With a massive headline show set for December 2nd at the O2 Academy Newcastle and a brand-new EP on the way November 16th, we caught up with Newcastle’s urban power couple Silvar and Sharna Laidlow, AKA He Knows She Knows, to find out more about the project and what they’ve got planned for the huge gig.
You’ve got your new EP ‘Light It Up’ coming out November 16th, tell us a little about what we can expect from the record.
I guess this EP is a reflection of us enjoying life, I mean it’s been difficult to write emotional music when you’re not living through tough times… in the lead up to this EP, things were pretty cool. The whole EP is on a positive vibe, with songs like “Shine” and “Trust In Me” trying to bring people together a bit more. Every song has an infectious hook that you will be singing for days and struggle to get out of your mind. I would say expect to feel good after listening to the songs. The lyrics are charming and witty, and I’m sure there is something for everyone on this record.
How long has the album been in the works?
It’s been made over the past two years, which seems like a long time but we were still getting to know how each other works as a couple as well as a duo during the process. It was very difficult to find a producer with the sound we were looking for on this project. My production has a very particular sound and I wanted to evolve my production before placing it with He Knows She Knows. So, we hunted and found Mantra in California and Ini Paja from Albania, and we worked together with those producers on five of the six tracks. I had to produce one, “Just Wanna Dance” is probably the oldest production on the record; I’m sure I made that beat in 2012 and it just sat in the vault until called upon so gracefully.
With all your time seemingly spent on the road, how did you find time to record this EP?
I’m answering these questions whilst sat on a motorway (don’t worry I’m not driving haha). We get a lot of time on the road, we may only be on stage for 60 minutes but we can sometimes spend 10 hours driving in a day, there’s a lot of time to discuss ideas, concepts etc, and over the years we’ve managed to build a rather impressive studio. We do everything in-house to so it’s all done on our own time. We produce, write, record, mix, master, do all the artwork, shoot the videos, distribute and promote ourselves.
You’ve mentioned before that HKSK seems to get stuck between pop and hip-hop, never really fitting into either genre, would you say this EP fits more into one than the other?
This is something that has got under my skin for a long time, we got pigeonholed into the pop genre during our 1st year working together and it kinda stuck. Honestly, there is more hip-hop in our songs then there is on most of the charting hip-hop anyway. I guess you can say this is “urban pop”. I don’t know if that actually a genre but it is now. I won’t say it’s hip-hop because hip-hop is a lifestyle, not just a genre.
You’re headlining the O2 Academy in the lead up to Christmas this year at the ‘Slay Bell Bash’ show, what can we expect from you on the night?
Expect the unexpected, the production will be much bigger than anything else that’s came from the North East music scene before. It’s not just about the songs we perform, it’s about the show we put on. We have dancers, props, confetti canons, screen visuals and much more… it promises to be a night to raise the bar and elevate what is the usual effort of production in the region. It may sound bias coming from me, but I truly believe there is no female singer that can do the things Sharna can with her voice, and live her voice sounds so much like the record you could be excused for thinking she was miming (she isn’t). It’s gonna be magnificent.
What’s 2019 got in store for HKSK?
2019 will be full of surprises. You can expect another UK Tour, an album, at least three singles with visuals, the launch of the He Know She Knows Pop Star Academy and an announcement that is set to shock the scene to its core. We have a plan and 2019 is all in motion. It excites me just thinking about it. We’ll be sure to give you the exclusive.
By Johnathan Ramsay