2 Minutes With ... Amy McKnight, Composer and Sound Designer

On her work for Nike and Cristobal Tapia de Veer's inspiring Utopia score

Amy McKnight is a composer and sound designer for TV, film and advertising. Recent projects include the original score on Tyler Perry's Sistas on BET and original sound design for the Nike and Patta short film The Wave. Projects in production are title music for the FIFA 2022 World Cup and sound design on a new podcast produced by Reese Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine and OBB sound.

Her composing credits and projects consist of bespoke compositions for brands like Herbal Essences, Chandon, Nike and Puma. She is a versatile modern composer with 15 years of experience who prides herself on working alongside artists and clients to create tailor-made music that fits their sound and sonic vision. Amy won "Best Newcomer" at the PRS Production Music awards in 2019. She is also a member of the 2021 Clio Awards Film Craft: Music & Sound Design jury.

We spent two minutes with Amy to learn more about her background, her creative inspirations, and recent work she's admired.

Amy, tell us...

Where you grew up, and where you live now.

I grew up in northwest London and went to school in Marylebone. In 2019, I made a big move and left the city for Hastings, a coastal town which is now where I live and have my studio space.

How you first realized you were creative.

I think that was very early on. My mum used to say I was singing before talking. I now do both badly.

A person you idolized creatively early on.

Missy Elliott. She was the only female on a platform that was working on the creative side of her music and all aspects of her albums—from visuals to production. Apart from her, there were no female producers talked about commercially.

A moment from high school or college that changed your life.

Generally going to my high school changed my life. Without the support and belief of my music teachers, I would not be here in this position today.

A visual artist or band/musician you admire.

St. Vincent.

A book, movie, TV show or podcast you recently found inspiring.

4D with Demi Lovato.

Your favorite fictional character.

The 100-year-old man who climbed out a window and disappeared (that guy, lol).

Someone or something worth following on social media.

Hmmm ... not me, I'm awful at it. My agency, @SixtyFourMusic, puts out great info on stuff happening in the industry and I love their curated playlists on Spotify.

How Covid-19 changed your life, personally or professionally.

It made me realize how important rest and personal time is.

One of your favorite creative projects you've ever worked on.

My first Nike advert was unforgettable.

Nike | Yours To Be Worn
A recent project you're proud of.

Working with Steve McQueen's production company on a Nike and Patta collab is pretty up there.

Nike x Patta: The Wave Ch. 2 | Loud & Clear
Someone else's work that inspired you years ago.

Cristobal Tapia de Veer. His score for Utopia was just amazing, and I clearly remember being just obsessed with it and still use it as inspiration today.

Your main strength as a creative person.

I am able to disconnect my emotions when necessary … and believe me, sometimes that is very necessary in the creative process.

Your biggest weakness.

Being addicted to buying hardware synths lol.

One thing that always makes you happy.

Yummy food.

One thing that always makes you sad.

Humans being mean.

What you'd be doing if you weren't in advertising.

Making pop records full time.

2 Minutes With is our regular interview series where we chat with creatives about their backgrounds, creative inspirations, work they admire and more. For more about 2 Minutes With, or to be considered for the series, please get in touch.

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Ashley Epping is art director of Muse by Clio and program lead at the Clio Awards.

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