Welcome to Radio Feedback, Radio.com’s weekly feature where we ask artists to wax nostalgic on the first time they heard themselves on the radio.
With the summer tour coming to a close, Radio.com sat down with Knight, who, among other things, recalled the very first time he heard himself on the radio. He was 16, in his native Boston.
“I was in my living room, [in] the house I grew up in. The song was ‘Be My Girl’ and it came on an AM station,” he said. “There’s something about your song being on the radio. It just makes it real. It makes it legit. I was like, ‘That’s a legit song!'”
Knight said it’s a very different feeling hearing the song on the radio vs. in the studio.
“When you hear it over and over in the studio or on your cassette player, it just sounds like a studio tape,” Knight said. “But then when you hear it on the radio you’re like, ‘We can be famous!’ It made me really excited.”
And famous NKOTB got. Their first single, “Be My Girl” was released in 1986 and served as the lead track off their debut album New Kids on the Block. They would go on to record three No. 1 hits and amass a legion of fans who continue to follow the band 25+ years later.
“It’s definitely a thrill [hearing my song on the radio],” Knight continued. “A lot of people will call me, ‘I’m in Foot Locker right now and your video is playing.’ Or, ‘I’m walking through the mall and they have that corny dentist music playing ‘I’ll Be Loving You (Forever).’ That’s really cool. I’ve actually walked through hotel lobbies and I would hear a pianist playing one of our ballads. That’s always really cool just to hear your music out in the world.”