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Where Is My Mind?: Kuf Knotz


Where Is My Mind?: Kuf Knotz

- by Q.D. Tran

You should be no stranger to Kuf Knotz (a.k.a. Ty Green) with all the local press and XPN love that he’s received over the years. I admit that I’ve probably known Kuf through mutual friends (and ex-girlfriends) long before I ever saw him perform on stage, but it’s not hard to instantly recognize that the guy’s got skillz. To think, that he basically doesn’t play any instruments or sing, but has certainly left his mark on a segment of our local music scene that stretches beyond our city limits. You have to believe that this young veteran of the music biz has paid his dues, and it might be just his time to shine. While other, less determined artists seem to fade into the distance trading in their talent and music career aspirations for Plan B - that steady office or teaching job, you can be assured that won’t happen to Kuf Knotz. For him, there is no Plan B - only a growing hunger to just do what he believes that he was put here on earth to do. Make music. Well, you can get a taste of what is probably section XXXVI of Plan A when he takes the stage this Saturday with many of his friends/collaborators at World Café Live for the pre-record release party of his latest solo offering BoomBox Logic, due out on Oct. 26 via Drexel University’s MAD Dragon Records. But first, check out our recent interview with the man as we pick his brain about the entertainment biz, his songwriting process and how an oftentimes starving artist wouldn’t eat Taco Bell even if it was free.

The Deli: So I’ve known you for years now, where the fuck did the name Kuf Knotz come from?

Kuf Knotz: Kuf is short for Kufie (which means “spiritual warrior” and “born on a Friday”). Knotz is my hair. Knotz is a tight bond - holds things together.

TD: It seems like you’ve been pounding the pavement forever with different projects. What have you learn from each phase?

KK: Stay Focused. I also learned to always believe in yourself and your vision and to stay persistent.

TD: You were on The Bodog Battle of the Bands reality show for FUSE TV with your collective the BurnDown All-Stars. How much of “reality television” is “reality”, and how much of it is staged?

KK: A lot of it is real, but most of it is staged...(lol)

TD: Are reality shows good or bad for the music industry?

KK: I think it could go either way. If you’re a good band and the producers and editors let you come across as the band you really are, then it’s awesome for exposure. But at the same time, if the producers or editors don’t like your band or are told to make your band look a certain way, then it could be curtains for your band. Ya know...

TD: What was the stupidest thing that one of your band members did that was or wasn’t aired?

KK: One of my band members had phone sex with his girlfriend on speaker phone in the middle of the tour bus while cameras were rollin'. I won’t mention his name though...

TD: OK, so I’ve seen photos of you at a piano, but in all the years that we’ve hung out during Cherry Street jam sessions and live performances, I’ve never heard you play an instrument. Do you play any instruments? Did you play any on the album?

KK: I pluck on the guitar, but wouldn’t say that I play any instruments. Still learning - that photo was for a cufflinks ad…(lol) No, I left that for the professional friends I am blessed to know.

TD: A lot of your music is about collaboration - do you take a very active role in the production of the music or do you have a more laissez faire attitude towards it giving your collaborators creative freedom?

KK: I definitely take a lead role in the basic beginning stages as far as ideas and arrangements, but then yes, I let the producers or players do what ever they feel. That is what collaboration is all about. Then we sit and go through what to keep and what to get rid of. Then we go from there.

TD: Who are your favorite people to work with around Philly?

KK: Klass Productions, Mutlu, Lizanne (Knott), Chuck Treece, (Peter) Haslanger, Dave Vegas & Dana, but everyone else I have worked with on this album was a first time thing, and I loved working with them as well.

TD: Was there a defining moment when you knew that music would be your career/life?

KK: In College (WCU) when I stopped going to classes and my only interest was writing songs and recording songs on to tape in my dorm room…(lol)

TD: Philly is certainly a DIY-friendly town. Where is the love for the underground hip hop community?

KK: Good Question. I have been asked that a lot recently. I don’t know what happened to the underground scene here in Philly, especially since there are so many DOPE MCeez here.

TD: Why are there so few places for up-and-coming hip hop artists to perform?

KK: I think because a lot of venues think "Hip Hop" has a bad stigma with it, and they refuse to give it a chance...I remember being at a show at some venue on South St. recently and someone went to perform and they were doing Hip Hop and the owner cut him off not even a minute into his set and said he didn’t want that type of music in his establishment…I almost fell out of my chair. I won’t mention the venue, but you best believe I won’t be going back in there again.

TD: Teddy Pendergrass obviously gave you some great advice at an early age. What advice would you give young artists getting ready to dedicate their lives to the music biz?

KK: Make sure this is what you want, because like any other business, this is NO stroll in the park. And once you decide to do it, you have to give 110 percent all the time, and always believe in yourself.

TD: What song takes you to your “happy place”?

KK: Most Donovan, Shuggie Otis, Chili Peppers or Stevie Wonder songs.

TD: You also have an eye for photography. Have you ever thought about that being a career someday?

KK: Indeed. I love photography! All I need now is to make enough money to buy a nice camera and it’s on!

TD: How has your experience been working with MAD Dragon?

KK: I am diggin’ it. Good people and hard working students - it’s a cool situation.

TD: Is a lot of the work for your release done by students in Drexel’s music program? If so, how has that experience been?

KK: Yes, it’s been good. Of course, hectic but that’s all part of the Game. The students are handling everything great through all the pressure, deadlines and communication. I have been pleasantly surprised!

TD: Will the music from the Subtle Ground and Karma project ever see the light of day? If not, who do we have to speak with to make it happen?

KK: (LOL)…I am gonna just put the Subtle Ground tracks up as free, that is some of my favorite past stuff…that and the Karma Project with Mutlu and Dave Quicks - love that!

TD: What’s next after your album drops? Any tour plans yet?

KK: I am shooting to tour. Yes, that is what I want/intend on doing!

TD: You are a vegan. What do you survive on when touring?

KK: Fruits and veggies. And a lot of water and sweets.

TD: If Taco Bell gave you $500 Taco Bell Bucks, would you eat the hell out of Taco Bell or would you give it away?

KK: I would give it away to random homeless people on the different streets of the places we tour!

TD: What’s your favorite thing to get at the deli?

KK: Granola Bars. :o)

(Photo by Michael Alan Goldberg)






Kuf Knotz
BoomBox Logic





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