Rising artist Zachary Knowles is primed and ready to share his first release of 2022, “Cigarettes,” out now via Fader Label. The song is upbeat by nature and offers a more grungy, distorted take on Zach’s pop aesthetics, with a guitar-lead melody and catchy lyrics. The fresh up & comer has been turning heads in the pop and indie-R&B realms with two EPs, Feelings (2018) and magnolia (2020), and singles such as “dancing in the kitchen” and “slow summer” that show off his gifted, yet ever-improving songwriting skills.
Following those projects, he released his debut album, tendency to be a loner, which has accumulated over 20 million global streams and included esteemed collaborators and production credits from Ashe, Alexander23, X Lovers, Del Water Gap, Dylan Bauld (Halsey, The Neighborhood, Liam Payne), & more. It was Knowles’ ode to love and all its complications.
Zachary Knowles has spent his entire life leading up to this moment. Hailing from Magnolia, Texas, Knowles was bit by the musical bug at an early age, when his parents gifted him a light-up keyboard in first grade. “I started teaching myself songs on there, but I always kept it to myself,” he explains. It didn’t take long for Knowles to run with his newfound talents; Eventually, Knowles transitioned into writing his own material, and he was pleasantly surprised at the online reaction to his own work as it racked up tens of thousands of streams on SoundCloud almost immediately: “I fell in love with making music. I’d come home from school and write as much stuff as I could.”
In his freshman year of college, he set a goal to release something properly and ended up with a series of well-received singles that led to a full EP of music, touching on influences ranging from John Mayer to Post Malone and, most predominantly, Justin Bieber. He released his Magnolia EP, a collection of songs that take direct inspiration from his small-town upbringing, young love, and the lessons that come with growing up. Knowles’ music has a strong ethos – to forge deeper connections with those around him by reaching deep inside to expose the commonalities that bond everyone in this universe.
“I just wanna reach people,” he explains. “My whole dream at the start of this was to build relationships, whether it’s with one person or a hundred people. Personal connections to others are so important. Music is a really cool way to express yourself in a real way and talk about real-life things, rather than what others want to hear.”
The selflessness of Zachary Knowles isn’t just in the music’s sweet lyrics of love, but also how it was made. This was evident on his debut album, “tendency to be a loner,” which has accumulated over 20 million global streams and included collaborators and production credits from Ashe, Alexander23, X Lovers, Del Water Gap, Dylan Bauld (Halsey, The Neighborhood, Liam Payne), and more who have all shared in a collective vision of expression to really serve listeners in the most impactful way possible.
The project was Knowles’ ode to love and all its complications. Spotify highlighted Knowles’ on their New Music Friday playlist, where Knowles is a mainstay with his new releases. With over 70 million global streams, over one million monthly listeners on Spotify, and a dedicated fan base of over 100K on social media, it’s clear it’s working.
Knowles’ upcoming project is his most personal work to date and might be the closest he’s been to the music, on both an emotional and creative level. The project is reflective of a pastime in his life. It focuses on struggle with self and his realization that he might’ve ultimately been his own “Goalie,” holding himself back from making the music he loves and executing a vision. This project offers proof that pop can be personal and that Knowles is one of its most intriguing and capable emerging song crafters to date.