It sounds like an Oscar worthy movie: one man jets off to India with a serious case of wanderlust and finds himself learning the craft of music through local artists, creating collaborative samples and exploring the rich culture before returning to Australia’s sunny east coast…and then accidentally deleting all of his sound files. Okay so maybe it’s not quite Eat Pray Love, but this is the story of Pepa Knight.
Spinning out of Jinja Safari is Pepa Knight, a soulful, raw and uplifting act who plays the sitar like it’s no one’s business.
Pepa Knight is the breakaway solo adventure of Cameron ‘Pepa’ Knight, co-frontman of jungle rock outfit Jinja Safari. Whilst Jinja Safari is highly regarded for their unique take on what is essentially pop music, this project explores a more worldly, spiritual dimension. Taking inspiration from his travels and fellow musicians met along the way, Pepa Knight showcases the beauty of the sitaramongst other native sounds.
The recently released debut EP Hypnotized Vol. 1 is six moments of experimental pleasure, including hit song Rahh!. Tracks range from the self-coined ‘tipi pop’ styling of Clams to ethereal dream pop track The Desert Guide. Any moment of pain or sadness is fleeting, as Knight predominantly focuses on positive experiences and upbeat tribal rhythms. His sounds are organic and flow freely, accompanied by raw vocals that take flight over the duration of the songs.
Another notable mention goes to Knight’s goosebumps-inducing collaboration with Triple J Unearthed winner and child prodigy Japanese Wallpaper. Waves combines the pair’s soaring vocals and minimalistic electronic style, respectively, to create a song that is both relaxed and euphoric. Pepa Knight is a man of many talents. Apart from being musically gifted in the sitar/flute/harmonium/guitar/keys/percussion/lute, Knight is able to write and produce for his project and Jinja Safari, all whilst being a family man – which leaves me wondering what can’t he do.
This is an artist who well and truly puts their soul into their music. The ambient debut EP Hypnotized Vol. 1 is available via iTunes and Pepa Knight’s website.