Up and coming country singer/songwriter Joshua Okeefe delivers songs that stick in your head with a smoothness you’d expect to find on someone much older. At 20 the English native is set to take the country music world by storm with songs like No Doubts, Sunshine, and Taylor (written for Taylor Swift). It was an honor to have the chance to sit down with such a dedicated artist at the very beginning of his rise to the top.
Maximimum Ink: Can you tell us a little about yourself? What were you like as a child?
Joshua Okeefe: I am a workaholic, I find it hard to sit down and watch tv for 15 minutes to relax because I love working hard. I have been determined from an early age and always try to be the best I can possibly be in everything I do! I love to have fun and enjoy life
MI: When did you first know you wanted to be a musician and what do you think it was that drew you to the country genre?
JO: I fronted a touring pop band from the age of 13 and toured the UK 3 times over by the time I was 15. In every city we played we always had girls singing our songs.Being on stage always felt like home to me so that gave me the dream of doing it for a career. I grew up listening to country music. My dad would play it on the way to school. From that I developed a country voice.
MI: No Doubts is one of those songs that sticks in your head once you hear it even if you don’t like country music. What inspired that? Do you enjoy writing music that sticks?
JO: The idea for No Doubts came to me one night when I was thinking about how it would feel when I meet my Miss right. I can’t help writing melodies that stick in your head, I have done it from an early age and I think that is one of my strongest areas in writing music. I think it’s important because it can make a song memorable!
MI: You also wrote Taylor influenced by Taylor Swift. What brought that about?
JO: I was in a co-writing session in Nashville and I really wanted to write a song aimed straight at Taylor, I have heard songs which are about her but none as direct as mine. I guess I have a tiny crush on her haha.
MI: Being educated at several music school do you recommend such training to others who might wish to pursue a similar profession?
JO: Going to music school really boosted my confidence which had been broken when my band split. Music school taught me to dedicate my life to music, I had no tv, nothing just my guitars and piano in my room. I developed very quickly because of this. So I would definitely recommend music school to musicians who want a career in music!
MI: How do you think the music scene in the UK differs most from the one here in the US?
JO: I don’t think there is a huge difference, the U.S Market is just a lot bigger.
MI: Are you looking forward to working more in the states?
JO: For sure, I love being in America it’s like my second home now! I have made some great friends and I have an awesome team around me.
MI: As a songwriter do you ever get writer’s block? If so how do you deal with that?
JO: No, I don’t believe in it. Writers block to me is just your mind telling you that you need a vacation!
MI: What about stage fright? Ever suffer from that?
JO: I never get stage fright because I think being on stage is the best feeling In the world but I do get really nervous before any show that I play even if it’s just in front of my family
MI: Do you find that people in the business underestimate you at times due to your young age?
JO: Yes of course but that’s normal. Some of the people I work with are so talented, I just make sure I work hard every day to earn respect as an artist and songwriter.
MI: Are there any interesting facts about you that your fans might be surprised to learn? What are some of your hobbies?
JO: When I come back to the UK I love to play soccer. I am always with my little brothers playing as they are soccer mad.
MI: Do you enjoy interacting with your fans?
JO: Yea I do enjoy it. I feel it’s important to talk with my fans as they mean a lot me and I always want to make them feel happy and loved.
MI: What projects are you currently working on?
JO: Right now, I am concentrating on writing and taking every day as it comes.
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