“Writer block is not a thing, I’m serious, it really isn’t. Writer’s block is a joke. Don’t limit yourself,” said communication senior and aspiring musician Brandon Joseph.
It was this approach that has brought Joseph’s music to the success and wide audiences he has enjoyed since the release of his first single, “Fallen.” Later, “Equinox” was released in fall 2018 after a year of his friends imploring of his friends and the appropriate placement of the moon.
One of his friends would jokingly threaten to release his song if he didn’t, arguing that the world needed to hear it, according to Joseph.
And his friend was right. After a slow start, the single began to gain traction. “Equinox” began with a few streams and soon snowballing to garner 100,000 hits.
“Mourning,” what Joseph considers his breakout single, soon followed “Equinox,” hitting 100,000 streams after one week out. With a passion for music and a do-it-yourself spirit, Joseph writes, records, and produces all of his own music.
“Nobody touches my music but me,” Joseph said.
In his freshman year of high school Joseph taught himself how to navigate music producing software, allowing him to be proficient in most programs. He has also taught himself how to play the guitar, drums, and has been picking up bass.
In regards to his creative process, nothing is planned, according to Joseph. Sometimes, beginning with a guitar riff or lyrics, he builds the song from there.
“A phrase might pop in my head,” Joseph said.
When something does pop in his head and there is no guitar handy for him to try it out, Joseph records a voice memo. He estimates he has about a thousand voice memos stemming from his music and inspiration.
As an artist, the fellow creatives he admires and finds inspiring are numerous. Sade, Prince, Michael and Frankie Valli are a few of his core musical influences; however, he also finds inspiration from creatives all around.
“People surrounding me, artists doing their own thing, not playing by the rules…I never shut down any kind of music, I kind of just pull from everywhere,” Joseph said.
While a career in music can be a gamble, Joseph has a carefree attitude on navigating the industry. Joseph explained that he has never been a person to worry about the financial aspects of the career.
For the young creative, the dream is to make music for a living and less about the glamour and financial success.
“Material possessions aren’t a thing, it’s all about how to be a better person,” Joseph said.
Joseph does not boast of his abilities, but he does not need to. His newest single has made it onto Spotify’s New Music Friday and Fresh Finds playlists.
Originally, Joseph saw one of his friend’s songs on the cover of the “Fresh Finds” playlist. After scrolling through, Joseph found his own song, “Mourning,” was fourth on the list.
When looking towards the future, Joseph is not looking to sign with any record labels. Rather, he plans to continue independently recording his songs.
“At least for right now–for probably a long time. I don’t want to sign with a record deal or anything like that. That’s what’s so nice about today’s day and age…Before you’d basically have to sign your life away,” Joseph said.
Joseph’s advice to those who also want to pursue a musical career is to keep going.
“Never give up. it’s a process–a very long process–and if you stay dedicated you will succeed. I’m not there yet, I’m still a kid in college,” Joseph said.
Though his humble demeanor and low-key approach to music make him an unassuming presence on campus, his dedication to his craft has begun to pay off.