A production and DJ duo who specialize in melodic, carefree dance music that draws from soul, funk, disco, rap, and pop, the Knocks were formed in 2008 by James "JPatt" Patterson and Ben "DJ B-Roc" Ruttner. Patterson and Ruttner met at New York City's New School and shared an apartment, where they set up small recording studios in their bedrooms. The loud noise coming from their apartment led to neighbors constantly knocking on their door in order to get them to pipe down, hence the duo's name. Early success as remixers, however, enabled them to build their own studio in Manhattan. During 2008 and 2009, Knocks remixes surfaced for Katy Perry ("I Kissed a Girl"), Britney Spears ("3"), Chris Brown ("Beautiful People"), and PRGz ("Soul Glo").
In 2010, the duo released their first singles, the sunny "Dancing with the DJ" (which later appeared on their 2011 EP Magic) and the whistling "Make It Better." Over the course of the next few years, the duo's profile was magnified by additional remixes for Tegan and Sara ("Closer"), the 1975 ("Girls"), and Dragonette ("Let It Go"), among others, in addition to tours with Ellie Goulding, Dragonette, and Sleigh Bells. They also collaborated with Fred Falke for the Kitsuné Music release "Geronimo" in 2012, as well as Treasure Fingers for "DYWT," released on Fool's Gold Clubhouse in 2014. Also in 2014, the group released an EP, titled Comfortable and released on the Neon Gold label, that included collaborations with X Ambassadors and Ra Ra Riot.
Signed to Big Beat, the Knocks slowed it down a bit for the 2014 single "Classic," one of their funkier and more disco-indebted singles, featuring Powers. An EP titled So Classic appeared in April of 2015, followed by a new version of "Classic" featuring a verse by Fetty Wap. The Knocks spent much of the year working on their long-delayed debut album, which was previewed by the singles "I Wish (My Taylor Swift)" (with Matthew Koma) and "New York City" (featuring Cam'ron). Finally, in March 2016, the duo dropped their first full-length, 55, which included additional guest appearances from Wyclef Jean, Walk the Moon, Carly Rae Jepsen, Alex Newell, and Semi-Precious Weapons' Justin Trantor. That July, the duo remixed selected tracks from the album on the 55.5 EP. In early 2017, the Knocks released Testify, an EP of new songs featuring collaborations with MNEK, Delacey, and Tayla Parx. Later that year, the duo formed the Mary Nixons, a group with Mat Zo, and issued the single "Adrian." They followed with the Captain Cuts collaboration "House Party." July 2018 saw the release of the single "Shades" which appeared later that year on the Knocks' second full-length, New York Narcotic. The album also featured contributions from Method Man, Sofi Tukker, and Foster the People. 2019 brought the Kah-Lo collaboration "Awa Ni." ~ Andy Kellman