We’ve had some interesting musicians and artists on our Music Corner and this time is no different. Our music corner sponsor, Ramsay Phillips Guitars recently introduced me to the wonderful sounds of Joanna Broomfield.
So here’s a great idea readers, why don’t you follow this link…hit the play button on Joanna’s Soundcloud page, and whilst listening to one of her tunes in the background, you can read through this interview and get an even better feel for this wonderful artist’s work: CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO JOANNA!
Not having met Joanna before, I did a bit of research on her and her music and she certainly does have an interesting story to tell! We’ll share this and her music with you here.
XPM: Hi Joanna, thanks so much for taking the time to answer some questions. I’m sure our readers would love to learn more about you! Lets start with the easy stuff….Give us some personal background. I know it’s an interesting story…
JB: Hmm ok. Where to start? I moved to Australia in 2007 and since then everything has been a bit of a whirlwind. At this time I’d been playing guitar for a good 4 years and was just starting to get into song writing and singing. I loved it and had lots of free time to practice when I first moved. A couple of years later I was picked to appear on Australia’s Next Top Model! Which was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. It really was. But the filming time and everything that came after it meant that I had little time for my music. After living as a full time model in Sydney for a few years I moved to London hoping to pursue modelling further but was so blown away by the London music scene. I went to see a Sofar Sounds gig and that was it, modelling was put on the back burner and music became my focus. Then in October last year my fiancé Max and I moved out to Dubai, which has been great for my music. I’ve been so lucky to be able to spend so much time on music and be able to play at gigs all over Dubai.
XPM: Wow, what an amazing few years! I’m guessing you didn’t have too much time for music whilst you were taking part in Australia’s next top model…is that right? Did a part of you really miss the music?
JB: Yeah filming was really full on and then work was go, go, go after filming so I didn’t have much time for it and I really missed it. Whilst we were filming we actually weren’t aloud phones, TV, newspaper, Ipods, nothing. We were being filmed 24/7 so there really wasn’t time. However, 1 of the crewmembers snuck me in a guitar to play on one day, which was awesome! Shhhh don’t tell anyone though.
XPM: So now you’re back on track and fully committed and involved with your music. After listening to some of your tracks on Soundcloud, I noticed it’s mostly acoustic guitar and vocals, so quite solo really. Do you ever play with a band or have ever in the past?
JB: Nope its just little old me! But actually I would love to find someone with the same style to maybe do a duo with. I find my music is quite different to a lot of the stuff you find in Dubai so it’s quite difficult to find anyone on the same page as me! So if anyone out there likes my music and wants to pair up, let me know!
XPM: What about the style of music? Did you do different types of music in the past?
JB: Well I guess, like any musician, my music has evolved but I think I’ve always had the same kind of style. Maybe not the style I would like it to be, I guess it just comes out the way it does though! Ha ha. One day I hope my music evolves to be a little bit more lyrically complex and maybe one day I’ll write a song that’s a bit more upbeat!
XPM: And with that in mind what are both your current [present artists] and past influences?
JB: My main influence would definitely be Laura Marling. She is a genius when it comes to vocals, lyrics and melodies. Her music is whimsical and everything I aspire to be musically. I also have taken a lot from Bon Iver, Ben Howard and Jack Johnson (he was probably my earliest musical influence in terms of song writing). At the moment I am loving Lucy Rose and Emily and the Woods. They are both beautiful English singer songwriters who you must listen to!
XPM: Besides your influences…is there anything in particular that inspires you to write a song…in general?
JB: If its profound enough I think anything can inspire me to write a song. Whether it’s loneliness, birds, other music, happiness, or even just the weather (how very English of me). In my early years of song writing I remember noticing how different all the every day sounds were in Australia compared to England and it inspired me to write a song, which I finished in about 3 hours!
XPM: Strange question, but do you consider yourself a deep thinker when it comes to writing, or do you do this more on a spontaneous level?
JB: I think yes to both of those. My music is written very much spontaneously, but in a sub conscious way the lyrics tend to come out with deep meanings and connotations. For example, Mother Ground was written in about 20 minutes. I wrote the guitar music and then in 1 hit, (I record myself when I write songs) I just sang whatever came to my head and in 1 shot the lyrics and melodies were all there. I just needed to listen back, learn them by heart and the song was done. At the time I didn’t really know what I was singing but when I listened back it was like listening to a story I had never heard before.
XPM: Can I ask, if you could play with any dead musician or artist in the past 100 years, who would it be and why?
JB: Hmm I could be really clichéd here and say Jimi Hendrix, because I used to love his music when I first started playing guitar but truthfully I would love to write a song with Joni Mitchell. I realise she isn’t dead but she’s old now. Does that count?
XPM: Ha ha Joanna, it sure does!! Do you think a musician has to experience pain and hardships to write good songs…or can it be the opposite. Can you still write good music if life is always hunky dory? Sorry, I don’t mean to sound cynical here, just interested in your thoughts on this?
JB: Ha ha! Good question. To be honest I find it really difficult to write music when I’m completely happy. A lot of my favourite songs were written in London when I wasn’t really all that happy. So now when I write songs, I have to get my amazing fiancé Max to leave the house because if he’s there he makes me happy and then song writing just doesn’t work! A very strange process I know.
XPM: Do you play anything else besides a guitar? If not…is there anything in particular you’d wish you could?
JB: I would LOVE to play cello or double bass. I love how they both sound and in some of my songs all I can hear is a cello sized gap! I’ve been looking for a cellist to partner up with for ages… but no luck yet.
XPM: Just a couple more…Is there any one of your songs, in particular, that really means a lot to you…kind of your favourite? Which song is it and why?
JB: I have 2 favourites actually. My first is Mother Ground. I love the story that came out of it and its one of my favourites in terms of the guitar melodies. It’s actually also about my home country England so it means a lot to me personally. My second favourite is my newest song; Save me. Despite it not sounding like a happy song, the lyrics are actually about my fiancé Max and I saving each other; which I think is more hopeful and optimistic.
XPM: How do you distribute your music? Is it all on line or can we grab a CD from any of the music stores in Dubai?
JB: Some of my songs you can download for free on Soundcloud and sometimes I sell my demos when I play gigs. But at the moment I’m actually looking for a studio to record my new songs and some old ones for an EP. So keep your eyes peeled for that!
XPM: Well, I think that’s about it Joanna, thanks so much for featuring in our Music Corner this issue. We wish you every success here in Dubai and beyond!
Dear readers, if you haven’t been listing to one of Joanna’s tracks whilst reading this interview, I implore you to have a listen on the links below to Joanna’s music!
GO TO JOANNA’S SOUNDCLOUD – www.soundcloud.com/joannabroomfield