POINT OF VIEW INTERVIEW #5
HIP-HOP ARTIST: JOEL DEBUS
Today, I feel like there is some music out there that comes out of empty places. There is music with no meaning or no actual depth. It is music to make success in all the wrong places. I find artists that take the time and effort to really put their own selves out there, in a way where you can emotionally and sometimes spiritually relate to them, to be real genuine risk takers. They are able to express themselves in a way where they show no fear in what they believe in no matter what people may think. It may sound cliché, but nonetheless, true. Joel Debus is exactly this description of the kind of artist I admire. He is a true lyricist. He puts himself and his past experiences in his music so that others can see what reality is. With elements of humor and cleverness, Debus ranges in a variety of rap styles. Motivated and determined, Joel Debus’s music can inspire really anyone to make their life into something more than just what they think they can do. Telling his audience to set forth on a mission to accomplish any goal or dream they aspire to. In this interview, it is more than clear Joel is concrete in what he does and shares his explanations of his music and of others’ as well. Check it out below!
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Question 1: What got you into making music?
I began to get into music because I have struggled with depression. Writing music gave me an outlet to express how I was feeling. I never thought I would or could write my own music but during these tough times, I found hope in it. Also, I wanted to create music for people who were feeling how I was feeling. And still today, we all know things change, people go, and feelings die. I want to give people an outlet like the artists I love have always done for me.
Question 2: What people intrigue you or inspire you to pursue music?
I am influenced by hip hop people overall. I grew up listening to T.I., Jay-Z, Eminem, Twista, Tech N9ne, Kanye...you name it, and I have loved to be enveloped in the culture. But I find inspiration through so much more. I study works written by various songwriters in pop music such as Skylar Grey, Jon Bellion, Christina Perry and others. Johnny Cash's music has resonated with me as well. I know it sounds unlikely, but I also get influenced by stand up comedians. If you really think about it, they are great writers and gutsy performers. They write with the goal and intention to make people laugh, usually telling a story. In order for their goal to be achieved, they need to know when to time out the story, set up, and the punch line to make it most effective. It's fascinating to watch and think about the preparation and talent involved. But musically, I find inspiration through many past and present artists.
Question 3: How would you define your style of music?
My music comes from a vulnerable, authentic state. It's my thoughts, my views, my struggles, my pain, and my search for happiness. It's lyric driven with musical influences meshed from all different genres. I am always trying to be different than what is currently out and unique with the way my music is produced and written to.
Question 4: What influences your style of music?
My style of music is unique. Throughout an album or completed body of work, I always want to be able to capture almost every mood. I want my music to be relevant to you, ranging from when you are depressed because your lover broke up with you, to the times of your life at a party or other happy events.
Question 5: What is your favorite track you have done so far and why?
I think I have a favorite song that I made and a favorite to perform.
My favorite song I've made so far is "Feet on the Clouds" which came off of my EP, The Platter. It's a song about ambition, drive, and chasing dreams. The chorus I wrote, is
"I'll put my feet on the clouds
I won't look back
And I'll be painting galaxies with dreams that I've believed."
So, it's very sentimental to me in my journey towards success and very relatable to those with high goals.
My favorite song to perform is "Irony." It's a high energy, trap instrumental that pokes fun at club and radio records nowadays...the hook being
"I don't know the words but the beat's dope."
I am just having fun, depicting a story of meeting a girl and seeing everything about her is ironic while simultaneously pointing out how ironic it is that many people don't know the words in these radio songs and are gravitating towards the production.
Question 6: How far do you plan to take your music and any goals for the future?
I plan to take it as far as my legs can carry me. I know that this industry is all about alignment at the right time and a sense of luck. I just have to position myself in the best way I can. Other than that, it's out of my hands. I believe I have the talent to make it and will be pursuing it relentlessly.
I have an album amount of songs ready right now but I'm holding on to them. Right now I'm at a creative conflict, growing rapidly. I am torn between a couple concepts to write about right now but hopefully in early 2016 I'll have it done.