What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.

My first instrument was the drums before I switched to singing and piano at age 18. After writing hundreds of songs, I started an alternative band called Solwave, where I was the lead singer and songwriter. We built a following, toured the west coast, and opened for more established bands like The Revivalists and the Spin Doctors. After a few years and excited for a new experience, I decided to leave the band and move to LA. I began writing for other artists, most notably Zhu and Stephen. At the same time, I was writing and producing my artist project and started releasing music in December 2018. I released my first EP Behind Closed Doors in 2020, and I plan to release my first full-length album this year.

Provide us with some info about your latest release…

This song started with just the word tremble. I was thinking about how you can tremble out of fear or pleasure. This idea resonated with me, and I realized the connection between arousal and fear. I wanted to capture this emotional duality in the song. The overall production and lyrics walk the line between haunting and sexy. It all builds to the chorus, where the vocals almost act as a whisper in your ear while the heavily distorted bass brings a horror-like intensity. Emotionally, this song taps into my unhealthy but intoxicating relationship with lust. I wrote, produced, and performed the song myself. I also released a lyric video for this song and will be releasing a live acoustic video for it too.

Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?

Music-wise I would say Michael Jackson, Bruno Mars, Banks, The Weeknd, Daft Punk, and Zhu – to name a few. Non-music wise director Stanley Kubrick is a massive influence visually, stylistically, and thematically. Aesthetically, stylized Neo-noirs like Blade Runner 2049 and Drive are also significant influences.

In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?

I would describe my style as dark pop/r&b, which is both futuristic and nocturnal sounding. Compared to other artists in my genre, I take command of every aspect of every song. I write, produce, and perform every single note and element of my music. Lyrically, I am writing about the darkest parts of myself that I have trouble talking about, even with my closest friends. Both of these factors make my music immensely personal and the deepest reflection of myself. I try to balance this by making these lyrically vulnerable and challenging songs as catchy and accessible as possible.

Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…

Albums: Thriller by Michael Jackson, In Rainbows by Radiohead, Blonde by Frank Ocean.

Movies: Eyes Wide Shut, The Shining, American Psycho, bonus: Inglourious Basterds.

Books: The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, Mastery by Robert Green, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.

Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?

They are so different it is virtually impossible to compare. The studio is where the creative act happens that is the fuel of all of it for me. I love creating something from nothing and constructing sonic worlds brick by brick. I enjoy the complete control I get in the studio of making everything sound just right. Live is so much more about letting go and connecting with an audience. Being completely immersed in a performance that you get lost in is such a powerful and unparalleled experience. The moments where you and an entire crowd are locked in on the same frequency is one of the greatest feelings I have ever felt. All that being said, if I had to choose, I would say studio. I could never give up writing and producing music.

Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?

I released a collaboration with AJ Salvatore, a talented producer and now friend of mine, that did pretty well in 2019. We are currently working on a follow-up track. At the first session, where we met to discuss what kind of vibe we wanted for the second song, I fucked with him by playing him this absurd rap song I made as a joke in quarantine called “Snowmobiling.” I pretended I had an existential revelation in lockdown where I decided to stop singing and now wanted to be a rapper named 23 Savage. The lyrics are completely ridiculous, and I am basically doing a bad 21 Savage impression. He was completely horrified and confused. I probably stuck to the joke for a little too long, but it was hilarious. Even though he knows it’s a joke now, I think he is still concerned for me. Low-key though, the song is kind of a banger.

Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?

Obviously, I love all my tracks for different reasons, but for uniqueness, I choose “Tremble.” I think sonically, it has its own thumbprint that is not easily compared to any other song. In my opinion, it lives in its own world. Compositionally, I would maybe say my song “Don’t Tell Me.” The high dynamic chorus builds to an anti-drop post-chorus where the lyric’s depravity is what carries the intensity through. The post-chorus hook lyric is “don’t tell me your name”, which is maybe taboo and unexpected in a pop/r&b song.

Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?

I will be releasing several more singles this year with accompanying videos and live acoustic videos leading up to my first full-length album dropping at the end of the year. All the singles and songs on the album are lyrically, sonically, and conceptually connected, exploring the darker side of sex, lust, and relationships. I’m excited to put it out and share it.

Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…

What’s your favorite part of the song writing process?

My favorite part of the process is the very earliest part, where I typically sit at a piano or guitar and play chords and freestyle sing melodies, hoping something comes out that sparks excitement. This phase is pure possibility, completely unedited, and feels very free and raw. When I find an idea I like, it is one of my favorite feelings in the world.

Photo Credits: Maxine Bowen (@maxine_bowen on IG)

Curated by: Christos Doukakis

Recommended listening:

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Connect with Joe Sparrow:

joesparrowmusic.com

instagram.com/joesparrowmusic

YouTube.com/joesparrowmusic

soundcloud.com/joesparrowmusic

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