From having finished a maths degree at Oxford University, to getting to the live finals of The X Factor with his duo partner in Jack and Joel, Joel Fishel is ready to sing his words with his own voice.
Telling the story of a romance that was painfully strong but mistimed, Joel Fishel brings to the world his very first single as a solo artist.
We had a chat with Joel as part of our Introducing series...
Hello and welcome to The Lowdown! How are you doing?
"Hello everyone at The Lowdown (which I initially read as "Lockdown Magazine" when I first saw it... You can tell Covid is taking it's toll)! I'm doing well thanks. I've currently decided to escape the miserable British winter and I'm living in Seville for a few months to focus on writing, learn Spanish and enjoy a little more warmth."
Tell us a bit about yourself!
"So, where to begin... Music has always been a huge part of my life from a very early age. My Dad was a classical trombonist who transitioned into Dub/Ska bands through his 20s and has made music an important focus and discipline through my formative years. However, my passion for music was always rivaled by a fascination with patterns and numbers. I was obsessed with chess and maths growing up - maybe not so typically rock 'n' roll... After a very difficult decision I decided it would be maths I would take on for further education and I was fortunate enough to be admitted into Oxford University to read mathematics. Perhaps somewhat ironically I ended up mostly focusing on the incredible music scene for the entirety of my degree. I was a managing director and beatboxer of Out of the Blue, an all male a cappella group (yes, just like Pitch Perfect), where I was able to tour the world due to a few hugely successful viral videos. I also met my duo partner Jack Remmington who I've since reached the live finals of The X Factor UK 2017. It's been an incredibly fortunate road for me but now I'm going back to my routes and fundamental passion which is song writing and creating art that's not just for a fleeting fast viral video attempt, but instead, something that can make a real stamp on listeners for time to come. I'm beyond excited to do it under my own name and be singing my stories to you all."
Where are you from and what’s your favourite thing about that place?
"I'm from North London and let's be honest, what could beat Hampstead Heath?"
How would you sum up your sound in the form of a hashtag?
"I want my music to make people think on a lyrical and harmonic level whilst maintaining the catchy beauty of pop so how about.. #smartpopmusic"
What’s your earliest musical memory?
"My Dad would sing for the 'Old Dears' at care homes and he would take me with him. Whilst he was performing I would dance at the front alongside him - I just loved the rhythms and melodies so much I couldn't help it. What a show off I was!!"
How are you finding trying to be creative in such a difficult time for artists at the moment?
"It's a tough time for everyone but certainly for creatives. There's a lot of pressure in some ways for it to be the best possible moment to have the time 'in the shed' for writing and developing ourselves as artists but ultimately that pressure can collapse on ourselves and become overwhelming. I try not to be too hard on myself because there are definitely good days and bad days. Overall though, I'm working on a lot of music and projects that I'm super proud of and can't wait to deliver to you guys."
You’ve recently released your debut single ‘Take It Slow’. Tell us a little about it!
"'Take It Slow' is the first single from my upcoming EP. It tells the story of a romance that's fast and passionate but mistimed. I loved creating two contrasting sections that take you through very different feelings but talk to each other in a way that makes sense if you've experienced one of these types of relationships. And if you haven't, you'll still be able to bop your head to it!!"
How has the reaction been so far?
"The reaction has been overwhelmingly lovely. Of course you can count on friends and family to say positive things (whether or not they're telling the truth, you'll never know) but I've been so pleased with feedback I've had from strangers who owe me nothing. People reaching out to congratulate me and also tell me that the music has meant something to them means more than I most consumers of music can imagine."
Were there any key influences when writing?
"Funnily enough there really weren't particular influencers in mind when writing. I tend to, perhaps weirdly, not listen to much music when I'm in the writing zone because I want whatever is created to feel fairly unique and push the boundaries of genre. I asked some friends what they thought the song sounded most like before releasing and most of them also found it hard to pick accurate soundalikes."
Do you have a favourite lyric or part of the track in particular?
"Got this bitter taste before I drink".
"The lyric is delivered with a lot of emotion that always makes me shiver a bit hearing it back. I think there's a lot of levels and beauty in this lyric and I don't want to tarnish people's own perceptions of it so I won't spoil anything by analysing it too much myself but I'd certainly implore the reader/listener to enjoy having a think about this line."
Finally, what are your plans for 2021 so far?
"2021 will be a year of writing writing writing. I'm hoping to be bringing enough songs out such that I can be touring with a set of my own material come 2022. The journey is just beginning and I hope people want to join me for the ride!"
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