October 15, 2015

Center Stage - Patrick Joseph

Get to know our latest Center Stage artist, Patrick JosephOriginally from Pittsburgh, PA, Joseph forges a mixture of pretty & gritty vocals, lush production and timeless songwriting, creating a presence that NOW Magazine describes as "A Gifted LA adult-contemporarist with a world-weary Waitsian voice and a Spoon meets Beatles soft-rock vibe."

Joseph is largely independent, producing, recording, mixing, and until recently, performing all of his recordings on his own. A resident of the neighborhood of Silverlake in Los Angeles, Joseph has established himself as one of the rising stars in the buzzing songwriting scene of Southern California.

Describe your sound in one ramble-on sentence
My sound is a potpourri of gritty, timeless songwriting superimposed over lush, organic production, packaged in a basket of alt-indie melancholy goodness. If Tom Waits and Damien Rice jammed with Radiohead and Elliott Smith.

What inspires you to make music?
Other music inspires me to make music.  Sometimes, it's the lack of music I want to hear that inspires me to make music, the negative airspace.  Mostly just random things I hear, though - I'll catch a tone or rhythm from an unknown song on the radio or the atmosphere from a film score and it'll make me want to go write.

What aspect of making music excites you the most right now?
The freedom, I suppose, is the most exciting part about making music to me.  I have my own studio and I can go whenever I want and capture sounds, and be relatively successful at getting those sounds heard all on my own from the inception of an idea to the finished product.  I think the amount of freedom today in music is unparalleled compared to the past - for better or for worse.

What are the biggest challenges you face as a musician?
Along with all that freedom and ease of making music comes the challenge of competition, of course.  The amount of people out there making great sounds and music these days is overwhelming, and that's the most difficult challenge musicians face today.  Anyone in their bedroom with a decent laptop and some gear and make the next great record.  That, of course, pushes all musicians to be better at what they do, but also drives the reward down for the few who do succeed, as the supply greatly exceeds the demand.  It's harder than ever to earn a dollar these days.

What's one of your all-time favorite recordings?
One of my favorite recordings of all time is Chet Baker's "You Don't Know What Love Is."  I like the honesty of a lot of older recordings in the 20th Century - no bells or whistles, just one takes, open rooms, moments captured in time and no looking back.  Chet's voice is one of my favorites; candid, melancholy, charming, unpretentious yet devastating.  You don't even need to understand English to know what that song's about, the way it was recorded and delivered that day.

Name three people who have influenced your music, and tell us why- Living or dead.
Bob Dylan was one of my greatest influences as a songwriter. I didn't get into Dylan until later on as a young adult, maybe early 20s. I followed the journey from his first album and kind of grew up with him throughout his career from record to record as I listened in chronological order, taking a few weeks at a time to digest each. He showed me the absolute pinnacle of what a song can and should be, all the gravity and depth it can muster but also the fact that it should never take itself too seriously, and also never compromise.  You can say everything in the world in a song or as little as possible, but still deliver the same impact either way. Jon Brion was another major influence in my musical path. I saw Jon perform at the small venue Largo when I was 18 during my first trip to LA.  I was briefly familiar with his record production and that's what brought me to the show, but he soon taught me how to great a whole universe of sound in which you can allow a song to exist. He definitely has his signature sound and the atmospheres he creates, whether it's in production or film or his own live performances, is something I'll always aspire to. The last major influence I'll mention is Tom Waits. Tom is like the cilantro of the songwriting world: You either love him or think he's weird and overlook him.  I think Tom is a force of nature, an unparalleled creature that abides by no rules or descriptions, and you can't say that about anyone else, really.  His uniqueness and ability to be his own bizarre and beautiful self is as inspiring as anything I've ever seen or heard.  And he can cover every range of emotion on the spectrum in a short setlist or album, another gift not easily mastered. Tom taught me to accept myself for whatever I become, because nobody does me better than me.

Do you have any recent or upcoming projects you'd like to share with us? Tell us about it.
Well, my latest record 'Moon King' is about a year old now. That album took me all around on tour, won some awards, saw some soundtracking on some films and TV, and was the theme song to a lot of great memories in my life in recent times.  But I'm always looking forward to the next project.  Right now I have some new songs already that I'll be compiling towards a new EP sometime in the foreseeable future - couple of new singles, maybe some videos.  Expect some fun sounds and songs, upbeat with a side of sadness.  I always try and keep it balanced.

What is your ideal or target audience?
Audiences are hard to pin down.  It's hard to answer the question, 'who is your audience?'  Shouldn't you just be grateful for whoever finds you appealing?  I like to think anyone who is a fan of a great song and is looking to identify with music is a potential listener.  Anyone with a pulse and a heart.  Ages 1-120.

Do you write/compose your own songs? Briefly describe your songwriting process..
I do write my own songs.  It's funny that's a question.  I suppose performers have been around since the dawn of time, and don't always have the desire or inspiration to write what they want to perform.  But you can consider me a performing songwriter.  Sometimes songs come without pushing much, while you're sitting around or not paying any attention.  That's when you rush and try to put it in a jar for keepsake, like it's some fish you found on the pavement that you're rushing to find a bowl of water to drop it in.  Other times you're hunting for the fish, out there with your line in the water just waiting for a bite.  And they'll keep you waiting for a long time if you don't move around or do something to lure it.  Sometimes it's a lot of hard work.  But that's what songwriting is sometimes, it's not always lightning in a bottle, sometimes it's just good old fashioned hard work, but rewarding nonetheless.

What do you like the most about Radio Airplay?
Radio Airplay is a unique, one-of-a-kind platform where real listeners can discover your music organically alongside similar artists.  It's one of the best ways to reach out to new fans, and there really isn't much else out there like it.  That's what I love about it.

Any thing else about you or your music you'd like to tell us about? 
This past year, I was awarded the honor of Producer Of The Year in the 2015 Independent Music Awards for my production work on 'Moon King.'

Foot In The Door 

Twitter: @PatrickJoseph
Instagram: @PatrickJosephMusic
Official Site: www.patrickjoseph.com