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Knox Fortune on His Sound, Fame, and Battling Insecurity

The Oak Park native and Chicago hip-hop collaborator readies for Coachella and a forthcoming full-length release.

Photo: Bryan Allen Lamb

Oak Park and River Forest High School alum Kevin Rhomberg (better known as Knox Fortune) had been a longtime collaborator with Chicago’s biggest hip-hop stars—singing on Chance the Rapper’s “All Night” and producing for Vic Mensa and Joey Purp—before last fall’s Paradise, his slinky synth-pop solo debut. Fresh off his first tour and set to play Coachella, Fortune, 25, returns with a forthcoming full-length release. “It started as me just trying to get in the habit of going back into the studio more,” he says of the tentatively titled Hamlet. “And then it became, ‘Wow, I have a mini project happening!’ ”

On discovering his sound

For everyone I work with, I try to make sure they’re given their space and their artistry. It was the same with myself. This sounds corny, but I think of my music as a combination of the Beastie Boys and the Beach Boys.

On His New Prominence

Chance and Vic normalized fame for me. It makes this whole thing way less daunting.

On battling insecurity

Every artist is self-conscious. You start to think, Maybe it was just cool when I was making it but it has no translation to anyone else.

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