Joseph Black has made his entire living off of taking things into his own hands. The 22-year-old musician began his career as a young and spry Minnesota teenager who wanted nothing more than to see his career aspirations take off in any way they could. But when his surrounding environment and other external factors practically forced him to begin this journey all on his own, he took this daunting challenge with a telling sense of pure grace and determination.
After teaching himself all of the ins and outs that make up his career as it stands today at just 15 years of age, the all-too-talented figure is now at the fringe of superstardom banking off of his recent string of eclectic releases -- one of which entitled “I Hope You (Miss Me)” practically skyrocketing his rise due to a wildly intriguing circumstance and the help of the forceful platform that is Tik Tok.
But Joseph has goals that extend far beyond the reaches of social media reliance; he is setting out to make his name known at an eternal level, one that will cement his legacy as contemporary music’s next purveying influence across the entire world. He’s certainly ready to make this concept a reality, and it all stems from what has made up his meteoric upbringing leading to where he stands today.
So you grew up in a small Minnesota town, and now you find yourself taking it all in inside LA. But you learned a lot of your craft back in your hometown being self-taught and what not, so what’s been the biggest change in that regard with the move?
That shift has been so crazy because it really happened so suddenly. I was at a really down point in my life, and I saw this crazy opportunity and just took it, you know? I always kinda knew that I was gonna get an opportunity like this, so it wasn’t really a surprise, but the timing was just impeccable. I really needed it at the time.
What had been going on in your life leading up to that point?
I had literally just gotten robbed at the time. One of my best friends who I was doing shit with at the time got robbed with me, and we lost all of our funding and all that shit. When I got to move to LA, it was literally a fresh start you know? It was actually right when I got signed when people started trying to rob me and shit, so the move kinda had to happen.
Was LA always a goal for you growing up? Was it ever an “endpoint” and do you still see it like that if so?
It really never was any of that. I really just got into music just a few years ago anyway, so it never really came to me until I really started getting into this stuff. When I was a kid, I always wanted to stay in my hometown. I literally never wanted to leave. But I grew out of that once I realized that it didn’t really have much to offer at all.
Something definitely had to spark that, and knowing that you were completely self-taught as far as music goes, would you say that learning on your own really got things going for you?
That all started because I had this engineer friend who also was a videographer, and all he wanted to do was make videos whenever we were together. So I realized I really didn’t have a choice, so that’s when it all came about… teaching myself and all that. And I’m really happy I took that route, because it’s less money I have to spend on engineers, or studio time, or any of that stuff.
Taking it all upon yourself like that… do you feel as though that ethos and approach still shines through in your music today?
Oh yeah, for sure! I do all that I can on my own. I mix my stuff, I write it all, like anything I can do I’ll do it on my own. I wouldn’t be able to accomplish as much as I do so quickly without being like that. Even for like other engineers, I send them all reference tracks that I do on my own that are damn near spot on to how I want it. I really have an advantage… an extra leg up you know? For me, I don’t think you’re ever gonna see any writing credits on my stuff. The stuff that comes from other sources, it’s just not for me. I like things that come from my own heart.
Practically all of your music certainly comes from the heart, no question about that. Especially tracks like “(I Hope You) Miss Me” -- easily one of your biggest breaks yet, with an even crazier story to go with it. Tell us about how that song gained the status it has today.
Man, it was so insane how that song started blowing up. First of all, that song was one of my deepest to that point. There was noting that wasn’t organic in that song, everything really came from my true feelings. When I released that song, my ex ended up posting it on her Tik Tok after we had talked it over being kinda cool at the time. And then it just went crazy, like girls on the app are bawling their eyes out to this song, which it so ironic because it all stemmed from this girl shattering my heart, us making amends, and then the song going up because of it.
And once that got off the ground, people really started getting hip to who you were and what you’re all about. Now that your future is as bright as it can be, what’s next for you this year? How do you plan on moving forward and capitalizing on all of this?
I’m looking to drop an EP in November… November 23 to be exact. That date is super special to me for some specific reasons, so that’s why I’m dropping it then. I have a song called “Mad At Me” with a music video dropping soon, and that will be on the EP as well. I’m really just trying to let people know that I’m gonna be around for such a long time. I’m definitely not some trend. You’re gonna see me for the next 10 years… 20 years… I’m gonna be here forever.”
Stream Joseph Black here: https://open.spotify.com/artist/7sPFCTilT1dZsqcDXzOiQf