Chicago born producer, Marshall Knights has already achieved more in his career than most musicians dream possible. As a writer, singer, and music director Marshall has made an incredible impact in music. With a music career that began at the young age of 10 years old, Marshall began to unpack his exceptional creative power. By the time he was 17 years old, Marshall played the bass guitar and trumpet. As a formally trained musician, he later added the upright bass, piano and saxophone to the list of instruments he uses to create beautiful music. His attention to the art of music and ability to cross various music genres is why he is sought by diverse artists in the industry.
Marshall served as the visionary and music director of the nine-piece ensemble, Zzaje’ (pronounced zah-jay). Under his leadership, Zzaje’ was without a doubt a musical feast of sound and energy, showcasing a cross section of soul, funk, jazz, hip-hop, rock and classical genres. The band released their debut album, Live From Chicago, in 2004. The band left an indelible mark on the music industry, and gained the respect of their peers in both domestic and international markets. During their time together they played with a host of legendary talents including Roy Ayers, Erykah Badu, Brian McKnight, Nancy Wilson, Outkast, Khemistry, Floetry, Eric Roberson, Amel Larrieux, Kindred, El Debarge, Tye Tribbett, and the Wu Tang Clan, to name a few. After capitalizing on a successful 15 year run, Marshall and the members of Zzaje began to elevate their music careers as solo musicians.
Throughout the years Marshall has also produced a wide range of music for other artists including Jennifer Hudson, Chico Debarge, Joe, MC Lyte, Malik Yusef, Psychodrama, Raekwon, and a host of others. He believes the intention of the song is the top priority when serving in the producer role, as his approach to creating music is organic.
As a socially conscious individual, Marshall relishes in the opportunity to positively impact young people. Seeing a need for young people to engage in the arts, he created Mic Check, as a youth program with the Chicago Urban League. As a positive youth development program, Mic Check provides instruction in music production and audio engineering to promote creative self-expression, boost the self-concept of participating youth, and enhance leadership and teamwork skills. Marshall has also mentored many youth over the years, providing private lessons for youth learning to play the bass guitar, trumpet, and piano; and training youth in the many facets of studio production. Through this work, he has used music as means to inspire, empower, and establish common ground with young people, keeping them out of trouble and helping them to pursue their interests in music.
His first solo album, The Marshall Knights Experience, was released in January of 2015. Created to cross boundaries between the musical genres of hip hop, R&B, gospel, rock, and soul; The Marshall Knights Experience showcased his talents as a musical maven. His sophomore album, RISE, will be released in 2017.