This week's Campus Celebrity is Behrend's own Zach Knight. We are inspired by his hard work, creativity and passion for what he does. We are so happy to have the opportunity to share a little bit about him!
Name: Zach Knight
Hometown: Erie, PA
Involvement on Campus: Treasurer of Marketing Club
Hobbies/Interests: Singing, Producing and Performing
Favorite/Inspired Artists: Justin Timberlake (as a singer), Mike Posner (as a producer)
Favorite Song to Sing: “Levels” by Nick Jonas
What exactly do you do?
“I produce, record, and sell original music and perform at various venues. I also license my music out to a multi-national music company and have recently started an independent record label with a couple of Gannon University students."
When did you first discover you could sing?
“I first became involved in singing at age seven. I knew I really liked to sing when I realized that it was what I excelled at, upon anything else. Growing up, all of the neighborhood kids were girls, and as a result, I ended up listening to mostly boy band music (no shame). I found myself trying to mimic Justin Timberlake’s vocal techniques, which I believe helped me formulate my own style of singing as I matured and grew older.”
When is your next performance?
“I’m not performing anytime soon because it’s hard to book anything during school. If I was asked to I would, but I usually won’t schedule anything myself during the school season. I perform mostly in the summer, because on top of school work, I have three part-time jobs.”
What are your three part-time jobs?
“I work at Country Fair Corporate Headquarters as a marketing intern. I also work at a golf course in Harborcreek and have worked there since I was sixteen. My third job is at a motel, which can get pretty interesting. It’s nice because I get a lot of downtime at the front desk, so it’s like I get paid to do my homework. It’s definitely an eye-opener in terms of some of the people I’ve seen come through. You name it, I’ve seen it happen there.”
Is it hard to balance school and music?
"Yes, very much so. When you’re an unsigned artist, you have to continuously prove to your audience why they should still listen to your music. It is hard to focus on school full-time, while I constantly have to keep my listeners entertained."
What is an interesting fact about you that not most people know?
“I broke my jaw on a bike when I was fifteen, and was hospitalized for a week and a half. The doctors told me I had a 33% chance of never being able to feel my face again… that was scary. Since then, my jaw does this weird popping thing when I sing, that actually helps me with changing notes in my vocal runs.”
Do you have any weird talents?
“Hmm... I can blow spit bubbles with my tongue and make them float and because of my past jaw injury, I can open my jaw freakishly wide. I can also make a water droplet noise with my mouth.”
What are your plans for after graduation?
“I would love to move to Pittsburgh; I have already applied to various jobs there. Ideally, I would like to get a job in marketing and produce music at the same time. Even more so, I am hoping something good comes out of my music, so I can pursue that route instead.”
Who do you look up to?
“I look up to my mom a lot. She, along with my dad, started life pretty young. [They] traveled a bumpy road along the way, while still managing to hold down the fort. As a result, I feel like she has such a good insight on life. Whatever advice I need, she has it. No matter what it is, she’s been there and done that.”
What is your advice for someone trying to break into the music industry?
“It’s very difficult and you’re going to be discouraged at times. What I have learned is that the more you keep going and pursue your dream, good things will subtly come out of it. Nothing happens overnight and you have to keep pushing and building upon what you have going for you.”
How do you feel about being this week’s campus celebrity?
“I feel glad and mostly honored to be interviewed under this category! Thank you so much!”