Tag Archives: Soul

Joel Sena (AUS)

Joel Sena – QnA with Foghorn Media

Joel Sena is a Sydney saxophonist and producer with his debut self-titled EP expected for release 11 November, 2016. The first single off the EP, “Be With You,”Featuring Female Vocals from Phoebe  will be available 7 October, 2016.

Listen to previews of the EP here: joelsena.com/music

Foghorn Media: What inspired you to become a musician? Who
are your early influences?
Joel Sena: I’ve been playing and writing music from a very young age. It has always been a great emotional outlet for me, being someone who is quite shy and reserved. Sharing an emotional connection with others through music is something really special and that’s why I try and write songs that are honest and direct. I’ve always thought the saxophone to be a uniquely lyrical and compelling instrument when played well. Mastering that instrument and its potential has been a long term pursuit of mine!
FM: Tell us a little about how you write; how do the songs come?  What gets you going creatively?
JS: I write songs in the strangest of places. More often than not I’ll have an idea in the car or on the train. I’ve learnt to jot down ideas quickly and then unpack them when I have some time to be more creative. I produce my own music and the pre-production phase of putting songs together is really helpful in developing them further. I love finding something compelling – whether it be a melody, groove, or set of chords – to expand upon bit by bit. I’ve always found that experience drives creativity. Travel, relationships, and life’s struggles have all spurred me on to create more and more music.
FM: What is the first record you bought and why?
JS: Miles Davis – “Kind of Blue,” I bought it because my sax teacher told me to! It took me more than a decade to really appreciate all of the nuances of that album but it inspired me from the start. It has remained one of my favourite albums of all time.
FM: What current OZ acts inspire you? International acts?
JS: I’m loving the current resurgence of soul inspired music in Australia. Artists like Hiatus Kaiyote, Daniel Merriweather, and Chet Faker are pushing the boundaries and creating some incredible stuff. I’m inspired by international acts that are fusing the spontaneity of jazz and soul with modern production and contemporary songwriting. Artists like Robert Glasper, Kendrick Lamar, and Jill Scott have been huge inspirations to me. I’m also a sucker for a great female vocalist – Melody Gardot and Lianne La Havas come to mind.
FM: Tell us a little about your music and what a crowd can expect
at a live show?
JS: The music is groovy and engaging. It’s for people who love a well written song and a great sax sound. It’s music with an infectious groove. Those coming to a live show can expect a fair bit of spontaneity within a seriously tight sounding band. They can expect soaring instrumentals with wailing solos to soft, delicate and contemplative ballads. There may or may not be a dose of my dry sense of humour in there too! I always feature at least one world class vocalist at my live shows to sing several of my songs.
FM: Favourite artists of all time?
JS: Miles Davis, Jill Scott, Robert Glasper, Kenny Garrett, Michael
Brecker/Brecker Bros, Toto, Earth Wind and Fire, Stevie Wonder,
Chaka Khan.
FM: Favourite film? Favourite Book? Favourite place?
JS:
Film: Lord of the Rings.
Book: The war of art (Steven Pressfield) – helped me
so much with getting over myself and making the music happen!
Place:I love the hustle and bustle of big cities like NYC. When I was there I met and jammed with some killer musicians who were some of the most welcoming people I’ve met. I turned up unannounced to a funk jam run by one of Lauryn Hill’s horn players. I had a play and slotted right in. It was a great experience. They value music there and are so accepting of people from any walk of life. It’s a great place for art to thrive.
FM: Favourite food or drink and is there a story associated with that?
JS: I’ll go to great lengths to find a perfect coffee. Whenever I’m traveling I’ll be sure to suss out where the best coffee spots are with a little help from Google Maps. Unfortunately this obsession has oft taken me on wild goose chases and long detours.
FM: You are backstage with Miles Davis; what do you say?
JS: I don’t think I would have to say much. From what I hear, Miles had a knack for imparting years of wisdom in a single phrase. I’d be quite happy to be on the receiving end of an MD one liner!
FM: Where do you see Aussie music heading?
JS: There are a bunch of highly motivated and talented artists that have been a little late to the self promotional internet age we’re in now. I think as more and more of these artists start coming to terms with the new tools we have to connect with fans we’ll start to see some really special stuff. I think that really well crafted songs and a high level of musicality will come to the forefront somewhat again.
FM: What are your future plans for 2016/2017
JS: After releasing my own EP, I plan to get playing live regularly. Live shows are where my music will really shine and inspire people. I love playing live and creating special moments with an audience. I’m really excited to return to the studio in 2017 and follow up my EP with another release. I’ve learnt an unbelievable amount over the past year and I can’t wait to put all of that new knowledge to use!