Joseph Aaron was born in Virginia and made the move to Nashville in 2013. After working on the business side of the music industry with Capshaw’s Red Light Management for 10 years, he decided to pursue his solo career. He has shared the stage with David Nail, Edwin McCain and Everclear. NSAI has deemed him as one of their “Artists to Watch”. His current EP “The Mountain, The Lion, & The Labrador” is nominated for the 2016 Indie Ville TV Awards for Indie Pop EP, which will be on May 6, 2016 at Rocketown. Joseph is also currently working on his newest EP, which is set to be released in the summer/early fall.
I recently caught up with Joseph as we discussed his journey in the music industry so far.
What’s your favorite part about being a musician?
There is no ‘normal’ day. You could be behind the piano one day and 500 miles away playing a show the next.
What do you think makes you unique as an artist?
I think using the piano as a front instrument is a major point of differentiation. The fact that I play the piano like a lead guitar also probably helps. Though I’m pop, I have a strong narrative style that blends my background in folk with my love of soul of pop.
What’s the most challenging part (to you) about being a musician?
Remember how I said there’s no normal? Because every day is different, every day brings new challenges. Sometimes it’s a business challenge, like ‘how do I get my music out to a wider audience?’ Sometimes it’s an internal challenge like ‘I need to write..but I feel like I’ve exhausted the creative wells inside today.’ Navigating the personal and professional is hard for anybody, but when your career depends on blending the personal and professional, it can feel overwhelming at times.
Is it challenging to have a real social life outside of performing? What do you do to keep the balance? What do you do in your personal downtime?
Hibernate. I have only so much social battery before I need to recharge on my own, whether that’s writing in a coffee shop or reading at home.
Who inspires you musically?/ What’s the one album you can’t live without?
I don’t know that there’s one album I can’t live without, but I will say at this point in time I’m enthralled with the latest albums by needtobreathe and Coldplay.
What has been your most embarrassing moment on stage?
Oh, it’s always the same. Forgetting lyrics, playing the wrong song…I’ve been fortunate enough to have always had a band of solid players…so they usually cover my mistakes.
What do you consider your biggest accomplishment (so far) in music/what has been the coolest experience you’ve had in your career so far?
Crazy as it sounds, opening for Everclear. It was a sold out show and the crowd was really into it. It makes such a difference when you have an active crowd. You want to give more/play harder. I’m not really sure how to explain it.
What is one piece of advice you’d like to give other artists that are out there trying to make it in the music industry?
You’re going to want to give up. Don’t.
What venue do you like to perform at the most?
Small clubs, for sure. They usually have their own dedicated following that’s pumped to discover new artists. So even if you don’t have a fan base there, you’ll have a good show.
Knowing everything that you know now, what would you do differently in your career?
Start earlier. Without a doubt.
What projects are you currently working on?
I’m working on my follow-up to “The Mountain, The Lion, and the Labrador”.
What’s your favorite way to connect with fans? Pictures, Social Media, Interaction at shows?
Always in person, for sure. Outside of that, probably Instagram.
What was your first gig?
Definitely a 4th grade elementary school talent show. That counts, right?
How long have you been performing/playing music?
Since third grade…so just this side of ‘forever’ .
Where do you see your career in 10 years? What are your goals for the future in music?
I’d love to tour in Europe, but my biggest ambition is to get to a level of success that can support me and a family. That’s my definition of success.
Was there one defining moment for you where you knew that you wanted to play music?
When I got shortlisted for a Ryan Gosling film…I guess I needed that validation to put me over the edge.
Have you ever had an experience that turned into a song?
More or less, all of them.
With a genuine personality that can light up a room, Joseph’s unique artistry and passion for playing piano with his signature pop/rock/blues vibe makes him an artist you will want to keep your eyes and ears open for. With his clear vision for the type of music he wants to share with the world, Joseph truly has something special as an artist.
Be sure to stay up-to-date as Joseph continues to release more music by visiting his website www.josephaaron.com and follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can also stream Joseph’s entire EP, “The Mountain, The Lion, and The Labrador” on SoundCloud here.
(Photo credits: Brandon Bishop of Bishop Photography)