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The emerging American singer, songwriter and music producer, Joey Ariemma (a.k.a. Joey A) shared with us his story of how he began in the music industry of pop, his ideas, and his professional future plans. What does “Paris” mean to him, but also what are his deeper ambitions. Check out the interview he gave exclusively to SounDarts.gr.

Has “Joey A” always been your moniker?

No I actually have an Italian last name, it’s Joey Ariemma. My family grew up in Campobasso in Italy but I’ve never been there and I really want to go!

Once you mentioned Italy did you know that the nickname “Joey A” was also used by Joe Adonis who was an important participant in the formation of the modern Cosa Nostra crime families?

It’s funny that you mention that. You’re the first person that caught that. But people always used to call me Joey A when I was a kid. The principal in school when I was kicked out of class for being loud used to say “Joey A come down to the office” and it kinda stuck. I think it is a cool tying that it happened to be also the same with Joey Adonis too.

Let us know a bit more about yourself. What’s your story?

I grew up in Cleveland Ohio. I have a brother who is 3 and a half years younger than me and he is my best friend in the whole world. Here in the states I’ve played with a lot of bands, I’ve toured as a lead guitar player. I got on the road when I was 20 years old, I learned the hard way. I grew up in rock bands and then coming into this new sound it took two or three years to really develop what this sound is. I call it “lovevibe”, it’s just one word, because it’s based on positivity and love and on their energy. I think it’s a new thing because in pop music there isn’t a lot of emphasis on the playing, but on the band’s lives, almost gonna be a hybrid of this really sexy, fun, Timberlake pop music meets Muse live, something really engaging and visceral on stage.

You’re very energetic! How’s that working for you as an artist?

You gotta have it. The cool thing about this project is that it’s created with the live show experience in mind, but also going to work for DJ-remixes and such.

That’s nice but personally, I kinda missed your guitar sounds on your debut-single “Paris”!

You’re going to hear this in my upcoming songs! We wanted to keep “Paris” very fun and dancy, because “Joey A” is new project, so we wanted to start with something positive for summer. It’s going to be more musical and guitar-driven as we get a little further, but live I’m gonna play the guitar a lot.

What is your special purpose in music industry? What new do you bring to the table?

Ι am a producer, writer, multi-instrumentalist, singer but I think I bring a lot to the table in terms of production and songwriting. Melody is my forte. I record and produce most of the music myself, and also co-write and co-produce with my good friends in Los Angeles. As far as what “Joey A” brings to the industry is “a breath of fresh air” that in a movement based on positivity and bringing people together it built a new community around the music. It takes each and every one of us to elevate this to the world and we do it here, we do it one by one. We treat everybody like they matter because they do.

Were there any funny reactions from people after the release of “Paris” that made you feel awkward?

Because I grew up in rock, some people were taken back because it doesn’t have any loud guitars but the overall response, has been so beautiful and “Paris” was only released on April 7th. It was a weight off of my shoulders because I have been talking about releasing new music for three years and when I did, people were like “I love this” and the coolest thing is that they are also reaching from all over the world such as yourself. We’re only here for a fraction of a second in the scheme of things, and that’s what matters, bringing people together.

Who injected you with the virus of music? Did your parents encourage you to get involved in music?

When my mum was pregnant with me, my dad would hold broken headphones up to her stomach and he would play Rush, Yes and Van Halen records. I got very interested in music around six-seven and then my dad got me and my brother guitars for Christmas at eight and I decided that I wanted to do it for a career at twelve. I used to practice for about eight hours a day sometimes with a blindfold. My dad used to teach me those records and then he got me some really great teachers. So my parents have been really supportive.
I grew up on John Petrucci, Dream Theater, Steve Vai and all those crazy guitar players. As I grew up I realized that I like also pop music and I’m not afraid of that anymore.

Can you give an example of your pop likes?

It goes anywhere from Michael Jackson’s “Off the wall” and “Thriller” to Justin Timberlake’s “20/20 experience” but most notably for this sound, a big influence was Prince’s “Purple Rain”.

Your debut single is called “Paris”! Why did you chose this city?

My buddy Steve and I wrote a song that I can’t name yet, and it changed everything of what we were doing so far. We started developing some new sound and he suggested Paris initially. When I heard Paris I immediately thought of the fashion, the beautiful women, the culture, and the beauty of Europe and then to make it more authentic and more universal I said that Paris is a state of mind. Anybody could be dipped in gold but you design your own self, you are the fashion, if that makes any sense.How easy is it for a young artist to enter the music industry?

When I was younger it was scary but now that I am a little bit more experienced, I would say “you have to go though it to get to it”.

Do you believe that the social and political situation have a negative influence on future creations or is that an extra motivation? 

I think it’s how you interpret things and how you use that. You can make something positive and use it as an inspiration to touch people’s hearts.

When is your debut album going to be released? What is going to be special about it?

When we start releasing music we will be most likely releasing one song per month. It’s going to be a little bit heavier and darker.

Interview/Transcription/Translation: Theodore Kolliopoulos

Questionnaire: Elektra Limniou

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