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Taking cues from sounds spanning reggae, soul, pop and world music, A Positive Light — the new album by Philadelphia- and New York-based indie-progressive artist Kuf Knotz — pushes the boundaries of hip-hop. “My music’s always had a pretty broad spectrum as far as influences go,” he says. “It feels really natural to blend genres. I’ve always just felt that music is music.”

Inspired to take his own indie-progressive style to the next level, Kuf began work on a collection of upbeat, feel-good music. “I felt like it was important and it was needed in hip-hop,” Kuf says. Armed with his songs, he headed for Amsterdam. The change of scenery allowed him to focus on A Positive Light  — his first album in more than three years — and also to team with artists like Hanyo van Oosterom, who added live production, and Mark Gademan, who mixed the tracks.

No stranger to collaboration, Kuf was lead MC for The Hustle and The Burn Down All-Stars. Guests on his debut album, Boombox Logic, included Sharon Little, G. Love and Doodle Bug of Digable Planets, among others.

Kuf was recently selected to support Ms. Lauryn Hill, and has shared stages with the likes of Amos Lee, Robert Glasper, The Wailers, Common, Dr.Dog, Robert Randolph, Arrested Development, Inspectah Deck, SOJA, New York Dolls, Steel Pulse and The Roots. Topping his personal list of performances was opening for Bruce Springsteen at a rally for then-presidential candidate Barak Obama.


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