We had the good fortune of connecting with Joel Holmes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Joel, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. Being a city filled with such a rich culture and history of music, I feel that music is something that been ingrained in me my entire life. Growing up in a two parent home also afforded me the privilege of having both my parents be there to support me in trying new things. They never missed a game when I playing sports in little league all the way through college. They attended every choir concert whether I had a solo or not. This gave me confidence in knowing that whether I was successful or not, I had a support system in place.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
As a musician, I feel like my work is the music equivalent of a Swiss Army knife. Though I began as a rapper, I’ve always had an ear for melody and sang my own hooks. Drawing early inspiration from Kanye West, Michael Jackson and Drake, my initial sound was Pop-leaning hip hop with catchy choruses that were easy to sing along to. It wasn’t until the pandemic that I began genre experimentation and first stepped outside of my bubble. This lead to me creating an alter ego “Dirk Turquoise” and making a Rock/Punk/New Wave album based on 1970s/80s British Music. From there I returned to Rap/Pop/R&B with my album “Space City Serenade” which I considered to be a love letter to Houston. By the time 2021 came around I took a year long break from rapping to make a run of pure Pop singles, a folk EP, a Disco-Funk album, and an Alternative/Indie/Baroque/Punk/Jazz amalgamation titled “A Beginner’s Guide To True Insanity”. After tons of genre experimentation last year, I’ve spent the early months of 2022 working on my rap comeback “Black American Scumbag”
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I live for music so of course my favorite places to go are music related. Record stores like Vinyl Edge, Sig’s Lagoon, or Cactus Records are a must. Also live music venues such as White Oak Music Hall, Warehouse Live and House of Blues are always fun. Next door to House of Blues is Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar which I always enjoy. Finally you can’t go wrong visiting Buffalo Bayou Park or Memorial Park if you love being outdoors.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My best friends Dupri Grimes and KaDarius Lee have been two of my biggest supporters from Day 1 of me making music. From traveling with me to spend entire days shooting videos, to sharing and promoting my songs when no one else would, they really helped my career take off. Also another best friend of mine, Casey Falcon, has been instrumental in keeping me grounded, giving me great advice on best practices and how to proceed creatively with certain risks and ideas I’ve pursued. Finally, my producer Aaron “Danny Styles” Sanchez has been working with me for 5 years now and has mixed/mastered and produced on each of my projects. Our working relationship has been completely remote so his ability to craft my vision even though it may not be the easiest thing to do has always been highly valued.
Other: Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/7Kqti993MKMucvQDQDHYhv?si=z5OnPqplT_2Gjcfoq1C31w Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/joho/1476208074 Tik Tok: https://www.tiktok.com/@joelswole?_d=secCgYIASAHKAESMgowqru%2Ff3XDgRAjvy4U%2BpSJOmzGIEA6BuRP%2B%2FOTm5qLNzCmosK%2BDXAE3uOq654NCRYjGgA%3D&language=en&sec_uid=MS4wLjABAAAAWjAgi26pbGCDRsekKRB4UkWr4xb2c6ihiB2Sd1pVjjmpHLCvlRyZNeElTr62qZt_&sec_user_id=MS4wLjABA
Alyssa Jade Schatte of Spiritual Hundos Peoductions