With over 100 million streams across his career, Joe Brooks has returned after a spell away from the limelight to bring us all some much needed escapism with his new single Pink Sky Moon. There are few more adept at carrying you far away from the daily grind in under 4 minutes. We sat down to find out more about the man behind the music.
What got you into music?
When I was young I took my Sony Walkman around with me everywhere. I would blast Brian Adams and Dire Straits and mess around with my Mums record collection with albums like Thriller in it. I just loved listening (a little too loudly) all the time.
Who did you look up to musically while growing up?
Other than those early artists I mentioned, I then found a whole new style to fall in love with when I first discovered Cat Stevens, James Taylor, Ben Harper, Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz and all those acoustic singer-songwriters that merged poetry with melody. This was a revelation for me and I picked up the acoustic for the first time around the age of 16 solely because of these artists.
Do you prefer playing on stage or recording songs?
100% Performing on stage. I think it’s my favourite thing to do, period. I’ve never had the same rush as that feeling you get after a great show, the crowd buzzing and I’m drenched in sweat with my ears ringing.
What’s your song writing process like?
Exhausting. It’s really rough if I’m honest and has to be the hardest part of all of this. I go over every syllable until I get it as perfect as I can and even then I’m usually not happy with it. A song can take years from it’s inception to it’s completion. But when you do get that lyric or melody you’re searching for… it’s incredibly rewarding.
Can you tell us a bit more about your new single ‘Pink Sky Moon’, what is it about?
Sorry to disappoint here, but in case I were to ruin the magic for anyone, I’m no longer discussing the meanings/stories behind my songs 🙂 I prefer the mystery! But I will say that from the outset I wanted to do everything I could to make it as nostalgic as possible, creating a vibrant scene for everyone to imagine.
Where do you most get inspiration for writing songs?
I try to dig as deep as possible. If I feel moved by what I’m writing, I know that it will connect with people. I am fortunate enough to be able to draw from some pretty real emotions and sometimes I wonder if God puts me through things just so I have fresh material to write about lol.
Who would you want to collaborate with?
I think Julia Michaels is a phenomenal writer and artist. Or James Blake is just out of this world, he’s makes music like no-one else.
What type of music do you enjoy listening to and what are you listening to at the moment?
So I have a bunch of different playlists on my Spotify that people can follow with all the different artists I like. Recently I been on a real Joan, Barcelona, James Blake kick. I also had ‘Forever’ by Mumford & Sons on repeat for about 3 weeks ahah.
What makes you strive for greatness?
I have a real OCD/perfectionism problem… like for real real and it’s crippling. The fear of failing or not being good enough on too many occasions has stopped me from making music. It’s something I’m trying to work through and understand better but this innately makes me strive to make the best possible product I can.
Is there anything you’re doing in the future that we should be looking forward to?
My aim is to release another 2 songs before the end of 2020 and then pre-sale a 6 track Vinyl (which will be my first vinyl ever!). Undoubtedly, I’ll be looking for opportunities to travel and get back out on the stage again. The better these songs are received the more likely I will be able to do this… we shall see!
Follow Joe Brooks on Instagram
Stream Pink Sky Moon here
Interviewer: Rojan Said
Photography: Matt Trainor