“We are very excited to be involved,” says B-Roc and JPatt, the two men behind NYC DJ duo The Knocks, on the eve of their Sunday set at Jay-Z’s inaugural Made In America fest, which kicks off in Philadelphia this Saturday. The festival, which now boasts an eclectic line-up of hip-hop (Jay-Z), EDM (Skrillex) and rock (Pearl Jam) musicians, was announced by Jay-Z in conjunction with Anheuser-Busch (and what’s more American than a cold Bud?) months ago, but sans line-up. “Diversity is never a bad thing,” intones JPatt, who will be in the company of performers that run the music genre gamut. In fact, B-Roc and JPatt, who make what could be called indie-electropop dance music, are most looking forward to seeing D’Angelo, Jay-Z, Janelle Monae and Jill Scott, artists who firmly fall into different musical categories from their own productions.
In addition to getting a coveted slot at Made In America, The Knocks have been riding high this summer, putting out “The Feeling,” their biggest single since 2011’s “Brightside.” “It’s definitely very exciting to finally have new music out,” say the two, who spend time not spent touring and doing DJ and live gigs at their Lower East Side studio. Expect an EP with remixes of “The Feeling” soon, and although the guys are mum on specifics they do say to expect contributions from “some rats, some lasers, and a few of our friends…” Not only are B-Roc and JPatt talented musicians, they’re also downtown kids who have quite a few pals who stop by and lend a hand to their productions. “We've got some cool stuff with Alex Metric and Savoy...be on the lookout for it,” JPatt tells VIBE. They’ve also got an album in the works, which they say “is very much unfinished, however, we are working on it when we can.”
The little time they have currently might dwindle further as The Knocks embark on a busy fall tour scheduled, supporting pop trio Dragonette on a September tour and then heading Down Under for the first time to show the Aussies what they’re made of starting in November.
Despite the hectic nature of their lives, the pair is amped to get on the road. “Traveling and performing is always fun, and neither of us have been to Australia so that will hopefully be awesome!”
Catch The Knocks DJing at the Made In America Freedom Tent Sunday at 2:40PM.