I had the honor of interviewing musician and business owner Joe Joe Keys today, please check out his music and JoSara inc-
Me: So for those that aren’t familiar with your music, how would you describe it?
JK: I always describe myself as a classically trained pianist who loves to listen to death metal lol. When I write it almost always comes out pop/funk tho…Short to the point songs with strong hooks.
Me: You’re classically trained?, have you been playing piano most of your life?
JK: Yes, I started taking lessons when I was 12(which is technically a late start). Music runs many generations deep in my family. It found me, I didn’t necessarily find it. I’ve been playing piano for over 25 years total.
Me: You have family members that have been professional musicians?
JK: Yes, my grandmother and her father 🙂 https://instagram.com/p/sCfGCBQcjg/?taken-by=joejoekeys
Me: So you were in a band called LP outsiders, what kind of recognition did that bring?
JK: LP Outsiders was a great learning experience, let’s say that. I learned that I don’t ever want to tour with 6 people in a van touring the country multiple times for months on end. LOL, there were some great experiences that came out of it though…opening for acts anywhere from The Culture Club to Big Bad Voodoo Daddy to 98 Degrees…we had some fun times for sure. We were also signed with a publishing company who was shopping us for major labels. We also had some small commercial successes such as being on the soundtrack for the movie “Three To Tango.” On the flip side, we never got signed(which was actually a blessing in disguise) and the band ended with half of the original members splitting leaving me, Luppy and Tony E. to try and pick up the pieces. We failed miserably lol. It was over. We still have tons of fans and are talking of doing a reunion show because 2 of the members live in Hong Kong now and will be visiting the states…we’ll see!
Me: Well we definitely look forward to finding out!:) you mentioned not getting signed was a blessing in disguise, how so?
JK: Our publishing company had put in a ton of money…close to 250K by some estimates and if we would have been signed we would have had to recoup that money first before making anything ourselves.
Me: So you’ve shared the stage with some big artists, who have your favorites been and why?
JK: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy by a long shot. They were the nicest guys…would come on stage and play horns on “I Wish” by Stevie Wonder when we would play it as it was part of our nightly set…it was so much fun. Ironically a few weeks after we had our last couple of gigs with BDVD they actually played that song with Stevie Wonder at a SuperBowl…don’t remember which game it was! A cool feeling tho to know I was one person away from knowing Stevie! LOL!!
Me: That must have been awesome!:) so you do covers at your concerts too?
JK: Ha, well…yea we did. Then after the outsiders broke up I decided I needed to make a living “doing music” no matter what form…so for 10+ years I paid my bills playing in cover bands. Up until the past 2 years I’ve literally played atleast 1 gig a week since 1997. My wife and I are now playing at local venues here in Rochester doing covers and such, it’s fun to relax and play music for fun again, oh and I still make good money at it!
Me: Your wife is Sara?, and you run Josarainc?, tell us about that
JK: Yes, we’re both musicians and have been married almost 16 yrs with music the center of our lives. Sara isn’t involved with the company JoSara, Inc. too much…she is a therapist as well as a music therapist so she is very busy in her own career. I started the company to promote indie music, period. I want to educate musicians who don’t know much about the digital world, i.e. social media, websites, digital marketing etc and help them while having affordable services available for them.
Me: So affordable education to indie musicians is very important to you?
JK: Music education AND educating musicians on how to make a living doing what they love, yes 🙂 I also teach piano if I didn’t mention that before…I carry an average of 50 students of all ages
Me: That’s alot of people!, so for those interested in your services, what city are you based out of?, and what are your links?
JK: I’m in Rochester, NY and teach at The Rochester Academy Of Music & Arts. All of my links can be found on my website. http://www.joejoekeys.com
Me: One last question, from reading my blog, you can tell I’m a Christian, what are your spiritual views and how do they affect your music and business?
JK: I grew up in the church. I worked at the first fulltime 24/7 christian rock station in high school and went to a christian liberal arts school called Greenville College in Greenville, Il responsible for acts such as Jars Of Clay most notably. The way the college was set up made me shy away from the church for many years, however I have a deep & personal belief in God and feel his presence in my life everyday. I write my music for myself, that’s it. Yes, I want others to enjoy it and get something out of it but everyone of my songs are just like my faith, very personal.
Me: I see, well thank you so much for the interview!:) we look forward to what the future brings
JK: THANK YOU FOR THE INTERVIEW MAN! You are awesome!