Provo soul/hip-hop artist Mimi Knowles has ramped up his production schedule in an effort to stay relevant and grow his core audience. He recently released three new music videos over the course of three weeks, each accumulating an average of 66,000 views on Facebook and YouTube. Obtaining 200,000 views in a month is no small feat. But it appears that success may have come in large part from Knowles’ new outlook on life.
His latest original release, “Better,” certainly examines the change that has taken place in his life behind the scenes. “I personally haven’t been living up to my own standards in a lot of ways. I found what impeded me the worst was this idea that I’ve already done so many bad things, why try to be better? You’ll never be perfect, so just give up,” says Knowles. “One night I was walking around Center Street and 100 W just singing to myself – as I so often do – and I sang the first verse of ‘Better.’ Like exactly as it’s written today, verbatim. I’ve only done that a couple times. It’s a pretty dope feeling. I realized that I’ll never be perfect, but I can be better. Since then, I’m just trying to be a better Mimi than yesterday.”
The single was a collaborative effort between a whole host of Utah musicians. “I’ve always wanted to be able to have a team where we produce a song from top to bottom, all in house,” says Knowles. “I wrote the lyrics, melody, and chords. The whole song – except the vocals – were recorded at The Key, a studio owned by Norbert Bueno and Kurt Greene.” Josh Strauther – known by his stage name, Joshy Soul – also contributed to the arrangement by giving “the chords a little more flavor.” The horn lines were further developed by The Strike’s Marcus Anderson. Parker Speirs played guitar on the track, and Kurt Reeder provided piano. Vocals were recorded with Nate Pyfer. “Norbert and I put probably 24 plus hours into the arrangement/production of the song. Norbert was crucial to the finished product.”
The song’s music video was shot and edited by Korey Smith, with additional footage by Cameron Gade. Smith’s video makes the song incredibly relatable, as over a dozen people mouth the words to the song and express themselves through dance. It really drives home the message that, while no one is perfect, most people are genuinely striving to be better. Things take a deeply personal turn when Gade’s footage of the birth of Knowles’ daughter, Quincy, is injected into the mix. It adds another layer of meaning to both the song and the video. It could be said that the best changes we can make in our lives are the ones we make to help another human being, simply because it’s a good thing to do.
When asked what his favorite part of the video was when he watched it back the first time, Knowles replied, “Quincy in the hospital. It got me super emotional. I laughed and cried. That usually only happens when I watch The Chapelle Show, so I knew I did something right.”
In addition to the song’s massive reach on social media, “Better” has also accumulated over 5,000 streams on Spotify in its first week. Knowles hopes the video will surpass 100,000 views on Facebook by the end of this week.
“I’m so thankful for all the actors and actresses that brought this video to life,” he says.
Make sure to like Mimi Knowles on Facebook and watch the music video for “Better” below! The song is available on iTunes, Spotify, and Google Play.