1. When did you both realize what you’re supposed to do with your life?
Knu: I do not know the exact time but I can say around the age of 15 is when I realized that I was called to serve people with my life, in the same way God served. What my service would look like still took many years to shape and not until about a year ago did I get the clarity that my service will be through creating a story large enough for the everyone to have a place. Of course that is evident in our music but I hope that as time goes by people will see us expand into some interesting places.
Sade: I have had an interest in the arts since I was a toddler, especially in music. I would say it was around middle school or early into high school when I realized that I had a sharp ear for music creation. I was not sure how my gift would evolve and take hold as far as a career, but I knew where my passion was and that I would have to find a way to use it in order to be content in life. When I was introduced to KnuOrigen and our Christian walks and creative minds collided, that was a point of confirmation for me that I was on the right path.
2. Was there a time you almost walked away from it all? What caused the pressure?
Knu: Definitely. And more than once. I’m married and I feel a deep call to be involved in the lives of people in my family and my community. So doing the music has often taken a ton of time out of my daily schedule and a major toll on our finances. I could not fathom the thought of being 40 years old still trying to make a rap career happen WHILE having missed all the precious moments with friends and family in the process. So the thought of missing out on the real reason for living in order to chase something that may not come to fruition is a mind-job.
Sade: I’ve never felt that I could walk away from creating music completely. As far as rap music, there have been times that I’ve considered it too much of a competitive, overly-saturated pipe dream. The pressure of starting out and having to be your own creative mind, audio engineer, marketing expert, manager, graphic designer and total DIY machine is very mentally taxing. Yet, outsourcing to get these things done is financially taxing. So yes, there have been a few instances of me wondering, “where is this going?” In the end I snap out of it and realize that we’ll never know the heights we’ll reach if we decide to quit.
3. What or who most helped to shape you as a person in life?
Knu: Man, so many people. But I would definitely have to say my mom. She taught me the joy of sacrifice and the relentless pursuit of doing (and seeing) good happen through the vehicle of one’s personal purpose. She taught me that everything I do in life should please God and that when I please God some beautiful things happen in the world.
Sade: I would say my parents shaped me the most, directly and indirectly. My mother raised me and instilled in me a love for performing and fine arts. My dad’s music collection taught me how good music should sound. They both helped to shape me morally, and they set a high standard for the type of person I dream to become. From a personality standpoint I am most like my father, but my love for music (a huge part of who I am) finds its roots in my mom.
4. What Bible verse or passage are you feeling at this moment?
Knu: The ENTIRE book of James. So much richness in it. It reminds me that life is a mist but it also reminds me that I need to align my desires and actions with the divine before I hope to receive anything for a God who longs to give everything.
Sade: James is my favorite book. I just thought I’d throw that out there since Knu mentioned James. Right now, I’ve been very interested in 1Kings 18, the account of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. I just finished a book by Paulo Coelho entitled The Fifth Mountain and it ignited a new appreciation in me for this passage. Each time I read it I’m reminded that seemingly ridiculous odds are nothing to the Almighty, even to the point that it’s humorous. It also reminds me of the importance of telling it like it is, even regarding those in authority whose decisions are against the written will of God. The bravery, confidence in God and outright audacity of Elijah gets me pumped each time I read it.
5. Why did you change your name from OOTB to TheKnuBlack?
Knu & Sade: Mostly for branding purposes and Google searchability. If you type OOTB or Out Of The Blue in google you will quickly see that we have plenty of company with that name. If you listen to the music you’ll hear that we still go by OOTB - OOTB is TKB - but we wanted to give the fans easier access to us without having to jump through a million hoops.