Glasgow’s characterful East End isn’t where you’d typically look for the next big soulful thing, but that’s exactly the unlikely home for the stunning voice of Joesef. Following in the footsteps of Lewis Capaldi, Josef if the next artist to sell out the legendary King Tuts Wah Wah Hut without having released any music online!
A sound completely from another age, Joesef makes music that will stop you in your tracks like the first time you heard the timeless voice of Amy Winehouse. Motown grooves, hip hop beats and jazz guitar make this young man completely impossible to pigeonhole but with such an attention-grabbing voice it’s really not important to label such honest and beautifully crafted music.
“Limbo” is Joesef’s first single. In keeping with the unexpected, out-of-nowhere feel to this single there’s little we can tell you about Joesef apart from that he’s an “East End Glasgow boy” with a whole host of heart-breaking tales to entice the listener with, told with more than a dash of Scottish humour. This debut single is smooth as heck, filled with delicious harmonies surrounding Joesef’s distinctive croon, a seductive guitar line and a rhythm section laying down grooves worthy of Muscle Shoals.
Yet even the style of this first track gives little away about Joesef’s influences. “My taste would give anyone whiplash! Give me the aux cable at a party and it will be The Cure followed by Spice Girls.”
As with any young man from Glasgow, the city’s nightlife proves to be a rich and fertile place for the singer to be inspired by. “Sh*gging, loving, crying, dancing, my pals….these are all good tune fodder!”
“‘Limbo’ is part of a collection of tunes I wrote in the midst of my first breakup,” says Joesef of the song. “I kinda went off the rails when it ended and my head was up my arse for quite a while. So this was me trying to process the situation we were in, separated, but still together all the time shagging and talking. ‘Limbo’ is the grey area in-between being in love, and not being able to let it go.”
Joesef’s honesty is a huge part of the appeal of “Limbo”; alongside writing and producing the track (Joesef does it all on his own within the bedroom of his east end flat), the Glaswegian is keen to let you know all these feelings he’s singing about are absolutely real. “I write totally autobiographically,” he explains. “Everything you hear has happened to me directly, so maybe my honesty would separate me from the pack a bit. I don't think I have a tune that’s not me pulling my own guts out and wearing them like a scarf!”
Joesef isn’t concerned about being compared to anyone, isn’t worrying about what any of his peers are doing. “I don’t really fancy comparing myself to anybody, so I’ll leave it up to the listener to make any comparisons.”
However, with “Limbo” being the sound of an artist creating a singular vision, Joesef is already out there on his own—and it’s going to be quite a journey he’s taking the listener on.