Melvin Knight and the Amber Sky is a Champaign-based, R&B and pop group. Ahead of the group’s set at this year’s Pygmalion Festival, buzz sat down with Melvin Knight, the frontman for the band, and discussed playing live, musical inspirations and their dream bill.
buzz: Can you describe your sound?
Melvin Knight: I would say we’re influenced a lot by the 70s and 80s, like Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, those kinds of guys.
buzz: What is one thing you want people to know about Melvin Knight?
MK: That we’re here and that we’re playing, so come see us play and check out our music.
buzz: What are you most excited about for Pygmalion?
MK: I’m most excited to be back again. The first time we played it was like being somewhere we had certainly never been before, as far as that kind of stage and that kind of light, and now, I’m looking forward to being back and owning it, showing that we belong there.
buzz: Do you have a favorite part about performing live?
MK: One thing I like most about live performances is how every show is different, how each show has a different aspect, how there are things that are unexpected as far as me interacting with the stage, it’s totally different, and interacting with the audience as well.
buzz: You recently released a new album. Are there any songs you’re especially looking forward to playing live?
MK: I’ve played a lot of them before, but probably the title song, “Shades of Us,” I always enjoy playing that.
buzz: If you could perform with anyone, living or dead, who would you choose and why?
MK: Stevie Wonder, Frank Ocean, Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield. They’re my main influences and I just want to pull from all of their energy and learn how to move an audience the way that they do.
Catch Melvin Knight and the Amber Sky at the Pygmalion Street Stage this Saturday, Sept. 29 from 7 to 8 p.m.