Interview – Joe Pope

Joe Pope recently released the stunning new single, Scenery, which I loved. Find out a little more about him below, and make sure you listen to the track at the end!

By Jane Howkins

You recently released a song titled Scenery, which we reviewed. What can you tell us about this song and where can it be purchased?

Scenery is written from the point of view of a man who was cheated on, and just got up and left. He goes through sort of a crash and rebirth, but in the end finds love again, if not with a bit of bitterness and scepticism. It’s not my story – but it is familiar, and I’ve been through my own trauma that sort of led to this song. I think it’s a pretty terrific song (not to brag)! I mean it has a good universal story and I think speaks to how we are all human and that we don’t necessarily travel straight lines in our lives. We need to suffer to a certain extent but become better for it in the end. You can download the song on my website at joepopemusic.com, or can listen to it wherever you normally stream.

Has the pandemic hindered your work much?

In many ways, the pandemic has pushed my music forward. No so much financially, but artistically – I’ve had time to really reflect who I am as a songwriter. It’s also encouraged me to reach out and work with artists from all over the world who I never would have met otherwise.

What is the writing and recording process like for you?

I write and record everything out of my own little home studio. It sometimes begins with a lyric and sometimes with a melody – but it always winds up somewhere unexpected and completely on its own. It more flows through me than originates out of some sort of a plan. It’s those songs that reveal themselves in just an hour or two that seem to resonate with people the most. I can’t tell you how many times I start to write about something in particular and wind up with a completely different song.

Have you started writing for a future EP/album yet?

Scenery is actually a part of a larger project that I hope to release later this year. It includes several singles that I’ve released already along with several that are still in the pipeline.

Do you plan to release any singles in the near future?

Yes, I have a song coming out just before Father’s Day here in the US. It’s called When the Wind Blows and is a tribute to my folks who have both passed. I was really lucky to get several amazing artists to collaborate on it with me including Lucia who contributed some wonderful vocals, Yoed Nir on cello who has performed on several of my releases, and Ghaeth Almaghoot on clarinet who is just amazing. I believe you will really love the song and can’t wait to share it with you on June 17th.

What/who influences you most as an artist? What have you been listening to recently?

My influences are really pretty diverse. I really enjoy the Lumineers, Nathaniel Rateliff, & Ray LaMontagne. But I equally get a lot from a lot of older singer-songwriters like Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Gerry Rafferty, and James Taylor, to name a few.

Whereabouts are you based and what is the music scene like in your part of the world?

I live in Atlanta, Georgia, which is actually becoming a huge music scene. A lot of ‘Southern’ rock/folk bands have come from the Southern part of the US, including REM, The Eagles, Allman Brothers, Tom Petty, and CCR. I’ve sort of resisted that sound in the past – but find myself being drawn to it again as of late. I find that it resonates with where I came from and is becoming an important part of my voice.

Do you have any tour dates lined up?

No tours at this point, but I hope to spend more time performing locally in more intimate settings. I also would like to start doing more ‘backyard’ performance sort of shows online – so stay tuned.

What can people expect from one of your shows and why should people come and see you perform live?

I hope that folks enjoy the music and the conversation. I want to build a relationship with my listeners and invite them in to be a part of the conversation.

Any last words for the fans?

I just want to thank those who have listened and supported me over the last couple of years. I truly just enjoy writing and could do it in a vacuum and enjoy the experience, but it has made it so much richer – connecting with others who find something familiar and meaningful in my songs. It really means the world to me to be able to share my music with you.