OTW #530: Joel Compass

British R&B revolutionised…
Joel Compass by Neil Bedford

If you think the current state of British R&B/future soul has been reductive, all one has to do is listen to the libidinous sounds of Joel Compass. The newcomer is manifesting his surname by leading a new direction for the crooner-cum-producer title-holders in a genre that was long overdue a fresh visionary.  

Joel’s first release, ‘Back To Me’, spread through the aural canals of the masses like wildfire, accumulating impressive numbers on SoundCloud and YouTube. His initial producer goal was to attract a vocalist – but instead he piqued the attention of former Epic Records president Amanda Ghost instead. With her backing, he was signed almost immediately to Black Butter Records.

This was a calculated move on Compass’ part, due to his atypical drive to be a beat maker. “I thought I would sign as a producer, not a vocalist,” he says. He has already written for K.Flay and John Legend, with a slew more on a very distinguished waiting list.

But he insists he’s still working on defining his own material. “If I had to describe my sound, I would say a fusion of soul, electronics, and atmospheric. My sound will become a lot more clearer when the EP comes out.”

That EP, ‘Astronaut’ is out now. The title track’s striking video and the visuals for ‘F*cked Up’ put an intoxicating face to the captivating music and lyrics of life decisions and situations both good and quite painful. He is shy to discuss his upbringing other than saying his music influences are “a take on everything growing up”.

While most 19-year-olds are trying to sort out a life path, Compass is clear-headed about his. Weekly football games with his childhood friends keep him grounded and focused, while his love of medicine and sciences is reflected in his musical explorations and experiments.

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Where: South London

What: Revolutionised British R&B

Get 3 Songs: ‘Astronaut’ (video above), ‘Come Back To Me’, ‘F*cked Up’

Fact: He taught himself on the keyboard at the age of eight.

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Words: Jenna Aranda

Photo: Neil Bedford

Find Joel Compass online here

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