knee-He-low is a native Chamorro, was raised in Guam, and is now one of our new favorite emcees.
Just listen to his 2019 singles “Get It” and “Fuego”, available on Spotify, and you can understand why. Once you get to know him, your appreciation for this young man of God grows even more.
Working with several prominent artists within the indie CHH community, such as MvkeyyJ, Phaino, Fvmeless, and Plain James, knee-He-low is establishing his roots in the culture. However, the journey started on a small island in the mid-90s.
“Growing up in Guam as a kid, I didn’t realize how poor we were until I got older.”
“We moved around the island from village to village that was similar to third world like areas. I mainly lived in the village of Barrigada growing up in a 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom house with five siblings, my parents, grandmother, uncles, and their girlfriends. We were all sharing rooms, but Guam overall is such a beautiful island when you explore it.”
From a modest beginning, knee-He-low now finds himself and his wife living life in Pennsylvania.
“My wife is originally from central Pennsylvania so [that is where] we currently live. I’ve been out here for a little over a year now. I moved here from Nashville, Tennessee.”
Obviously, Nashville is a mecca for creating musically – not a reputation that is attached to central Pennsylvania.
“It’s very scarce, very scarce.”
“Studios out here are very seldom and the engineers I’ve worked with don’t have an ear for rap vocals. That’s why I have my own gear.”
Making the best of the current situation, knee-He-low handles the bulk of his music process. He has even tried his hand at production. In this way, he is similar to many artists within CHH. You simply do what you must if you are committed to a calling. Every calling begins with a moment. For knee-He-low, that came in 2012.
“I was an active youth leader in the church and it was the beginning of my senior year of high school.”
“A friend who I grew up with down the street, he’s signed to an independent teen-Christian label called Mocoumo Inc., he showed me Andy Mineo’s track “Everyday Thing” and the rest is history.”
“I’ve been making music since 2013 and I actually started in CHH, it was organic. I still have my first songs floating around YouTube somewhere. Hopefully, no one finds them, haha!”
“Another group went by Nihilo and I couldn’t post music. People couldn’t pronounce my name so I went with the breakdown of the word, knee-He-low, it means “nothing”. The “He” emphasizes the I Am. My first concert was at a major youth event, the fact that God used me on that platform to bring glory to His name [that was something special].”
What I loved about talking with knee-He-low was the way the conversation always turned back to what is at the center of his music.
“More Jesus, less knee-He-low. Be more intimate with Jesus and let the results spread throughout my music. I can’t speak for everyone else because everyone has different intentions, different opinions, and outlooks on things. You look at every biblical character and you see that each individual had a different journey.”
“Guys who I’ve fellowshipped with like MvkeyyJ, Phaino, MCMR, Michael De La Rosa, Caleb Tucker, Nato Poppins, and SixxShot, we have conversations holding each other accountable while discussing ideas and creativity with music. Everyone’s heart is different behind their music, the only person who knows is God himself. I have to consistently check myself every day because it’s a daily battle.”
“Once we eliminate Jesus, our message is irrelevant to those who listen to OUR music.”
Moving forward in 2019 and beyond, the plan for knee-He-low is simple…
“More connections, more content, and more interactions.”
“I’ve connected with a lot of artists who are coming up or are established in the game now from way back when. I’m honestly moving towards artists that can really set the bar high for me.”
“Artists like Ruslan, Jon Keith, Jodie Jermaine, Yung Titan, etc…not in that specific order. There are artists out there with very conscious substance in their craft. I’m all about content.”
Rumors are that knee-He-low may have even worked yours truly into some of that content. Definitely a first for me. Keep your ears open.