Interview: Getting to know Joshua Okeefe
British-born, US-based musician Joshua Okeefe tells somethingyousaid.com a bit about himself:
I am Joshua Okeefe, a 22-year-old British country singer-songwriter. I play guitar, piano, banjo and I try to play a few other instruments too. I am a big English football fan. I spend most of my time on aeroplanes. I believe in lucky numbers, mine is 7 and I enjoy the pastime of tweeting fans back.
My music is Country music. I grew up listening to Don Williams in the car with my Dad on the way to school when I was younger in England and I guess I picked up a southern twang. Country music is what I have always loved. I always knew I wanted to be country singer growing up. I have many pop influences as I write and produce for and with other pop artists so I love to put that in the mixing pot when I am making my own music.
I write about bad relationships, amazing memories and current feelings. I like the challenge when a girl asks me to write a song for them. I feel my music is very laid back and easy listening and something you can relate to. When I write my songs I try to imagine myself singing them to someone one to one in hope that it could move them in some sort of way.
I’m currently writing songs and collaborating with other amazing songwriters all over the world for my first EP which is going to be produced by an amazing world-class producer ‘Bobby Huff’. He has worked with some of my favourite bands and artists and when I first heard what he could do I instantly said to my manager ‘I want to work with him’.
I actually just flew back to England and hung out with my family for a couple of days and my brother broke his leg, so I am looking after him right now as he can’t walk.
Nashville is an awesome place and has so much great musical history. Every minute of the day I am inspired in Nashville and I hope that I can live there permanently in the future. The crazy part is that there is so much amazing talent in Nashville and the bar is very high so you have to be at your very best every time you open your mouth to sing or whenever you get out your laptop to write lyrics down.
I can’t believe how nice everyone is to me, the first time I got on a plane to Nashville I met a guy who played in Goo Goo Dolls and we listened to each others music and the next minute I am in his home studio jamming out.
I got tremendously lucky while I was performing in a meeting and was overheard by hit song writer ‘Jan Buckingham’ who has had songs recorded by Whitney Houston, Pam Tillis, Crystal Gale, Tim Mcgraw and many more. Jan really loved what I did and since that moment we have collaborated so many times. Its been a blast.
At the moment, I’m listening to Ed Sheeran a bunch as I think he is a true artist and he’s really done amazing things in music and managed to break America. I actually got the chance to hang with him in Nashville while he on the road with Taylor Swift and he’s a real nice genuine guy. He sets a great example for British music.
I am also listening to my all time favourites Rascal Flatts, John Mayer, James Taylor and obviously Don Williams.
I spend too much time watching English football, it’s just so addictive. I guess when it runs through your blood you can never turn down the opportunity to watch it. I think its good to have something that can get you away from music for a couple of hours, otherwise you burn out.
I love to sit and think about what I want to write about. Sometimes it comes very quick when I am in the shower and I have to run out soaking wet to my room to get my phone so I can record my idea. I have actually broken 2 iPhones doing that. Other times it’s a slow process and before i go to sleep I dig deep into my brain and search for answers or questions about my experiences, sometimes I think so much I end up dreaming about them.
It might surprise people to learn that for a few years before I embarked on my solo project I was the lead singer and guitarist in a pop band that toured the UK numerous times and opened up for some of the biggest underground bands.
I was around 13 years old when I started touring, I had crazy hair and a pair of studs in my ears. Looking back we had great fun performing and there was always hundreds of girls at our shows, it was awesome! The name of the band I will keep a mystery. I like people to find these things out!