Part Two: The Musical Evolution of Joey’s Dream
Contributed by Imade
Imade: How did Mold Me’s recording process differ from Average Joe? What state of mind were you in?
As far as mind states, Average Joe was not made like a traditional record. It was more or less songs I had been working on from the late 90’s till when it came out in 2003. So I didn’t have like one mind state when I was writing those songs, it was so sporadic. Where with this project, I wrote all this stuff around the same time, and most of it with Matt Dally from Superchick. I sent him a song that I did with the worship leader from my church, it was a singing song, and he loved it, and he was like “let’s write, what else do you got”, and at the time I had a bunch of ideas that I was trying to find music for. I had also reached out to Grant Harrison (who produced some stuff for John Reuben) before I started writing with Matt, and he sent me about 100 beats, that were melodic, and not really hip-hop boom bap style, but more like song skeletons. I picked the ones I liked and started writing. So when Matt called me back and was interested I had some of the Grant ideas. We worked on songs from scratch and some of my ideas as well.
I guess my mind state [for Mold Me] was a lot more confident and excited to make music again. After Disappear Here I felt like; I’m not doing another rap album, it felt like a waste of time. And after writing to some of the beats Grant sent me I felt good about where I was going with the singing thing. Then when Matt was down it confirmed my confidence even more, cause he’s really honest, and frank, and if something sucked he would tell me, and if he liked it he would tell me.
But spiritually, I was more mature. I never went through a doubting God, or angry at God kind of thing, I was more like on some “business men who claim to Christian messed up my beautiful music experience.”
I felt blessed that dudes still wanted to work with me, and that I even had the opportunity to call people and be like “I want to make these kinds of songs”.
Imade: After an accomplished rap career, how did you get the courage to show another side of yourself? What did you learn in making this musical shift?
Joey: In a lot of respects I don’t, and didn’t feel like I had an accomplished rap career. I still have a failure kind of taste in my mind about the whole thing, it was super humbling, and at times I act like “I coulda been a contender” but I walked away with nothing and at any point in the L.A.S. story I had just about nothing, so I had already been wasting time with nothing to show for it, except some cool experiences.
As an artist, I am kind of conceited, maybe over confident should be the way I phrase it. I think art should show who you are, there should be some human relational connection sort of thing happening, so as far as me showing another side of me, I tried to make honest rap music, and honest singing songs as well. I guess I don’t see it as another side, or courageous even, I just see it as more art, more expression. I see what you’re saying in the question, I think I have always tried to be transparent, so…
Imade: What song on Mold Me has the biggest impact on you?
Joey: I guess I can say 2 songs mean the most I guess, “Why” because its starts off saying “we all…” but really I wrote it not meaning to say I but genuinely knowing I was talking about myself. So it’s like an accountability song to myself. So that makes that song really “real” to me, it’s not just a song, you know what I mean. It’s like you write a paper in school about something meaningful to you, and you want to show it to people, but you don’t want to expose yourself, so you don’t show it, but your so excited about what you have written.
There is also “Sierra” which is a song about an actual person. My sister-in-law gave up her first baby in an open adoption when she was a teenager, and this had a significant effect on my wife’s family accepting Jesus. Fast forward to me getting married, and now I am family, and all of my wife’s family went and spent the weekend at Sierra’s house with her adoptive family. It was weird to me, or new to me because my sister-in-law had since gotten married and had a young daughter, but it was also awesome, because it was so peaceful, and all the adults were grateful, and totally not weird at all, like they were all family, and it was really cool. But at the end of the weekend all of my wife’s sisters and all their kids (nieces and nephews) cried when we said goodbye, it was so sad and emotionally draining to say goodbye and leave from Sierra’s house. And I felt so emotional, and I felt like “this is all new, I am a bystander, this didn’t happen to me”. I couldn’t get my mind off of how my sister-in-law must have felt or what her thoughts were, and it was crazy. We came back from Sierra’s on a Sunday afternoon and Monday morning I woke up like 6 am with the first [part] in my head, it literally came to me, or woke me up, it was weird. And it was from my sister-in-law’s perspective and I sang it for my wife and she totally cried. So that song is definitely meaningful.
Imade: Are there any prayer requests that you have for you and your family? What are you dreaming about?
Joey: That God would be glorified in all that we as a family do, and I as an individual do. As far as dreams, I have too many to talk about.