The British cinematographer-turned-musician Lewis Knaggs has created a life that puts himself behind and in front of a camera. He has created amazing music videos for many pop artists including Post Malone, Tom Walker, and Gang of Youths, to name a few. Knaggs has not only been able to create a following out of cinematography, but music has now become a part of his talents. His new single “Runaway” helps express his bold and creative personality. His trademark vocals bring to life feelings of vulnerability.
We caught up with Knaggs to ask him a few questions about his passion and inspiration about his new single.
When did you find your passion for music, and what was the “trigger” that caused you to follow this passion?
My earliest memory was on the balcony of my dad’s photographic studio playing an acoustic guitar he had lying around. I had no idea how to play guitar, I was just strumming it (and probably annoying anyone in earshot)…I definitely enjoyed the feeling of making noise. I was about five or six so the fact it’s stuck in my memories must mean something. I played piano for a while but the guitar excited me more, because all of my favourite bands when I was a young kid were guitar bands…. I remember discovering that Dave Ghrol was the drummer of Nirvana AND the lead singer of Foo Fighters and it blew my mind…from then on I was just hellbent on getting good at making music. It’s hard not to follow something when it becomes such a big passion in those formative years of life.
Being a former cinematographer, have you ever created your own music videos?
Yeah I do make all of my own music videos as well as make them for other people too. I love finishing a track and listening to the mix and then planning what the music video will be. I think music and film go hand in hand. I see releasing great videos to be just as important as making a song. I grew up glued to MTV and watching music videos with my sister and sometimes a great video can completely change your opinion and perception of a song/artist, that fascinates me.
Did working with such amazing artists like Post Malone inspire you to get into the music industry, or did you already have that passion before you were working with them?
I did already have a huge passion for music before working with artists on the film side of things, but it really does spur it on. Getting to be creative with some of the most talented artists in the world is a huge inspiration.
How old were you when you began to write your first actual song?
I think I was about 12/13…I started off just learning Nirvana, Blink 182 and Chili Pepper songs, and copying the chords and putting my own melody and lyric ideas to them haha. I got into a band when I first started secondary school, so that spurred me on to write my own songs. I remember sitting in my childhood bedroom writing songs and I wouldn’t stop until I thought it was good enough to show my band.
What inspired you to write “Runaway”?
This song is about breaking free from something/somewhere/someone. I wrote it after a trip to the Californian desert where I did a road trip with my friend and it felt like a traveling song, one to be listened to on the road. One of my favourite songs of all time is “Thunder Road” by Bruce Springsteen, that’s a song that I think I have only ever listened to whilst moving fast in a car or plane. It makes you want to get up and go somewhere, wherever that place is who knows. The excitement of just leaving town and going elsewhere is what inspired me to write “Runaway”.
Have all of your songs come from personal life events that made you want to write and vocalize about them?
Most of the songs I write directly relate to life experiences in some way. I think getting older and having many more experiences, feeds the song writing process massively. I thought I had seen it all at 19, how wrong I was. I am looking forward to the future and what life will bring, which will give me more to write about!
Stream the new single, “Runaway,” here.