5 minute read
Interview: Sam // Words: Ollie
“Stay true to yourself, be honest & do what you think is right…”
London-based collective Joseph Lawrence & The Garden, made up of singer Joseph & instrumentalist Gibbi, discuss getting involved in music & the highs / lows of writing & performing.
Joseph continues, “It sounds cheesy, but things will work out”.
Budding Musicians. //
“My dad used to play guitar & write songs so music was always around me growing up, even before I started playing myself. Once I did, I got involved in a bunch of different things & always wrote my own music. As things progressed, I also started working with a few different artists” says Gibbi.
One of these artists was musical partner Joseph. “I have been singing for what feels like forever, but I would say my true journey started when I got to music school. That is when I got serious about it because there was a validation of my craft. At one stage, I thought I might be a footballer, but deep down there was always something about music that stuck with me. At music school, other people acknowledging my skillset gave me the confidence to believe in myself & really take it from there” explains Joseph.
“So we knew each other & we initially got into the studio just to write for Joe, me being the producer & Joe being the sole artist. We did that for a while & then eventually when we had progressed quite a lot in terms of our sound, we realised we wanted it to be a joint thing” says Gibbi.
Joseph adds, “We got to a point when the sound wasn’t really me & it wasn’t really him…it was both of us, so it just made sense to combine forces & go from there!”.
The Creative Process. //
Formulating a joint, unique sound is at the core of Joseph Lawrence & the Garden’s foundations & the pair are keen to maintain this inimitability as they continue to experiment with their sound.
Gibbi summarises the duo’s creative process: “We will go in to a studio. I will have some chords, Joe will start singing & that will push me to go somewhere with different instruments. We influence each other to the point where we reach a finished song”.
“I think the fact we are into similar sorts of music, like Jeff Buckley, helps fuel our creations” says Joseph.
Gibbi agrees, “Having similar taste helps, because we both know where we are going. It’s like…we go to the same place but come from different ends, me instrumentally & Joe vocally. That mixture helps us create an individual sound…ultimately, that’s one of, if not the, most important thing to us, uniqueness”.
On the artist’s future direction, Gibbi adds, “We want to continually grow from each album & evolve, but we also want a distinctive sound where people would still know it’s a Joseph Lawrence & the Garden track. A bit like a David Bowie or Prince tune from any of their albums for example”.
“We'd finished filming & when I got home no one was in. I was sat for a while on my own just feeling grateful in the moment. Everyone involved had worked so hard to bring the shoot together” says Gibbi, when asked about the duo’s high point to date.
Joseph is less keen to pinpoint a specific moment, stating, “I’ve never really thought about highs because I am always looking to the next thing, like this is great but what’s next. It feels like we’re still building towards the high, it’s still to come because we’re never satisfied. That’s just a reflection of how far we think this can go, I think. Being signed was just a single step for example”.
In contrast, discussing low points, the pair are more aligned. Gibbi says, “Frustrating things happen in this industry. You are always under pressure to adapt & fit in. However, with us, it’s our project, it’s art not a product to us, so we want to do it how we think is right, whether that be a musical or visual aspect. At least if it fails & you’ve done what you want to do, you can’t complain”.
Joseph adds, “I agree, the industry is a tough one to be in, especially when you lack belief in yourself. If you don’t have belief & the drive, everything can feel lost. When we started & the sound wasn’t as distinct, there were quite a few moments like that. However, I think once we found our sound & we pushed through the lows, it has been okay. We never let it get us down, we just kept on persevering & here we are now!”.
“As long as you are working hard in whatever it is you do, you will end up in a good place…even if it is not where you thought you would be, you would have learned something which is a positive step” says Gibbi, offering some words of wisdom to emerging talent.
On that note, we conclude the interview with the pair, whose positive outlook & distinct sound we suspect will reap reward in the years to follow.
Joseph Lawrence & the Garden’s new single ‘Fade’ is out now
Follow Joseph Lawrence & the Garden @jlandthegarden