Ares Knight (AK3) is a hip-hop artist and streetwear designer with strong ties to Pittsburgh, PA and Rocky Mount, NC, who has been writing music since the age of 6.

Ares Knight (AK3) is a hip-hop artist and streetwear designer with strong ties to Pittsburgh, PA and Rocky Mount, NC, who has been writing music since the age of 6.

After losing his father, he discovered that writing music was a mechanism that allowed him to adapt to the events of life, while expressing his vision.

From 2010 he has begun to take music more seriously, creating an increasing buzz around himself, until, in 2019, he realesed his summer EP “Royale”, that earned him the attention of various artists in the scene, including hip hop legend Jadakiss.

Through the 6 tracks that make up “Royale”, Ares Knight showcases his hip hop style, one that vibrates between the sounds typical of the West Coast musical scenes and that of the South. His flow rap thus ranges between very different sources of artistic inspiration, from Snoop Dogg to Tupac, to Notorious B.I.G, to Curren$y, Scarface, Too Sjort, E-40 and many others.

But Ares Knight’s latest project is not a simple exercise in style. “Royale” is a number that extends in different directions and highlights Ares Knight’s extraordinary, vibrant and engaging artistic versatility, which in its development merges very different creative and aesthetic ideas.

Ares Knight // "Royale" - album cover
Ares Knight // "Royale" - album cover

Starting with the sinuous and mellifluous groove of “No Problem”, which is the perfect introduction to the EP and offers a deep and enveloping sound spectrum, Ares Knight guides us, song after song, through eclectic declensions with truly interesting dynamics and melodic structures. Therefore, we have to mention “N64”, a track in which a more modern clarity and brilliance enriches what otherwise would be the characteristics of an old-school, golden age of hip-hop production.

Memorable melodies, compelling rhythms, and enthralling grooves are just some of the captivating elements that make this intriguing EP stand out in the crowd. “Royale” is a great hip hop number, able to combine modern and old-school traits while keeping an all-around fresh vibe. Undoubtedly, its mix contains a modern element that runs across the entire production while making sure the overall musical delivery is direct and rewarding.

In addition to the incredible value of Ares Knight’s songwriting and vocal performance, “Royale” shines for the value of its production and for its balanced and engaging mix.

Warm, organic and incisive, it really showcases an element of humanity and sentimental transport in the songs, offering the listener a spectacular gateway through which to get in touch with his musical message.

With this EP, Ares Knight proves he knows how to maintain really high levels of involvement, attracting the audience with every beat.

“Royale” is a significant step forward in Ares Knight’s recording career, a valuable result that projects him into the future, and in the wake of which he announced  the forthcoming release of “Free AK”, his first full-length album that will be out next spring.

To find out more about this talented artist and get some preview info on his long-awaited album “Free AK”, we reached Ares Knight for a short interview. Read on to find out more!

Hi, AK3, welcome to Nova Music blog, and thank you for taking the time to do this interview.
With “Royale”, working on more retrò atmospheres has allowed you to find a sound that is actually exquisitely contemporary and distinctive. Do you think you have exhausted this creative trend?

Not exactly. I don’t feel like I’ve exhausted it, but there are gears in my head turning. I’m always thinking about how I can breathe more life and renewed life into my lane.

Let’s talk about your next release, your first full-length album. The title you have announced, “Free AK”, suggests a particularly autobiographical cut. What will the actual theme of the album be?

There are definitely some more transparent cuts on the album and I want that. Outside of my pimp talk, my fly talk, etc. I want folk to see that I’m a person. I have my trials and my wins but no one is exempt. We all get cut when the sword of life swings at us. “Free AK” is about my liberation, you could say. It’s about escaping a “shady label” situation and bringing my vision forward, being held down by nothing.

Looking at your past, present, and future recording career, it seems to be in the midst of a creative evolution the end of which we can’t see yet. In all this, what goal do you want to achieve with your music? What’s the deepest purpose of your music?

Music for me is like the soundtrack of a person’s life, you feel me? I’m a big music fan, so my life has a pretty wide soundtrack, but my purpose is to add a sound to someone’s life soundtrack. I resonate with certain people, so I want them to feel they have a go to vibe within my catalog. On top of that I just try to speak growth, self worth, ambition, staying focused, etc. I’m trying to solidify my name in a few ways.

Let’s move to contemporary hip-hop: what are your thoughts on the genre and your hopes for its future?

The landscape is healthy. I’ve been a hip hop fan as long as I can remember. The rap game is in a healthy state NO MATTER who tries to argue. There is different rap for different people and it goes off what you like. People choose to attack the mainstream for the songwriting quality or similar-sounding hits. Mainstream is not the only way and there’s great hip-hop, no matter how you define it. Everybody in the game is just making art true to them & making money.

You work both in music and clothing, having your own brand of streetwear, “Diamond Royale”. What is the common thread that binds these two creative avenues of yours?

“Diamond Royale Brand” is a streetwear brand, but I’ll also say it’s a brand for the ambitious folks. It’s for the people who struggled with their vision and their self worth depleted in the process. The logo is a diamond with a crown on it. Actually I tattooed it on for its importance. You dig a diamond out the dirt to become something beautiful and it’s that realization that you’re royalty. We’re all royalty but it’s all about when you tap in to realize it.

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