Where did TaReef KnockOut come from?
TaReef KnockOut originally came from my friend Michael “Murkem” Wright who at the time around 2010 called me “KO” for my ability to “knockout” songs with my punchlines and record them in a quick time. I’m Muslim, so I later added TaReef which is Arabic, and means rare or uncommon to complete the acronym of “TKO”. And that’s what I feel my style has brought to the music industry and business moving forward. I’m striving for my legacy to be up there with the all time hip hop heavyweights.
Who/what has been an influence in your music?
Man, I have so many influences musically I can’t name them all. A few of my favorites are Jay-Z, Lupe Fiasco, Kanye West and Tupac. Of the new age rappers J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, and Nipsey Hussle. I listen to a lot Hip-Hop obviously, Jazz, and Reggae music as well as alternative music which has molded my sound over the years and continues to grow with time.
How has the industry evolved over the years?
It has become a microwave society in recent years and consuming music is way easier for fans to attain via internet streaming services etc. The great thing about it is that new artist(s) are being discovered daily, but the flip side of that is I feel like good music isn’t appreciated collectively anymore. A majority of people now consider new music old after only a few weeks of being released which is sad personally. Only real music will last when it’s all said and done.
What’s the craziest thing to happen at a show?
Definitely having people who I’ve absolutely never met or seen in my life come up and tell me they’re a huge fan of my music. It’s extremely humbling to hear. I had a show recently where a few fans were there for a show I opened and they asked me to play a song I didn’t have on my set that night. I chuckled on stage in rebuttal and couldn’t believe it ,”they know my music?!” But that’s always cool and one of the great things about performing live, you never know who might show up.
What brings people to your shows?
If you’re a true fan of hip hop music and respect the passion behind it then come to my show(s). More recently people have showed up because they want to see me perform live to resolve their internal uncertainties about me and my music. Once you leave from one of my shows it’ll give you a much clearer vision and understanding of who and what TaReef KnockOut is all about.
What’s next for you?
Musically, the second half of 2017 will be amazing and I’m super excited. I’m currently working on a new song for the Florida State Football team this season, which will release this August. I have a new album in the early stages of development. And I have teamed up with a local domestic violence activist group to do a song on promoting healthy teen/adult dating which will be coming later this fall. I’m always working on new ways for branding/marketing so expect more TaReef KnockOut merchandise as well to wrap up the year.
Where can people find you on social media?
You can easily find me worldwide @ TaReef KnockOut on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, SoundCloud and YouTube. Make sure to follow me and subscribe! You can also check out my official website at http://www.tareefknockout.com
Describe TaReef KnockOut in 5 words or less?
I believe I will fly.
📸: Robert Jenkins