Denver based singer/songwriter Joel Ansett became a musician from his early teen years but only started songwriting in college, garnering enough momentum from shows at coffee shops and events around campus. Joel sings with a conversational quality that brings warm feelings of empathy around his experiences.
Joel Ansett launched a crowdfunding campaign in May of 2018. Without missing a beat, fans and friends came out of the woodwork to make a second album possible. He spent the second half of 2018 recording ‘A place I knew before’, produced by Jon Joseph(Borns, Gungor, The Technicolors) at Crushed Velvet Recording in Los Angeles.
Looking back, what were some of your earliest entries into music appreciation? And music production?
I remember loving Handel’s Messiah as a kid and just loving how the sound of a choir can be so beautiful and dramatic. For music production, I remember one college summer I basically locked myself up in the basement and spent hours trying to record one song. I basically spent a whole month on just one song and I fell in love with recording and creating that summer.
Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?
I think songwriters are idea collectors. I’m always collecting ideas – a phrase here, a song title there, a melody, a chord progression, etc. And then when I sit down to write, I have the opportunity to mix and match all the little ideas I’ve been collecting and see if they can become a song.
What gets your creative juices flowing?
Books and movies almost always make me want to write songs.
As a musician, it becomes apparent that there is a huge difference between the art and the business. Is there anything about the music scene that you would personally change?
Oh wow haha. Yes, definitely. I don’t really know enough about the specifics of how the music business is run, but the big picture is that the art and business really are opposed to each other. Music is a gift and it’s difficult for artists to function when the business is built on music being a commodity.
Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?
I really thoroughly enjoy both. There’s a whole lot more anxiety surrounding the live performance, but I enjoy the rush of it.
What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?
There’s been a couple of instances where I’ll look out and see someone’s eyes watering during or after a song. When that happens I just fall back in love with the way music can connect with people and destroy lies of loneliness.
What’s on your current playlist?
Kevin Garrett, Tourist, Brittany Howard, Phoenix
Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you in the near future?
I just released a full-length album about a month ago and I’ll be doing my own little house show tours for the next few months. I will then hopefully jump on a tour as an opening act and put out a few new singles.
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