With new track “A Boy Named Pluto,” soulful singer-songwriter Hailey Knox finds herself evolving beyond her acoustic roots. Full of synth beats that echo the pop-soul of her previous songs, Knox’s latest is a wind-in-your-hair, drive-up-the-coast breath of fresh air that is entirely its own vibe. This time sitting in the producer chair, Knox found her way to the fresh new sound rather accidentally. “I was messing around in our home studio,” says Knox, “looking for new synth sounds that inspired me. The song really evolved from that moment.”
Producing a new track featuring synth-pop sounds wasn’t the only path Knox forged for herself. Historically an exclusively autobiographical songwriter, Knox chose a different lyrical direction with “A Boy Named Pluto.” Marrying the beats to an original narrative, she created two characters and their compelling love story from the ground up. “This song is a cute love story between these two characters, Pluto and Genevieve. I wrote it with my boyfriend Angelo and he named the characters. There’s a lot of love in it and I hope people feel that. To me it feels like a movie you listen to.”
Building on the cinematic spirit behind the song, Knox had a vision to release a Claymation video showcasing the love story between Pluto and Genevieve. Working with an artist from Skidmore College, a liberal arts school in upstate New York where Knox is from, she created a fully animated version of the song and brought the story to life. And while it’s not a story from her own life, the characters she’s created are as relatable as they are aspirational.
Despite the excitement around a new creative direction, Knox doesn’t intend to stray too far from her musical roots and plans to release an acoustic version of “A Boy Named Pluto.” For Knox, the lush new track is less of a departure and more the evolution of an artist growing into herself. From experimenting with programming and sounds to producing her own tracks, Knox’s artistry is maturing and expanding. “I love producing and feel like I’ve really grown as a producer. I love having the freedom to discover what I want and manipulate sounds I like, be more experimental and try new things. I hope to be involved more in producing my own stuff in the future.”
If this new track and forward-moving stage of Knox’s career is any indication, adding producer to her title proves the future holds infinite possibilities.