MARK Knight returns to his roots with new album Untold Business which is out now on his label Toolroom Records.
The long player pays homage to the soulful, vocal house music that Mark first fell in love with in the 90s and the funk, soul and disco music he grew up with.
Including his recent hit with UK soul queen Beverley Knight the album is a must listen for all discerning dance music fans.
Joining Beverley and the London Community Gospel Choir on the album is an all star cast, including Michael Gray, Robert Owens, Shingai (Noisettes), Gene Farris and more.
We asked Mark to put together a playlist of music that influenced the album and he’s chosen from famed production duo Jam and Lewis’ back catalogue including tracks from Janet Jackson, Alexander O’Neal, Human League and more. Listen and read what he had to say below.
Cherlyn Lynn – Encore
“When I was 10 I used to work with my grandad on a building site to earn pocket money (not sure if that would roll in this day and age). I remember first hearing this played by Tony Blackburn on GLR and it completely blew my head off. I used to always ask to work with the tiler because he had a radio and would play stations like GLR and Solar all day long that would just play soul records. I suppose I owe a lot to that tiler.”
The SOS Band – High Hopes
“This is actually one of the first records I ever sampled (please don’t tell them!) I used to live in Crystal Palace and my neighbour was Pat who is Jazzy Q from Soul II Soul. He was an encyclopaedia of music and I was always round at his digging through records. I borrowed his copy of High Hopes and sampled it for the first song I ever properly released. Thanks Pat!”
Karen Wheeler – I Adore You
“Karen was famed for being the lead singer in Soul II Soul. After she broke away from band, this was one of her first solo singles. She is one of the most underrated soul singers all time in my opinion. What a tune!”
Janet Jackson – That’s The Way Love Goes
“Jam and Lewis were without doubt the driving force behind launching Janet Jackson’s career. She worked with a few producers beforehand who never really got the best out of her, but that all changed when she meet the duo from Minneapolis. Probably my wife’s favourite record of all time.”
Sherelle feat. Alexander O’Neal – Saturday Love
“Sherelle and Alexander had a very special relationship on stage, they looked like a couple, although they weren’t, and it was magic watching them perform. They had a very special connection that really came from the soul. This a record that will never, ever go away. A classic in every sense of the word.”
Ralph Trezvant – Sensitivity
“Formerly of Boyz II Men, Ralph broke away form the band and this was the title track from his album. Slow jam. Swing beat at its finest.”
Sounds of Blackness – Optimistic
“This is the inspiration behind my record ‘Everything’s Gonna Be Alright’. There’s just so much meaning and emotion behind it. Possibly the most famous gospel crossover record of all time, it’s pretty much impossible to feel down when this is on.”
SOS Band – Change of Heart
“SOS Band couldn’t put a foot wrong in the 80s – everything they did was just incredible. It’s hard to pick just one record of theirs, but this one just about edges it. Even in the late 80s/early 90s they were being sampled and remade by house producers, and that still continues to this day. A true testament to their musicianship and song writing ability. Jam and Lewis makes soul sound massive: sonically, it’s next level with amazing sound design and flawless production. This record personifies all of their incredible talents.”
Human League – Human
“Possibly not my favourite Human League song, but this shows their breadth of their range and talent, to effortlessly go from soul and gospel to polished, new romantic pop music. Seriously impressive.”
Alexander O’Neal – Hearsay
“Hearsay is probably my favourite album of all time. It’s one of the few I still listen to all the way through regularly, and it properly tells a story. The production still stands up and there’s just so much depth to it. Again, a massive inspiration for my latest album ‘Untold Business’, and probably the benchmark by which all other albums should be judged.”
Mark Knight ‘Untold Business’ album is out now on Toolroom Records. Grab a copy HERE.