June 13, 2009

The Finest’s put us on the music map—Knighthouse

By Lolade Sowoolu
Three young guys with great prospects finished university education and decided not to look for jobs. They chose to form a media solutions company called Knighthouse with main stay in audio production.

Aderogba Arimoro, Lanre Oladimeji and Temitope Gomez met in Lagos and a common passion bonded the trio. Sometime last year,  they embarked on a project- compilation of 21 Hip Hop songs, which they entitled Street Scriptures Vol. 1. Not so many of us cared about the group until ‘The Finest’ hit us.

The song, the second single off the album, has not only found its way into Showtime Chart but it’s stayed a couple of weeks, no thanks to the glamorous video that keeps playing on tv. Today, Knighthouse reveals how easy it was getting our attention and how challenging it is staying on the music map.

What’s Knighthouse about?

Knighthouse is a media solutions provider. Our main stay is audio production. It’s made up of three individuals: Aderogba Arimoro, Lanre Oladimeji and Temitope Gomez. At one point in time, we all wanted to be a group of artistes but as time went on, we felt we needed to leave that to a fresh generation and take up the bigger responsibility because we had other passions apart from music.

Passions like advertising and content development made us decide to form a media production company. We cater for services like audio production, script writing, jingle production and content development in general.

Which was your first professional attempt at releasing an audio single?

Purple is the first single that came from Knighthouse. It was the first single to be released from the Street scriptures Hip Hop compilation album. It featured MI, Nyore and Mo ‘Cheddah. It’s not very fast-paced but it’s a feel good song. We shot the video in November last year and put it on air in December.

Who wrote the song?

Mo’Cheddah is the only artiste on our label. She came up with the hook and the chorus with the help from Tope Gomez. All the rappers wrote their lyrics.

Why did you decide to come up with a song like ‘The finest’?

It was inspired by the instrumental. We work with a lot of producers. XO produced this particular instrumental and we like the grind behind the beat. We sat down and tried to think of a befitting song for the beat. So, we decided to make a bold statement, which is that ‘we are the best at what we do’. It was about the collection of people we were to work with and not necessarily about us.

What’s the message in the song?

That there’s a new emergence of people doing great things and we (Knighthouse) should be looked out for.

What were you hoping from the song as a group?

First of all, we were hoping it would put us into limelight after making a statement like ‘we’re The Finest’ . We expected that it would cause people to pay attention to us and probably get them curious enough to know what we are capable of doing.

It was about getting the attention of the public, and also to get other people interested in working with us.

How old is the video on air now?

It was shot early January and released in February this year.

The song didn’t much radio play before it’s video was aired.

The song and video almost ran concurrently. We took it (the audio) to some radio DJs initially but not very many of them put it on air; that was in January. The song was recorded in December. We thought it was taking time for the song to get played on radio, coupled with the fact that our name was not exactly household at that time. We had low presence and we felt like having a video would help.

What did you do differently with ‘The Finest’ that’s making it get all the attention while ‘Purple’ did not?

The Finest has a lot more impact probably because it is more street like. Purple wasn’t so street like,  even though the chorus was partly English, partly pidgin. The Finest seems more interesting. Before we knew it, kids in the streets were singing the chorus.

They don’t necessarily hear the rap but the chorus is catchy and it has a nice sing-along hook. Interestingly, our London audience seem to feel ‘Purple’ more than they do ‘The Finest’.

What has the song done for you guys now, career-wise?

It’s put us on the music map. We’re getting more exposure. It has particularly exposed our artiste, Mo Cheddah. We’re not getting much financial returns yet. Because the album is not out yet. But we’ve been getting shows. There’s promotion for Knighthouse in general.

What informed the choice of collaborators?

Mo’ Cheddah is our artiste. Teeto was the MTV Hip Hop Freestyle champion last year.

So, that makes him the ‘freestyle finest’. Apart from that,  he’s been a supportive friend of the house. So, we felt it was a good platform for him to be exposed. As for Saucekid, it’s the way he rides on the beat (his rap). We hooked up with him over the internet and he agreed to get involved.

Did you guys envisage this magnitude of acceptance?

Well, we were hoping it would get a lot of acceptance and I wouldn’t really say we thought it would come this quickly. I mean we were expecting acceptance but then we thought it would come over time. Although when Clarence finished the video, we were pretty confident that the song would get a lot of air play.

What’s up next?

There’s a third single already on the internet. It’s called ‘Ijinle Pam Pam’ and specifically dedicated to Naija Djs holding it down in diaspora. It features YQ, Kel, El Dee and Mo’ Cheddah. It’s even more street-like than ‘The Finest’. So, we’re planning on taking it to the streets first before shooting its video.