Compassionate Composition: Knowbodhi Releases Debut EP

Todays News

BY PHILIP LEDERER SRQ DAILY FRIDAY WEEKEND EDITION FRIDAY AUG 30, 2019

For the Miami-born musical artist known as Knowbodhi, music has always been much more than mere entertainment. “Even before I started writing,” he says, “music I listened to was integral in helping me grow and develop and understand myself and the world around me.” But it wasn’t until Knowbodhi moved to Sarasota that he made the jump from poet-performer to full-fledged hip hop artist, setting his words to music and performing in venues across the city, developing his craft bit by bit and assembling material song by song. And those years of work came to fruition earlier this month with the release of his debut album—Questionable Existence.

Coming in at a lean 10 tracks, Questionable Existence showcases the artist’s literary talents and underlying philosophy with an aggressive, spitfire delivery belying lyrics brimming with compassion. “That’s one of the things that’s incredibly lacking in music in general,” he says, “especially with hip hop and rap.” Songs such as “Bruce Wayne” and “Zero” supply the obligatory “rowdy, party tracks,” but the vast majority of the album speaks to the artist’s own struggles in life, with each song serving almost a therapeutic purpose for a man looking to change himself for the better. “Literally every other track was meant to help me grow as a person,” he says.

A song like “Idiot Box,” with its insistent refrain that pleads with the listener to “turn off the TV,” reflects Knowbodhi’s own struggle to escape the video games and television shows that left him “completely enraptured, and wasting all of my time.” Others, such as “Enduring Love” speak to something more general, but no less important to the artist. “The whole point is to accept and love yourself,” he says. “Everything else comes from that.”

But while he holds out hope that some listeners out there will find something within the album that resonates with them the way his favorite artists resonated with him and helped him, he remains circumspect about adopting any sort of “hero complex.” The moniker helps. “It’s a reminder that if I ever happen to get lucky and I do reach some kind of serious success, to remember that I’m nobody,” he says. “I’m just another person who had to fight and struggle to keep going.

But I hope that I can pay it forward.”

Questionable Existence is currently available on iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play and YouTube. Knowbodhi can often be found performing live on Tuesday nights at The Mable.

Pictured: Knowbodhi released his debut album this month. Photo by Lesa Silvermore.

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