Artist Spotlight: Jeffrey Joslin
Jeffrey Joslin’s musical journey has taken many twists and turns, but it seems the path inevitably led him back to his roots. As an East Tennessee native living in California’s lush Ventura County, his ever-evolving sound has found solace in the roots of Southern gospel, folk, blues, and country music.
First off, thank you for taking some time and chatting with us. We’ll dive right in, tell our readers a bit about yourself and how you started your music career.
I’m originally from TN. Always loved music, art, creativity etc, but also grew up playing sports. Baseball was a favorite early on and later got into football. Throughout my high school years I juggled my athletic and artistic life and ended up with a full scholarship to play quarterback at Charleston Southern University in SC. After a semester of soul searching and spending most of my off hours recording, writing, and singing, I made the switch to music full time and transferred to MTSU to study recording, songwriting and music business as I dove head first into my artistic self and inner creative passions. That was in 2005 and I have been pursuing music as a career since then. I was in TN until 2010, spent 2 years in Atlanta then came to LA in 2012.
You’ve been writing with Songfinch since 2016. What has that experience like for you and why do you enjoy writing personalized songs for people?
It has been a joy! It’s a great way to hone your songwriting chops and also give something really unique and special to someone you may never meet! I always wonder what it’s like to get a completely personalized song that’s radio ready with all your favorite memories etc. Must be really fulfilling and meaningful to the recipient and I am grateful to be a part of that by working with Songfinch.
You are originally from Tennessee and now reside in California. How has that transition shaped yourself and the music you make?
It’s interesting because while I was in TN, a state that is saturated by country music, I was dreaming of CA, listening to the Beach Boys, pop, soul and r&b, and music that was recorded in CA. That west coast sound was something I was far more interested in than country and roots music. Now that I’ve been living in CA for 8 years and 4 full length albums made here, I’ve started to dive into country and roots music more and dreaming of TN! So I guess I had to get away from there to fully appreciate where I come from. Sometimes it’s hard to see when you’re so close to it.
Your upcoming EP ‘California Gold’ comes out in April. What was the writing process like and what can fans expect to hear?
This batch of songs represents a time in my life when I experienced a great transformation. I had a wild experience in 2017 in the form of a manic episode that snuck up on me out of the blue. I ended up in a psychiatric hospital and encountered a lot of mental trauma followed by depression, paranoia, anxiety and a marriage and family life that was on the rocks. I was told I had bipolar tendencies and began the process of uncovering what that meant and rediscovering myself and my place in this world. These songs were written before, during and after that time. ‘California Gold’ represents the plight that I and many other artists experience when searching for that ‘big break.’ The EP was recorded live to analog tape at my brother’s studio, The Skipper Room, and was captured in a very raw and vulnerable way, forcing me out of my comfort zone as a one man studio, creating solely in the box and playing all the instruments myself. When there’s no edits, it makes you very present and what comes across has an energy to it that’s different than what you get in today’s music which is heavily edited, copy/pasted and auto tuned. Giving the subject matter it represents, it seemed like the most fitting way to present the songs.
On top of all the music you create, you just started your own podcast, “My Thoughts On This And That”. Tell us a little bit about this new venture. Also, what are a few of your favorite podcasts to listen to?
I love podcasts. I listen to them and audiobooks all the time while driving in my car and while working. I also have a lot of thoughts and ideas bouncing around in my head and a love for communicating, so this is a way for me to share some of that in a longer format. I listen to a lot of music-based, political, spiritual, and philosophical podcasts, mostly ones that make you think and present a counter narrative to what is mainstream. Some of my favorites are Walking the Floor with Chris Shiflett, The Fundamentalists with Pete Rollins and Elliot Morgan, Bethel Church, Quite Frankly, Dark to Light… There’s plenty more I could list.
What is a key piece of advice for up and coming artists and musicians?
Do it because you love it and it brings you joy. If it’s for too many other reasons other than that it’ll get messy really quickly. It’s definitely a tough business and one that is WAY over saturated, but it’s also the greatest time to be an artist because of all the resources we have to market ourselves and our work. If you’re willing to do the work and not wait around on someone to ‘discover’ you, you can do whatever you want and go wherever you want with your art. It’s a lot of work, but so is anything worth doing. If your foundation is the joy you get while creating and bringing joy to those who listen, you’ll always love what you do, despite how many fans you have or money you’re making. Enjoy the journey. The journey IS the destination.
What are some of your favorite memories or moments with fans?
I’ve had some really great experiences playing house shows. It’s an optimal environment for sharing songs. It’s so intimate and the fans become more than fans and more like friends. They are fully engaged and you are both experiencing a moment together that’ll never happen again. Playing on a stage with a packed house is fun and interesting but playing in people’s living rooms with 20 or so people is where the magic happens.
Who are your top 3 favorite artists right now?
Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of music by Foy Vance, Charley Crockett, and Dan Auberbach of the black keys. I’ve been on a solid run of listening to rootsy, country, americana, bluegrass etc. I love what Dan is doing with Easy Eye Sound in Nashville and all the music that is coming out now. Very organic, rootsy and live with fantastic songwriting and production.
Interested in having Jeffrey Joslin create you a personalized song?
We hope you’ve learned a bit about Jeffrey and his sound. If you’re interested in getting a personalized song created by Jeffrey Joslin, feel free to click the link below and let us know if your submission. We’ll be sure to pass it to him to work on.