Oafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm are just some of the artists who have influenced Joe Kirby‘s musical style.
When Joe began his musical career, many of his songs were featured on the BBC, ITV, and Channel 4 networks as well.
For a label called Abbey Road Masters, which is part of Universal Music Group, he is currently writing music.
His latest single, “As We Float” was premiered during a private conversation, and he shared more details about his music journey.
What is your real and official showbiz name?
My showbiz name is the same as my official name which is Joe Kirby, nothing too exciting.
How long have you been making music and what attracted you to it?
I’ve been making music since I was 14 years old, starting by making guitar songs with my friends.
I was then attracted to composing piano music after listening to Einaudi whilst I was in university. I learned a couple of his songs through YouTube videos and then attempt to compose my own using the same techniques.
What were your first project and the people you worked with and which year?
My first project was a 6 song EP called “Rain”, recorded in 2018. I had no idea about how the music industry worked or how to record high-quality music.
I remembered that the school in my hometown had a grand piano so I emailed asking if I could come to record some music on a Saturday when students were at home.
My friend Harry Orso hired some professional mics and brought his home studio setup into the school to record the tracks, I was also aided by Alastair Beveridge, the school’s music technician at the time who wanted to lend a helping hand. It would never have happened without these two.
The songs were well received, leading to me being named Scala Radio’s “Young Artist Of The Week” by Angelica Bell, as well as lots of BBC radio airtime. Later on, all 6 of the tracks were synced to TV and film featuring on BBC and ITV documentaries as well as foreign films.
Who or what inspires you or motivates you? And why?
My music is inspired by my favourite composers; Olafur Arnalds, Nils Frahm, Lambert and Hanz Zimmer.
They create beautiful solo piano and orchestral music which makes me want to create music of a similar level. I dream of creating scores with full orchestras to feature in blockbuster films one day.
What are your friend’s and parents’ thoughts on your career in music?
My friends and family have been very supportive of my musical endeavours, many of my friends also being producers and musicians themselves. We are able to help each other with certain aspects that come more naturally to some of us than others.
Friends and family have continued their support since I signed a publishing deal with Platoon, a music publishing company owned by Apple and went full-time in music for the first time.
What are some of the challenges you face in your career path?
I previously struggled with funding my projects and having the time to write. After university, I was working full time as a house mover.
I would work long exhausting hours lugging furniture up flights of stairs all day and would rarely have the energy to compose music.
I also didn’t make enough money to hire recording studios and mixing engineers.
Since lockdown, I managed to spend a lot of time just playing the piano which gave me a chance to think about what I wanted to do, and put me back on a path to a career in music.
How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?
The internet has impacted my music business massively, from Instagram in particular. Since posting insta reels of short original piano ideas, I’ve grown a following of over 34K, with videos getting anywhere between 20-700K views.
Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?
I would advise them to post what they make online, whether that’s Soundcloud or social media. Posting something online ‘finishes’ the song, allowing you to move on to the next one.
You can then get feedback on your music and see what your audience likes and what they don’t like. You can then look back at how much you have progressed as an artist, kind of like a ‘timeline of improvement’.
What is your current project about?
My current project is an album called “Abbey Road Masters: Repair and Reflect” which was recorded in studio 2 of Abbey Road Studios. The pianos in this song were recorded on the same pianos used by the Beatles and they sounded incredible.
What does this song mean to you?
This song is very important to me because it was my first time writing for a real orchestra. When I heard London Contemporary Orchestra in Abbey Road Studios playing the strings I had written I couldn’t believe how amazing it sounded. I felt like I had reached my goals as a composer and that I couldn’t be happier.
What are your hobbies?
When I’m not composing I love creating videos using my camera and filming from the air with my drone. I previously worked as a videographer before going full-time in music, and I love to make videos of my surroundings in beautiful places, often pairing them with my piano music. I also enjoy skateboarding down hills with my friends and going surfing when I can get near some waves.
What do you do aside from this profession?
I am a keen learner of languages and have been studying Spanish and French for four years. I dream of learning multiple languages to travel around the world talking to and learning about people from different cultures.
What is one message you would give to your fans?
I would like to thank everyone for listening to and sharing my music so frequently, a lot of my followers are musicians themselves and when they play my music just from copying what I do in my videos it inspires me to write more and more.