taking his music in new directions.

“I decided to write some more, to really go back to the root of what I began in ’89/’90,” said Brian. “Maybe there was something, not necessarily the way the songs were crafted and what I wrote, but the feeling of what I was doing.”

He adds that some fans can be too critical when comparing music in his catalog, saying that his newer albums don’t hold up to some of the classics. However to Brian, experimenting with music is all part of growing and evolving as an artist.

“I keep hearing this phrase ‘you need to stay in your lane,’ and I hate that,” he said. “I think that we compartmentalize things so much that we stifle creativity.”


Part two – Brian talks writing ode to Steely Dan, working with Colbie Caillat and handling negativity from fans on social media.

When it comes to experimenting with music, like with his shocking x-rated songs, Brian explains how now with social media, it’s easier for fans to criticize his work.

“Your skin has to be a lot thicker now than ever before,” said Brian. “Now, they really want to let people to know how clever they are by saying how bad you are.”

With his new project Words currently in the works, Brian told Pat about the inspiration behind this new album.

“I’ve been waiting for years to do an ode to Steely Dan, and I just hadn’t come up with the right kind of tune. Then last night, something came…if I got a call from Donald Fagen saying ‘hey man, that was cool,’ that would make my whole life,” said Brian.

In addition to his Steely Dan-inspired ode, Brian is working on songs with Middle Eastern tones and rhythms for a truly eclectic album.

He also talks about how he and Colbie Caillat came together for a collaboration for the title song on Words after meeting the singer on a plane.

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