Arthur Joseph’s name might not ring a bell, but after you listen to his guitar-slicked, funk influenced debut single, ‘Voodoo’, it will.
The track sounds notably like a Daft Punk and Nile Rodgers collaboration, but don’t worry it’s not a copycat. In an era, when artists are being accused of stealing sounds from a previous generation’s band, Arthur Joseph is a breath of fresh air.
Joseph’s track ‘Voodoo’ has a singular sound that is a symphony of despair — one that makes you want to cry and dance at the same time. The track manages to somehow mirror back our internal thoughts: the frustration with daily things (technology, people, etc.), but becoming increasingly dependent on them. Hear what else Joseph has to say about the track, his creative process and motivations…
What made you get into music?
Well both my parents were really passionate about music but into really different stuff. My dad was heavily into his Jazz and Blues, whilst my mum was into music from that ‘classic’ era of bands like Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac and Queen. I think that had an effect on me and my brothers and sisters. Every one of us picked up an instrument. Being the youngest, I naturally just saw what they were doing and wanted in on the action!
Your debut single ‘Voodoo’ has a Daft Punk and Nile Rodgers vibe to it. Is that the type of genre you’re influenced by?
Yeah I’m definitely inspired by a lot of 70s disco and funk and those who are re-interpretating that genre in a more modern context. However, I try to take inspiration from as many places as I can as I think there’s something to appreciate in all genres. So besides disco and funk, I’m heavily into old school hip-hop, soul, jazz and psychedelia. I try to blend that all together in my own music.
For those who may not have discovered you yet, how would you describe your sound?
It’s super hard to be objective over your own music, but I’d say that it’s music for you and your mum to dance around the kitchen to, haha.
You’ve recently released ‘Voodoo’, can you take us through the track?
Lyrically it’s about my frustration in not being able to finish the song and in a broader sense our love/hate but ever increasing dependancy on technology. Basically, I had finished all the instrumentation and had come up with the chorus and melody when my computer corrupted all the files. Luckily I had it backed up but I lost a lot that I eventually had to re-record. I wanted to convey that idea of repetition and frustration in the lyrics. It’s funny cause literally two days after I released the song that computer fully broke so it was lucky I was able to get Voodoo finished and all my other projects off it in time.
Where does the motivation behind the songs come from?
I think the motivation from song to song changes. However, I think I was drawn to writing music because I found it a lot easier to express how I felt through music, as cliche as that may sound. My dad passed away when I was 11 and I’d really recently got my first guitar so I found it a lot easier to deal with those feelings directly and indirectly through music. At that age, it’s kind of hard to talk to your friends about it as kids (and adults) just get super awkward in that situation.
Do you think music has made it easier for you to come to terms with those feelings and thereby talk about them?
I think it’s hard to know appropriate times to talk about those things openly because it is quite a private matter. However, I think its been important for me as its helped me create a dialogue and make peace with myself. In that way, music definitely helped me come to terms with those feelings, but I can only speak for my own experience as I think it is different for everybody.
Growing up, what did you find inspiration from?
My first favourite band was The Red Hot Chilli Peppers. I remember my oldest brother had their greatest hits album and I’d just sit in his room and we’d jam out to that. When I started learning guitar I got into a lot rockier stuff. I guess I loved the energy of that kind of music because in a similar way to some disco it just compels people to move.
What are your goals, where do you want music to take you?
I want to be able to sustain myself for as long as I can off my music. I know I’m a long way off but I really want to hit a million streams on one of my tracks. However, I think as long as I keep honing my craft and improving I’m hoping that everything else will fall into place.
What do you hope people take away from your music?
Overall, I want to have a feel good vibe to my music, so I want people to be happy. From a lyrical standpoint I try to make my songs ambiguous enough so people can take what they want from it and enjoy misleading the listener in a way I think the amazing thing about music is that it’s so subjective so as long as they’re relating to it on some level then I feel like I’ve succeeded.
Being this new to the music industry, what is one thing that has shocked you?
I wouldn’t say anything has shocked me too much. I think how complex the industry is nowadays can be somewhat surprising. In the old days it used to be a case of get a demo, do gigs and try get signed but with the rise of internet and social media there’s so much more that comes into play.
What can we expect from you in the coming year?
I’m only just getting started so all the fun is on the way. I’m excited to have a body of work online as it’ll give people a lot more opportunity to know what I’m all about. I’m also really keen to get a band together as I think it’s music that wi carry across well in a live setting.