Joey Maxwell is somewhat of a tour de force. Debut EP ‘Natureland’ landed last year, an explosion cocktail of straight-talking lyrics and his delectable fusion of indie songwriting, hip-hop, and alt-soul vibes.
Just look at new single ‘Myself’. Influenced by the likes of The Streets or Jarvis Cocker, his lyrics are punchy and witty, taking inspiration not only from his own life, but other people’s too. He comments: “We live in such a weird world with social media where we are constantly comparing ourselves to other people and ‘Myself’ is about trying to be at one with myself!”
Growing up in South East London, Joey was influenced by a myriad of genres. He recalls: “I think in terms of the genre-mashing, it’s really out of respect to be honest. I listen to so much different music – loads of hip-hop, northern soul, or whatever – and just being able to blend whatever together is not me trying to exploit a particular thing. It’s just what I like!”
Joey is finishing up a new mixtape, one that spans six tracks, including ‘Streetlights’ – a surging guitar-led track which talks of leaving the past behind. “I was looking at past emotional traumas and delving back into bad memories,” he says. “‘Streetlights’ is all about getting out of those bad habits and having more positive thinking”.
The mixtape is an act of self-assessment by Joey, an artist who is constantly in motion. “If I was to feel like I wasn’t evolving, that would be a big issue,” he says. So, why a mixtape and not a full album at this stage, as Joey has in the region of 60-70 songs in his pocket?
“It’s not so different from an album. I wouldn’t say I don’t know what my sound is, but it gives me an opportunity with how different the songs are and by calling it a mix tape I can do what I want to do. An album is more of a snapshot in time and a lot more cohesive and a mixtape gives me that freedom.”
Like most musicians, Joey is missing playing live. “It’s the best thing – I like everything about it”. He’s working on a series where he will invite other musicians to create music with him and will film each episode. “It will be a nice way to come together with some artists and create some good content and good music!”
WHAT: Whipsmart indie that plays by its own rules.
WHERE: South London
3 Songs: ‘streetlights’, ‘going thru changes’, ‘don’t stress’
FACT: Joey used to be a chorister at a small child, singing at St Paul’s Cathedral in London whilst his mum worked night shifts as a nurse.
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Words: Emma Harrison
Photography: Joel Smedley
Styling: Zarina Shukri
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