Where are you from? And where do you live?
I’m originally from Ghana. But I currently live in Kansas, US
How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well?
I have been playing the piano for over 20 years now. I play a little drums and bass as well.
Tell us about how you started playing music.
I started playing at age 11 at my mom’s church. Initially, I wanted to play the drums but the church had two drummers already, so that was not going to work. It was around the same time that one of my brothers began playing guitar and showed my a few chords and how to play them on the keyboard. I was basically hooked after that. I started taking piano lessons later on.
How long have you been making piano music?
I have been making Piano music for about 18 years now. I spent a lot of years recording and producing other people’s music. But it wasn’t until recently that I started recording as a solo piano artist.
Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
I discovered this very early, as I was taking piano lessons. I realized that though I enjoyed playing all those piano etudes and what not, my true desire was to apply what I was learning and make my own music. I used to make my own songs out of the piano pieces I learnt while taking lessons.
What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
I enjoy the music of several artist including Jim Brickman, Kevin Kern, David Lanz, but to mention a few.
Is there one song which you play over and over again as soon as you sit down by a piano? Your own or someone else’s? I really don’t have a song like that. Most of the time when I sit behind the keyboard, I’m trying to compose or work out some interesting idea, chords or harmonies going on in my head. I tend to compose in the moment.
What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?
I don’t let rules dictate my music. I go with what feels and sounds good. I learnt most of the rules so I can later break them to create something new. Being authentic is more important that trying to a cheap copy of something you’ll never be. We are all endowed with great talent already. All we need is to focus and polish that gift to where it can shine!
How do you record your music?
So far most of my recordings have been done at my home studio.
Whats your take on sampled instruments?
Well, sampled instruments have gotten quite good these days. But I guess it depends on the material you’re working on, budget, convenience and the likes. However, for an instrument like the piano, I think it’s going to be very hard to capture the sound in it’s totality in a sample, just because the piano has a wide range of dynamics, subtleties, and nuances that you just cannot capture. My advice is always to work with what you have and build up from there. If you can afford to record on a real piano then by all means go for it.
Anything else you want to share?
Keep up the great work with the playlist! I encourage all who enjoy excellent piano music to give it a listen and be sure to follow! One of the reasons why I record is to inspire hope and healing through my music. We are all dealing with something, and so if I can be a source of hope or healing to anybody then I feel fulfilled.
The last question is asked by my 5 year old son:
Where do all your songs come from?
My songs come from my daily experience in life. Although, a good number of them also come my conversations with my two little boys.
Thank you for sharing with us Joseph!