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Interview with John Joseph
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Aside from music I’m an actor, I love everything about performing, and I’m particularly passionate about film and cinema. So I’d like to think I’d be still being creative. At heart I’m a storyteller, whether it’s music, acting, writing, so I think I’d be storytelling in some way.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I love spending time with my loved ones and my beautiful kittens. I’m a cancerian so I thrive in a calm home environment. In a usual day to myself I enjoy meditation, reading a new thriller, playing Sims. I’ve found my best work comes when I’m at a calm with myself, I can’t create in chaos, so when I’m struggling to connect with work I’m doing, I find my calm before starting any project.
How long has your band been around?
Not applicable. Solo artist.
Where are you based and how did that influence your music?
I’m based in Manchester. I was brought up in Gorton, and I now live near Salford Quays with my fiancé. Manchester is so alive with music. There’s music everywhere in the city, and always a place for you to try out new music for an audience somewhere. Manchester has played a huge part in my music. Often I find that I work remotely with talent from other countries, and so many songs have come out of collaborations without even meeting who I’m creating with, that’s what felt so nice about ‘Dreamy Boy’ working with ‘Chris Durkin’ in his studio in Manchester, two Mancunians with similar ambitions and a love for music in a room making something - magic!
How did you come up with your name and what does it mean to you?
John Joseph is my actual name. Growing up family members used to call me John-Joe and in my teenage years I rebelled against it and just wanted to be called John. John Joseph felt like the right name to move forward my new chapter.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Just before the world closed in 2020 I performed a gig in Manchester to a sold-out crown. We didn’t know it would be the last gig, but it felt special, and even more special looking back.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
My favourite venue as a gig goer in Manchester is the Albert Hall. I love the set-up. It feels intimate and yet grand at the same time. I’d love to work towards doing a set there in the next few years.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
There’s so many! Let’s say Regina Spector, Ben Howard, Jessie Ware, Lil Nas X. A nice mixture of my influences.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting started and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Try lots of things. Don’t be afraid to fail because that’s how you’ll find who are as an artist. Be prepared to put in a lot of hard work, nobody will promote your music like you will.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
When you are completely honest with yourself and who you are, everything falls into place.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Back To Nothing with MAUI is so special to me. I wrote it when I came out and fell in love, I wrote it in like half and hour and recorded the vocals straight away. One of those things that you need to get out into the world.
Which songs are your favourite to play and which get requested the most?
I play an older unrecorded song called ‘Anybody’ a lot at gigs. I wrote it about 7 years ago now, but it still has that same magic when I play it live than it did when I first wrote it in my bedroom.
What is your creative process, and what inspires you to write your music?
I can never force a song. I have to just let it come. As soon as I sit down and think, today I’m going to write a song - nothing happens. I like to let inspiration come whilst busy doing other things, even if that’s fiddling aimlessly on my piano.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
I want to connect with the queer community in my new music. I want to be more bold in my storytelling. Queer music in history are constantly edited and tidied to appeal to the masses, but we don’t do that with non-queer music.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
My song ‘Dreamy Boy’ is the launch of my artist name John Joseph, I’m planning on releasing a string of singles later in the year to follow up with the new sound, and hopefully that will lead to a tour in 2024.
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?
Please give my Spotify a follow, and I’m on all the social: