In our latest interview, we talked with Joseph Applegate, a sixteen year old singer-songwriter whose latest single "just a dream" has been released. Joseph told us about the significance of music in his life growing up, how he learned to produce music, and more!
Question one: To start, let’s rewind to when you were younger. What role did music play in your life growing up? Are you able to recall a defining moment that sparked your urge to explore singing and, later on, composing?
music was always something i loved ever since i was really young, i was always singing songs when i was younger that i loved. i didn't realise i wanted to do music as a career until i sang at karaoke events and talent shows my school held !
Question two: Describe your first stages of composing music and experimenting with different sounds. What music programs did you use? Do you play any instruments that have guided you?
so for the longest time i had no idea how to produce. i started studying music production and the basics at the start of quarantine;. at that time, i was using bandlab on my school computer, which wasnt my best choice being fully honest. I later moved onto the daw that i use called soundtrap, after maia (also known as mxmtoon) did a remix contest that i was gonna participate in. that remix thing made me realise that soundtrap was a much more useful and powerful daw. the instrument that influenced me to start writing music was the ukulele. i've been playing the ukulele for years, and it took a few months to fully get used to playing it and memorize chords like that and stuff. i used to be so obsessed with chloe moriondo and twenty one pilots a few years ago, they were one of the first artists (including other artists like vii/vivian allyse, isaac dunbar, etc.) that made me realise "wait, i can do this!" and pick up a ukulele and write songs. i usually sit down and play ukulele chord progressions and write to them, and then later produce. i really want a guitar though.
Question three: Now that you've expanded your musical output, what can you tell us about your artistic growth and the things that you have picked up along the way?
being fully honest i think im constantly still expanding my artistic growth. i've been writing songs for years, but i never showed them to anyone until a year ago when i released a song exclusively on soundcloud called "pet." it didn't do well, but it did get me a few of my first "fans." i dont really like to call them my fans though, because it seems weird to say that since i'm not even close to being famous. they have stuck with me and said they appreciate my new work and it means alot though! i have no idea how to answer the rest of this question as i'm still in my growing stage as both a person and an artist, so i hope in like a few years i can properly answer this question.
Question four: You seem to have a very diverse music taste! Who are your biggest musical inspirations? What sort of role have they played in your own creations?
almost all of the artists i love right now or loved years ago have inspired me in one way or another. even my musician friends such as ifeanyichukwu, sammy the fish, anell x, sage ella, lennox, etc. my main inspirations right now are chloe moriondo and cavetown. their music used to calm me years ago and just overall make me feel less alone, and i want to do that to people with my music. i want people to take it and apply it to their stuggles as a way to cope. without any of my current favs or old favs i genuinely think i would be living a really sad and depressing life. music is my only way to cope.
Question five: Let’s discuss, in detail, your latest releases. What are the messages and meanings behind habitat and i’m in love with you?
okay so, i'm in love with you was basically like a love letter i wrote to one of my friends, who i will keep anonymous for their privacy. i wrote it to him because at the time i was really jealous of their at the time boyfriend, who i thought was gonna hurt the person i loved, so i wrote it. theres nothing really behind it that is that big and important, it was just a stupid little love song i wrote. i released it impulsively and it got big out of nowhere, which i never expected, so i later put it on all streaming platforms, and i eventually told the person it was about them and we laughed about it for a while. habitat was a story telling type song, i have never really been in such a situation before but i could kind of relate to it with one of my past relationships, now that i think about it!
Question six: Your fanbase is very tight-knit and connected with you. What do you do on social media to promote positivity and loving energy within your audience?
like i said earlier, it feels so weird to call them a fanbase as most of them either are one of my close friends, or they just follow me and gave my stuff a listen. (im not mad sorry if this looks intimidating or anything !!)
i usually just tweet stupid stuff on twitter to make people laugh or to like, get the thoughts i have out of my head. to spread positivity, i am just kind to everyone. it's something that i've learned to do when i was younger. i just hope that someone smiles or thinks good of me when i talk to them, i only want people to be happy.
Question seven: What are your goals, musically and in general? Can you tell us about any upcoming releases?
I know this sounds a little bit of a stretch but i'm gonna keep releasing music til i grab the attention of a label. while i know i don't need a label as i can do almost everything on my own, i think it would be helpful. i have a new song coming soon, but i don't have any dates planned. all i know is that it should be here by march or april!
Question eight: It was a pleasure hearing from you, Joe! We’re wishing you the best of luck on your music and everything else that you are working on. Is there anything else you’d like to share before we wrap up?
thank you for having me, and thank you for wishing me luck, i greatly appreciate it! i just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported or helped me with my music in the past year. whether it be simply just liking my posts, or listening to my music in general, i don't think i would be working my hardest on music. you guys helped me realise that my dreams can become a reality, and that i shouldn't push things off any longer. i appreicate every single one of you and i hope you all have been taking care of yourselves. i love you guys so much. (also you didn't hear this from me but EP1 is in the works !!)