Joey XL Opens Up About His Musical Hiatus And 'Situations' EP
Interviewer Blessing Borode
Photography/Direction Oana Ancuta Briciu
Photography Assistant Alexandra lonescu
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BTS Photography Kamila Momora
Produced by New Wave Studios
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You’ve previously mentioned that your single Broken Ones is more of a reintroduction to you, what does that song mean to you?
Broken ones was a turning point for me. Before that song, I hadn’t released any music in years and was desperate to show how much work I’d put in and how much my sound had developed from the songs prior to that. This song means absolutely everything to me. Also, the first song released working with my bro FWDSLXSH, who’s a large part of the reason I even make music today. This song perfectly captures my feelings towards relationships in a nutshell. I come from a broken place and I believe everyone does in his or her own way. Sometimes people like to use their hurt as an excuse for the way they act/behave but we live in a broken world we all have baggage, we’re all hurting from something.
On that song you apologies for things, you’ve done…what did you do?
Sometimes you find yourself in situations that you have no control over and the pressure of being in those places leads you to make decisions good or bad. Whether that’s doing the person you’re with wrong or having to leave that person because being with them is not only hurting them but also yourself.
It’s also a song about both parties taking the blame in any relationship issues, how much damage you think that can cause if not handled correctly?
I mean a lot. Relationships in general, not just the romantic ones are the reason you are where you are right this very second. Your network is your net worth, so when you then apply that to your romantic relationships it gets even deeper. You can end up in a relationship with the wrong person and that could end up scarring you for the rest of your life. I just feel like people aren’t as honest as they should be in relationships from the get-go, lack of communication. When your heart takes the lead logic evaporates. You suddenly start making excuses for bad decisions all for the sake of love. Over time that shit can kill you inside if you’re not open it’s very easy to feel trapped. Relationships should have some sort of balance, I’ve always been someone who ends up with partners who make me their whole world when they just happen to be a part of mine.
You have a very mysterious and lowkey aesthetic, where does this come from?
It just represents my personality, not intentional. I’m more or less a closed book who happens to have a lot to say sometimes. I spend most of my time by myself inside so being low-key is just me keeping to myself staying comfortable. (Bad? I know)
As an artist from the UK making music in a similar vein to artists from the US, is where you build your base something that’s important to you?
I definitely have a keen interest as to where my listeners are from, just out of curiosity, but as long as my music resonates with anyone that does actually sit down and try to take me in no matter where they’re from, I’m Gucci.
How do you aim to change soulful music coming from the UK?
I think not only in the UK but also for soulful music / R&B in general, there’s shyness to releasing music. Whether that’s because people don’t have enough release ready music or because there’s a long process to making it, I don’t know. So for me personally I would like to show that you can release quality in good amounts. I’m contradicting myself really because I’m currently not an example of that but watch this space.
You’ve worked with some producers that have created big songs for artists such as 6lack, Drake and more. What do you feel like they see in you?
There’s a certain music language that I believe all natural musicians have. You can’t learn it. So regardless of where you are in terms of size, it doesn’t matter. They definitely see or understand my wave or those connections wouldn’t have taken place in the first place but that’s just one part of it.
Songs like Really Love really show your vocal and musical abilities, what was recording that song like for you?
Recording Really Love was weird for me. The original beat for that I created couple years back and I’d recorded a whole other song on it. More time, when that’s the case I struggle for ideas because the original song would be stuck in my head. I think one day I was just going through old beats and “Don’t act like it wasn’t really love’ just came into my head, from that one line I managed to write the rest of the song
What is usually the aspect of the song for you that takes the longest to tweak or complete?
It used to be the second verse, I don’t know if it’s just me but once I know what I’m trying to say I usually cram it into the 1st verse, pre, and the chorus. By the time I get to the second verse I feel like I’ve said everything I need to. I had to learn how to make it as effective if not even more effective as the beginning.
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