After gigging across London for several years and supporting established artists such as BRIDGES and Holly Redford Jones, Joseph Bell released his debut single at the start of 2020.
A few singles, support from BBC Introducing and creating his own unique version of indie pop - fused with influences from R&B, folk, hip-hop and more, Joseph is now gearing up to release his highly anticipated EP 'Dancing Days' on November 6th.
We thought it would be a great time to chat with Joseph as part of our Get To Know Series...
Hey Joseph Welcome to The Lowdown! How are you doing?
"Hey!!! I’m great thanks, thanks for having me! Currently back to binging tea and biscuits to adjust to the new lockdown measures."
Tell us a fun fact about you!
"When I feel sad I search for pics of baby orangutans online. Sometimes it cheers me up but other times it makes it worse."
Where are you from?
"I’m from Shrewsbury originally, in the West Midlands! It’s very picturesque and has lots of 10/10 pubs and cafes. Would definitely recommend a visit. I moved to London about four years ago."
Have you had any crazy or stand out moments in your career so far?
"A fan from India recently messaged me to tell me my music ‘slaps so peacefully, like a massage to my buttocks’. That’s definitely been the stand out feedback so far! I’ve played some amazing gigs and crazily bad gigs too. My worst was at a dodgy pub in London where there were about 3 people in the audience and two of the bands just got up and ran out of the venue right before the gig started. The best last year was an acoustic set I played at Shrewsbury Folk Festival, where a super cool Tibetan percussion expert joined me on stage and did some awesome drumming on a couple of tracks. I love seeing people from across the world playing my music too - that feeling never gets old. Last week I had listeners on 5 continents that I know about, that’s pretty amazing."
Who or what is the biggest inspiration for you?
"I’m a massive music fan as well as being a musician - I love hearing about people’s processes and working with new people. I’ll listen to Podcasts or just dive into behind the scenes Youtube videos if I’m feeling devoid of inspiration! I love watching other musicians live as well - it always spurs me on to work harder, or pick up new techniques. If I’m struggling for lyrics, I’ll look at some art, read a book or just write a song about a film I’ve seen recently. When I saw an Avengers film at age 15 I came straight home and wrote a song about Black Widow and the Hulk’s failed romance. You won’t be hearing that one anytime soon though..."
How would you sum your sound up in the form of a hashtag?
Your single ‘Look Away’ which was released last month is a chilled indie pop banger! Is there a story behind the lyrics?
"Woohoo! Yep - the lyrics were inspired by the story of Anna Delvey, a Russian woman who posed as a German heiress and conned lots of banks into giving her huge loans. She lived in a hotel in New York as a socialite for a year, flying around attending A-list parties etc. She’s now in jail for fraud or something, but I just thought her story was really cool! There’s a Netflix series coming out about her soon - ‘Inventing Anna.’"
How has the reaction been so far?
"It’s been great! BBC Introducing Shropshire played the song a couple of times, which is a fantastic feeling. It’s also getting quite a few plays in Quito, Ecuador which is a place I didn’t think It would reach! I’m excited to keep sharing more music."
You’re releasing your upcoming EP soon! What can we expect from that?
"I am - it’s out on November 6th! The EP features the two singles I’ve released so far, as well as 2 and a half new songs I’m really excited to share. There are a few different vibes on there - one of the songs is just vocals and guitar and it’s one of my favourites I’ve written. I always imagine my songs as part of a whole, so I’m excited for people to hear all 4 (and a half) songs together!"
What else can we expect from you for the rest of the year and into 2021?
"I’ve been working on a few other songs with different musicians, so one or two of those will be out before the end of the year. I’ve already begun working on new music for 2021 which I’m super excited about sharing - I feel like I’m learning and improving a lot at the minute and I have a lot more songs to finish off. I’d love to get back to gigging (COVID permitting) and the next dream is a little tour. Have a great day!"