‘Making the Band’ star still making music
Published 10:23 pm Thursday, February 10, 2011
It’s been almost four years since Eric Knight returned home from his stint on “Making the Band.”
The Suffolk native competed on the MTV reality show in 2007. The show followed international music mogul Sean Combs (also known as Diddy) as he weeded through hundreds of talented hopefuls to put together the next band of superstars.
Though he made it only to the sixth episode of the show, Knight hasn’t given up his career aspirations. He recently signed to an independent label in Pennsylvania called Genesis Music Group, is working on his new album and leaves today to perform in New York.
Email newsletter signup
In the meantime, he works as a substitute teacher at Lakeland High School and as a monitor at East Suffolk Recreation Center.
“I love working with the teenagers, because I feel like I can relate to them,” Knight said. “I try to keep being a positive role model.”
Knight was 25 in 20007 when he won a contest on a local radio station for a VIP spot in auditions for the show, held in Norfolk. He initially was reluctant to try out.
“At first, I wasn’t going to do it,” he said.
However, he went to the auditions and sang “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” by Boyz II Men.
The 1999 Lakeland High School alumnus received a callback for the next day, where he had to learn an entire song-and-dance choreography in one day.
“That’s exactly why I didn’t want to try out for it,” Knight said.
Knight was one of only three locals chosen from the Norfolk auditions to head to New York. Once he got there, it was hectic, he said.
“It’s just like a full day, non-stop,” he said. “Practices beyond practices.”
A crowded living arrangement with cameras everywhere, at all hours of the day and night, didn’t help either.
“With 30 people, there was so much animosity,” he said. “It was so much drama. They’re telling us to pretend the cameras are not there, but they’re two inches from your face.”
Knight wound up staying in New York for two months.
“It was a lot longer than I expected,” he said. Combs eventually cut him because, as Knight says, he “saw me more as a solo artist than working with a group.”
Knight has taken that advice to heart, it seems.
“I’m just constantly working on my craft to get better,” he said. “I’m collaborating with a lot of the artists in the area.”
Knight is doing a lot of his own songwriting, as well.
“I don’t consider myself a prolific writer, because for some reason, it takes me forever to finish a song,” Knight said.
As for his family, Knight’s mother, Patricia Knight, said she is proud of her son.
“I never knew it would go from a little boy in the choir singing to this,” she said. “The young kids at church, they look up to him.”
Some people still recognize Knight from the television show, but it’s less frequent now than it was when the show was on the air. He’s OK with that.
“I’m not really that limelight type of person,” he said. “But I still get that every now and then.”
Knight’s new album will be called “Nothing in Common.” He hopes to complete it this year.