Singer-songwriter Brian McKnight was among the many musicians on hand to share their music knowledge during the ASCAP “I Create Music” Expo in Los Angeles. The three-day event featured keynote speaker Timbaland, and included performances from various artists, including McKnight. Industry vets also provided informative sessions for singers, songwriters, composers and producers.
“I think one of the problems with music today is that very few of the really good people in this business very rarely go back to even talk to the kids who are coming up, or inspiring the people who are coming up, to give them some insight as to how we did it,” McKnight said to The Huffington Post. “I think the people that did it for my generation were the Stevie Wonders and the Lionel Richies of our day, and I think it’s very important that we do the same thing for this next generation of people, because if we don’t they’ll be left to their own devices and having to fend for themselves.”
The multi-platinum artist went on to tell HuffPost that artists who may be negotiating their own record deal today, should analyze Prince’s legal battle with Warner Bros. in 1993 to retain control over his music, as it can be used as a valuable lesson.
“Most of us artists have no idea how valuable what we do is actually worth,” he said. “So when you talk about being a businessman, you have to do both, because fame and fortune don’t always go hand in hand… If you can get successful and powerful enough, you can sort of get back some of those things that belong to you. But as we see, as Prince is now gone and didn’t have a will, so people are going to be fighting over $300 million dollars… it should be a lesson to everyone, when you’re going into negotiation that is something that you should want and need to have back at some point.”
McKnight also praised Beyoncé for amassing the type of power and influence that is rarely seen in female pop starts.
“Beyoncé, to me, she’s the one artist that’s been able to bridge the gap between the [heyday] of our day and really continuing to make strides at a time when it’s almost impossible,” he said. “So whatever she does, obviously she’s one of the only people in the world that’s able to do that, but it’s pretty amazing to see, whether it’s her vision or the people that are around her, what she’s able to do and what she’s allowed to do is an inspiration to everyone, because she’s doing it on her own terms. Especially for a female in this business. There’s very few females in this business that has this kind of power. So it’s really amazing to see.”
In other news, McKnight is back with his latest single, “When I’m Gone.” That song and previous single, “42 (Grown Up Tipsy)” will appear on his upcoming 14th studio album (Bedtime Story). It will serve as a follow-up to 2017’s Genius.