We here at joonbug have a deep appreciation for musicians who play at our parties. If it wasn’t for them, our parties would just be a bunch of people standing around staring at each other like a bad high school reunion. Who wants to party like that?
Nevertheless, we hold a special place on our website for people like O’neal Mcknight. Musician, stylist, and overall great person, O’neal is always ready to bring a positive attitude to everything he puts his mind to. His career is quickly rising to an astronomical level and I was privileged to conduct a follow-up to his Halloween interview to ask him questions about his thoughts on where he’s come from and what to expect for the coming year.
Brady Berthelson: So, what have you been working on since we last talked to you for Halloween?
O’Neal McKnight: Today I'm headed to Verizon studios to record a song for the brand. And just living in the studio working with new producers on new material. People like Scram Jones, The Knocks, Nelly Pro-tools, Steve Sola and Arie Deutsch, just to name a few.
BB: With all the time you’re currently spending in the studio, can we expect anything new and exciting for your New Year’s performance?
OM: Yeah, I changed my play list a bit, added new stuff and took out other stuff. I guarantee Amnesia will be jumping New Year’s Eve! Fo’ sho!
BB: When the clock strikes midnight, who would be your number 1 person to lock lips with?
OM: Leighton Meester. (Stares off in the distance.)
BB: Hey! (Snaps fingers) Come on back! ... What are your resolutions for the New Year?
OM: To focus on the positive and keep people dancing.
BB: “Keep people dancing.” I like it. Strive for something fun rather than something selfish. Do you prefer working on expanding your musical repertoire in the studio or working the club circuit?
OM: I plan on expanding what I got. The clubs just allow me to understand what the people want, and the experiences are real.
BB: You have maintained a long appreciation for the work of Michael Jackson. Do you see your musical career as following in his footsteps?
OM: WOW! I dream to influence music, people, and the world like Michael did. He is my inspiration, the reason why I do this. To bring joy to the world through dance.
BB: Sounds like if you keep to your resolution, you should achieve that… You’ve had a lot of experience working with various people in the music industry. Who would be your “dream team” to work with on an album?
BB: Damn! That’s quite a group to work with! … In your opinion, what is the worst trend plaguing popular music today?
OM: Can't say. I respect people expressing themselves.
BB: Really? I can’t even begin to count the number of things I hate about pop music.
OM: (Shrugs) Focus on the positive.
BB: Anyway, you’ve attributed your unique musical style to homage that of ‘80s artists and styles. As current styles change, will you adjust your particular interests to match these changes?
OM: No. I'm setting the tone. I'm a brand.
BB: Okay. Being a unique stylist yourself, do you ever adjust yourself to these changes or have you always followed your own path?
OM: No. Let me repeat, I AM setting the tone. I AM a brand.
BB: ‘Nuff said. As a former celebrity stylist, do you often find yourself criticizing the wardrobes of your fellow artists, either secretly or vocally?
OM: Secretly "YES" LOL!!!! (Names omitted to protect the guilty.)
BB: You put Christopher Lloyd in you video for “Check Your Coat.” Any surprise guest appearances in any future projects?
OM: YES! Can’t reveal anything yet. Keep watching.
BB: If you had the opportunity to remake a classic '80s movie with a modern flair, what would it be?
OM: TEEN WOLF! Gotta love Michael J. Fox.
BB: I think we’re all waiting for that one, and hoping that it doesn’t suck.
OM: Not if I have a hand in it.
BB: True… Your career is extremely versatile, singing, dancing, fashion styling, acting, is there any medium which you wouldn’t dare to venture?
OM: No. If it's creating art, I'm with it as long as it's respectful and not hurtful.
BB: Looking at your career so far, I’d say you’ve kept to that model. Now, you started your music career at a considerably older age than most of your contemporaries. Do you think this puts you at a slight disadvantage in the industry?
OM: Not at all. I already know more. I've seen it. I've been around the best: Michael Jackson, Russell Simmons, and Diddy, from the business side to being an artist. I have the advantage.
BB: Speaking of who you’ve shared company with, you’ve met so many celebrities in your career. Aside from the first time you met MJ, do you ever feel intimidated meeting such influential people as Nelson Mandela or Muhammad Ali?
OM: No, because I feel my path is the same as theirs; to help change the world and bring awareness.
BB: That’s an admirable quality to attach to your career. Given the vast number of acquaintances in your Rolodex, who is one person that you are just dying to meet?
BB: Maybe the two of you could work on a music video. That would definitely be worth checking out…Growing up in such a small, rural community, are you ever accused by ne'er-do-wells as lacking “street cred?”
BB: Wow. That answer is to the point. Hard work really pays off. Make a note of that, kiddies. How are you giving back to the community that brought you to where you are today?
OM: I encourage them to dream big and do positive things; we're only human and we do make mistakes.
BB: So, as the say, “keep reaching for that rainbow?”
OM: Yeah, but not so lame.
OM: Janice Dickinson would whip that ASS!!!!!!