|1. Hi Joe, can you tell us a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician?|
I grew up in Naperville IL all my life and come from a family of seven. I have four other siblings plus out family dog. Growing up I was really into baseball till around sophomore year of high school, that’s really when I got into music. Before I pursued country music as a solo artist, I got my start in music playing drums (drums was my first instrument) in a worship band that my brother and I started, playing on mission trips and retreats.
2. How did you get into country music and what made you want a career in it?
I got into country music from a very young age. My parents pretty much brainwashed me with old school Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, and early Rascall Flatts and Keith Urban and that’s how I originally fell in love with the genre and music itself. I really wanted a career in country music because I love the storytelling. I think there is incredible power when you can bring unity to a group of people through a shared experience or story. That for me is my mission statement as an artist, to being unity through my stories and give people hope to know that whatever shoes they’re walking in whether it’s about losing a loved one, reminiscing on old memories, relationships, breakups, love, having a party, whatever it is they are not the only ones going through it.
3. Who are some of your musical icons?
My musical icon is Keith Urban. His level of musicianship and ability as an entertainer is incredible and really inspiring to me.
4. What is the background story behind your brand-new track “Wishlist?”
Wishlist actually has a funny story behind it. I was window shopping with my girlfriend and we wound up in a Kohls one night and came across this massive stuffed alpaca. It’s kind of a running joke between her and I because she jokes about wanting to have alpacas one day and so I impulse bought it, not thinking. This stuffed llama is almost taller than I am, and I am 5’10 if that gives you a reference to how massive this thing was. Anyways after I bought it I didn’t wanna return it so I decided it would be my mission to write a smash song sitting on the back of it (it was super sturdy so it was practically a seat as well). So i brought the llama to my zoom write that day and i sat on it the entire time and we ended up writing Wishlist! Can’t help but think it went so well because of the llama haha.
But for me, Wishlist is simply a song about being thankful. Looking around I see that Christmas has become so materialistic and often times we forget just how many blessings we actually already have. The eyes of the fool are on the ends of the earth, always seeking more, never content with what God has given them. Being human I sometimes find myself forgetting that and for me this is my way of bringing back joy into the Christmas season by making a list of things I’m thankful for instead of things I want or need. My hope is that it can inspire those who listen to really take the time to count their blessings rather than their wants.
5. What is your recording process like when creating and making new music?
The recording process is really fun for me because I get to make it with one of my very best friends, Austin Shawn. He was the first person I actually met when I moved to Nashville three years ago and he’s been producing me every since. It’s a great vibe when we create and his house studio is really a place where I can comfortably be myself.
6. How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words?
Honest, authentic, hopeful
7. What are a few of your favorite venues to play at?
My favorite venue that I’ve played at is Joe’s Live in Chicago. It was the last place we played opening up for Russell Dickerson and Lindsay Ell before quarantine shut everything down.
8. What do you like to do in your free time?
I love getting outdoors, anything with hiking or getting out in nature is my favorite.
9. What is one of your favorite quotes?
One of my favorite quotes is “Don’t tell God how big your mountain is, tell your mountain how big your God is” for me my faith in Jesus Christ is the single most important thing and for me being able to spread his gospel is my main mission in every aspect of my life. I encourage people that are going through a storm or facing a mountain in life whether it’s physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual to remember who’s child you are. Don’t let the mountain do all the talking, talk back to it and speak life to yourself and self encourage yourself because verbal expression has more power than people realize. God loves each and every person he created, has sent his son to forgive them of all their sins and make them a brand new creation. God also gave them a very specific purpose and assignment that nobody else has ever had nor will ever have, so I would just encourage them to remember that quote!
10. Is there anything else you would like to share?
I am currently working on my debut EP and have a new music video coming out soon so make sure y’all stay on the lookout for it on my social media!!