Patch June 9, 2020
Narberth Resident Louis Knight Finishes in American Idol’s Top 7
While Most People can only Dream about being on American Idol, Louis Knight made it an Actuality
By David Block, Patch Mayor
Narberth resident, Louis Knight, finished in the top seven of American Idol’s 2020 competition last month.
“The run that I had exceeded my expectations by a million miles,” said Knight, 19. “Every step further was a blessing. Making it to the top 10 was a dream – I thought I would never get that far and that was from America’s support and the local support. I was glad to get as far as I did.”
Competing on American Idol was not on his radar when he graduated from Lower Merion High School in 2018. His goal was to skip college and focus on his music career. To some degree, it was a painful decision.
“My girlfriend went off to college and I was going to the studio every day writing music,” said Knight. “I was watching our relationship slowly fizzing out.”
The break-up hurt, but Knight used that pain to write four of his five tracks on his 2019 EP (Extended Play), Small Victories. (An EP has four to six music tracks and the entire length is less than 30 minutes.)
Knight’s fifth song, Change, dealt with his friend Russell’s suicide. He took his life in January 2018.
Knight said that his songs are about good and bad experiences that he and his family and friends had. Knight named his EP Small Victories because every day, Russell achieved simple goals. This helped him feel better about himself. One of Russell’s goals, which he referred to as a small victory was to stay alive for another day.
“He tried using small victories every day to try to get by and that helped him go on longer and longer – as long as he could,” Knight said. “It definitely helped him and became an ever-lasting phrase that my family and I are going to take with us for the rest of our lives.”
Knight never considered auditioning for American Idol until a casting producer approached him.
“I was releasing my own music as a singer/song writer,” said Knight. “I received an Instagram from a casting producer. She randomly stumbled onto my Instagram account where I was posting my music. “
She urged him to audition.
When Knight auditioned, he sang Change for the three American Idol judges, Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie. They were impressed; they unanimously voted him onto the show. To See Knight’s American Idol audition, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0b2OtYGeMAo
Knight on getting to know Lionel Richie:
“He’s such a down to earth lovely guy. He was always emulating so much positivity for all the contestants. All the judges wanted to see us succeed to be the best we could be, and to stand alongside one of the greatest song writers of all time and to have him compliment my original music was so validating. It meant everything.”
When Knight auditioned, he worked as a delivery person for Narberth Pizza.
During the COVID-19 pandemic this spring, Narberth Pizza owner Todd Rash had Knight deliver 20 free pizzas to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).
“We wanted to give back to everybody there working with the people who are sick,” said Rash. “Louis took the delivery for us, which was amazing because he was just on American Idol. It was nice for the children there to see him in person. It was a pleasant surprise for all of them to see someone who was competing in a nice competition on television.”
Knight also thought it was important to honor the CHOP staff, therefore he was thrilled that he could do that.
Knight’s advice for people who want to break into the music business, but who have no contacts and who are scared about making the plunge:
“Put in the work. It’s so easy to sell yourself short and to not believe in yourself. If you believe in yourself, you just keep putting in the work. Anything is possible. Just persevere. “