New Haven, CT’s JoeyAX has quite the elusive and exciting repertoire for an underground recording artist, with accolades that include working alongside Jadakiss, as well as working with a handful of New York City-based rappers and independent bands, and also being invited as a supporting act on separate tours for Mac Miller and Machine Gun Kelly.
Working under the radar, JoeyAX decided to take a step back in recent years, refocusing his time in the studio and taking a brief hiatus from releasing music. This year will see his return, as he currently has four projects being kept warm in the oven, including his forthcoming EP, titled Art School Rebel and a project that is a soundtrack of one night where he was alone in Manhattan, with each track representing a different hour.
In advance of what Joey has in the works, we took some time to chop it up and learn more about the influences that are fueling his next chapter as an eclectic musician.
How long have you been doing what you do?
My whole life. I’ve grown up in music, performance and the arts. I never fit in anywhere, but that’s what made me fit in everywhere. I never tried to be creative, I just saw the world the way I saw it, and created from there. I was thrown on stages doing musical theater at a young age. I started a new band or group like every week as a kid. I was bored with school, rules, and structure and I was kicked out of every school my parents enrolled me in because of that, which just allowed me to create more.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in New Haven, CT. Being from a city right between Boston and NYC is a blessing and a curse, because it’s all right there, but your city is kinda like an off ramp between the two. In NYC, there’s Biggie, and Sinatra, and the Yankees and Trump and in New Haven, there’s nothing you can aspire to be. We’re the capital of close but no cigar. So it made me really hungry and really aggressive, because we deserve that status, or at least a real, national scene. We have so much talent here, and it’s pushed me harder to break down barriers.
What are your influences?
I am influenced by everything outside my genre or culture. Other art forms. Other genres. Baz Luhrmann’s surrealist, hyper color, pop culture tornado as well as moody, low lit, neo-noir films like Bladerunner. Cinematography inspires me. Classical music and film scores inspire me. Beatnik writers and counterculture thru out history inspires me. Fashion designers who’s line’s tell a story and build a character, and visual artists are a huge inspiration. A lot of my music will come from me just staring at a Rothko piece.
What are you passionate about?
Literally everything I care about. It’s wild. I’ve been told I’m the most passionate person people have ever met. I want to recreate everything, and I identify most with Kanye’s ideology. I was given all of these gifts from God, and it was to leave the world a better place than I found it, not to make it rain at some strip club.
How do you describe your sound?
Cinematic Hip Hop.
What are you working on next?
I have four projects in the tank already. Art School Rebel is first. Then probably Taxi Cab Confessions, which is an audio movie basically, it’s the soundtrack to one night (a composite of the many) in my life when I was alone in Manhattan. Every track is like a different hour, and it ends when the sun comes up.
What type of vibe do you go for in the studio? What are the intentions and goals you set for the session?
I record in really relaxed, low light, low key environments. No drugs, no booze, no nothing. I go through water like a fish. I don’t like people around. I don’t like hype and all that sh*t. My producer, and best friend Jonathan Lee told me that all recording is is capturing a moment and emotion, so I don’t like to have other influences in my realm there.
What do you aim to accomplish next in your career?
To tour in Europe. The UK loves me, and I love them back.