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Campus Celebrity: Christian Salopek

You may have seen this Australian Campus Celebrity performing at Kappa Alpha or just hanging out around campus and enjoying the outdoors. Otherwise known as KNOE, meet Christian Salopek! 

The Basics: 

Class year: Senior

Major: Creative Writing

Hometown: Perth, Western Australia

HC: Why did you choose to come to HWS for the semester?

CS: I wanted to find a college that could accommodate my goal of recording a musical project while I was in America as well as allowing me to experience something completely out of my comfort zone.  The music studio I work with is situated in Queens, so I needed to be in New York, but I wanted to be away from the city to have space and get the creative juices flowing. Upstate New York just seemed like the best option, and what an amazing place this is, the stars are bright and the air is so fresh.

HC: What are you involved in on campus?

CS: Considering how quick this term flew by I’m not necessarily as involved on campus as I would of liked to have been. However, I was honored to have the pleasure of playing with the Hobart rugby team for their final tournament and I am lucky enough to have had the opportunity to become an honorary member of the Kappa Alpha Society.

HC: How long have you been performing?

CS: I have been performing for about six years now.

HC: What first sparked your interest in music?

CS: I think it was my imagination that sparked my interest in music; the sense of freedom you get when your thoughts run wild to the melody and you picture the lyrics as scenes in your head. From a very young age, I carried around a Sony Walkman listening to whatever tape I could get my hands on.

HC: How did you come up with the name KNOE?

CS: My artist name was originally Knoe FM, which held a negative reference towards FM radio. I held the attitude that no radio station would ever play me. As I grew older, I started to hold a more positive outlook on music and radio and decided to change it to KNOE, which can represent the journey of knowledge – to know and keep learning. KNOE doesn’t mean just one thing though, it grows as I grow, like knowledge itself.

HC: What has been your biggest struggle as an artist?

CS: Every musician has his or her ups and downs. We all fight those inner voices telling us that maybe our art isn’t worth it. I think the biggest struggle for me as an artist has been fighting those voices that tell me to give up. I then come to the realization that music is self-expression and not everyone will like what an artist creates, and that makes me feel better. I usually have this struggle at least once every project.

HC: Where do you find inspiration for your music?

CS: Inspiration for music is everywhere. Up until now I have been writing about what is closest to me, my personal life experiences that have made me who I am. But I look forward to writing more everyday stories that I see in the world around me and embodying the emotions that come with what I witness into the music. In regards to how I get my spark; I listen to a lot music being mostly other rappers, Kendrick and J. Cole are my favorites right now but it constantly changes.

HC: Do you have any plans for after you leave HWS?

CS: I will be traveling back down to New York City and staying for a month to finish off recording and releasing my new EP. Once I leave this wonderful place I plan on finishing the one class I have left of my degree back in Australia and then hopefully making my way into working in the music industry as a creative writer as well as an artist. I also plan on coming back to America as soon as possible!

HC: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

CS: I see myself married and comfortable, living by the ocean enjoying life and writing about it.

HC: What is one thing that most people don’t know about you?

CS: I used to sing in the Chapel Choir in high school.


Place on campus: The garden on the art campus at night when the stars are out.

Place in Geneva: Ichiro

Food: Japanese

Musician: Radio Head

Movie: Donnie Brasco

Celebrity Crush: Emmanuelle Chriqui

Song: Biggie Smalls – I love the Dough feat. Jay-Z

TV show: Boardwalk Empire

Thing about HWS: All the friendly people that I am now proud to call my friends and the serenity of Seneca Lake in the evening. 

Check out KNOE’s videos for Keep Low (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53rxZVsDHgI) and Patience (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hto1bScAMVQ) and his newest single titled Interventions! And don’t forget to ‘like’ KNOE on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/knoetherapper)!