A record deal, debut EP and sold-out headline show: Knox shares his path to success

Nashville-native Knox spoke with The Hustler about how he began his career as an artist.


Acacia Evans

Portrait of Knox with a dark purple background. (Photo courtesy of Acacia Evans)

Sara West, Deputy Photography Director

Even though I’m not always proud of it, I’ll admit that scrolling through TikTok is one of the primary ways I find new music — it’s a mindless and easy way to discover new songs and gives many different artists a shot at making it onto one of my playlists. Last year, I stumbled upon a video of Knox’s viral hit “Sneakers,” and I instantly downloaded the song. At that time, Knox didn’t have many other songs out, but he has since released 3 more singles and his debut EP, “How To Lose A Girl in 7 Songs,” on Feb. 17. 

Although Knox’s newer music resembles popular alternative and indie pop-rock bands, his early inspiration came from singer-songwriters like Ed Sheeran and James Arthur. Knox explained that he realized if he began playing around with a guitar, he might also be able to learn to write songs like the artists he was listening to. So he did just that. 

After realizing his potential, Knox began playing at local open mics near his hometown in Dayton, Ohio. He began college and was studying to become a teacher but quickly realized that he wanted to pursue music full-time. He dropped out, packed his bags and moved to Nashville. 

“I knew that if I didn’t try, I would regret it for the rest of my life,” Knox said. “I always knew I was supposed to do something like this — and I think it works out for the people who work really hard.” 

Dropping out paid off. In addition to putting out his first EP, Knox has hit many other milestones, including opening for one of his favorite bands on tour, signing with Atlantic Records and hitting 1 million monthly listeners on Spotify. 

“I still don’t think it’s fully hit me that I have done some of those things,” Knox said. 

We talked more about how he recently got to open for one of his favorite bands and what that was like. Knox stated that he and his sister are huge “stans” of The Band CAMINO and that he would always tell her he would open for them one day. He never could’ve imagined that dream would come true, let alone that his first tour would be with them. 

Portrait of Knox with a yellow background. (Photo courtesy of Acacia Evans)
Portrait of Knox with a yellow background. (Photo courtesy of Acacia Evans) (Acacia Evans)

Knox’s headline show was announced the day after he returned from a long trip, and he told us he was planning to sleep the whole day to try and get past the jetlag. However, he woke up early to post, and his manager called him 12 minutes later, telling him the show had sold out. Because of too much excitement, he couldn’t fall back asleep. He is ecstatic about the headline show and hopes to play more soon. 

When asked what selling out his first headline show felt like, Knox said, “I got goosebumps just hearing you say that. I still can’t believe it.” 

Knox shared that he came up with everything in his EP himself, from the initial concept to details like the cover art. He usually writes for other artists, but he thought these songs were too special to give to someone else, so he and his friend immediately recorded them. 

“Those songs mean everything to me,” Knox said.  

He noted that “NYC” is the most special song on the track, as it was the song that made him realize what he was capable of as a writer. 

“It was the only song ever that I had ever written before that I was like, ‘I don’t know what this song’s purpose is, but it can never be anyone else’s,’” Knox said. “It made me fully confident in the fact that I know how to write a song. It told me that I am a songwriter.”

Even though it was just released as part of the EP, Knox revealed that “NYC” has been cooped up for four years. 

“It’s a song that I didn’t think would ever come out — and now more people than I have ever imagined have listened,” Knox said.

Outside of music, Knox is just like the rest of us. He is a huge fan of Marvel movies, sports, legos and nights filled with friends, tacos and margaritas. Although he has already proven to be extremely successful and released amazing tracks, he let us know that this is only the beginning: There is so much more headed our way. 

You can now listen to his debut EP, “How To Lose A Girl in 7 Songs,” on Spotify. Knox thinks it will be one of your new favorite releases, and I do too.