Hiya Joe thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.

What made you decide that music is a thing for you?

I have two awesome siblings, Chad and Jeanna, who have always been skilled at essentially everything. I started taking piano lessons at the age of six and quickly caught on that this was something I was potentially better at than them, and I had better embrace that rarity. Levity aside, I have always found joy in music, and have found it therapeutic for me — and to have the ability to perform and write music that impacts people in meaningful ways is an invaluable opportunity for me that I wouldn’t change for the world.

Tell us about the new song.

We released the first version of If It Lasts in February 2022. The music was inspired by the end of a relationship between a peer and their partner, which it played out pretty publicly on social media in what was on the surface mutually cordial, but seemed to be mutually disingenuous and passive-aggressive between the lines. The over-arching topic of the song is navigating relationships and the oft-difficult balance of making changes for a partner while remaining true to your authentic self. The vision of the remix — with the addition of the lyrics and performance of Sterling Duns and the new production work of Martronimous — was to voice a potential inner monologue and elaboration of the experiences shared in the duet of the first version.

The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, How do you feel you are doing?

 I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished so far in my career as a recording artist, and more importantly, I believe in the art I have created and continue to create. Even more so, I am incredibly thankful for the connections I’m fostering and for the opportunity to work with and be inspired by individuals who are helping shape a narrative of love and courage both with their art and just by boldly being the people they are.

Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories? 

I’m working on honing a balance between healthy skepticism and trusting collective common sense, but, it was 100% “ ’Berenstein’ Bears” — and my conception of this world was forever rocked when I heard about this specific example of the Mandela Effect.

Talk about the collection of musicians who are credited to your new tune?

This release features a powerhouse of musical colleagues and I’m so thankful to have had the change to put something together with such talented friends

I met Dwight (Sterling Duns) through a mutual friend and we actually corresponded solely virtually in 2020 on an initial track and most recently this past summer on the If It Lasts remix. We finally met in September in-person as we joined forces to perform this forthcoming track live as part of a show at a local venue. Sterling Duns is both a great artist and great human, and he has a new solo project releasing that you’ll want to keep a look out for!

Carter Fox is a bassist and producer and we work together in several projects, and I was thankful to have Carter lend his talents and cool bass grooves to this track. Check out Carter’s impressive streaming catalog – he’s really leaving his mark in the chill-hop arena and more.

Adam Sisko did some really cool synth drums on this track. Adam is also a producer and recording artist and has an awesome array of tracks under his artist name Sk0! I have loved seeing Adam’s progression as an artist and he truly raises the bar on each of his releases. We are friends way back from our time as students at West Chester University of PA, and he actually was friends and neighbors with Carter growing up. The three of us kind of met each other independently, so it’s a cool synchronicity that I have connections with both dudes and that they are both on this track with me.

Sam Cooper is a family friend and guitarist for the incredible group Mt. Joy, and between tours he was kind enough to lay down some beautiful guitar work for this track.

The vocal duet which took center stage in the first iteration of this tune and is a prominent feature in this remix features my good friends and talented vocalists Elle Gyandoh and Murphy Bug.

I met Elle in 2015 when she was super supportive and congratulatory after performing as separate acts at a township festival in the Philly Suburbs. We have collaborated on a lot of music and many shows since the meeting, and I’m so thankful for Elle and my musical connection and friendship.

Murphy and I went to middle school and high school together, and Murphy is both an awesome vocalist and a great human. Murphy and I had such a memorable experience last year, creating music at his place in Hollywood and then driving to Vegas to attend last year’s Grammys for networking. Murphy’s energy is inspiring, and his voice is resonant and impactful.

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?

The biggest challenge of the remix was in taking the original structure of the piece and adapting it to best highlight Duns’ new vocal and emotional arc of the song, in a way that would still work harmonically. We were fortunate to work with the talented producer Martronimous, who executed the structure adjustments with precision and finesse, especially-notably in creating a beat for the new verses that was congruous with and flowed seamlessly into the vocal verses from the original.

Would you change anything now that it’s finished?

As a recovering perfectionist who is both so proud of this product and so grateful to have this music out in the Ether: No.

Let’s share the love. What bands are doing really well in your City? 

I’m so fortunate to be part of such a vibrant musical community in Philadelphia and surrounding areas, and it is impossible to answer this question without an empathic general nod of appreciation and respect for everyone pursuing their musical journey with vigor in the Greater Philadelphia Area. In addition to the dope musicians who worked on this track with me, I have to pinch myself sometimes when I think of the artists that I have had the privilege to collaborate with, including: Chill Moody, The Proper Hustlers, Dad & Company, Laura Lizcano, Aaron Parnell Brown, Joy Ike, Mike Talento, Tony Deangelis, Jeff Pish, Warren Mobley, Lenny Mobley, Hope Linton, Tanya O’Connor. I also have a playlist on Spotify of countless more Philly-area artists I truly admire and would love to work with in the future.

What advice would you give other artists starting out?

Everyone’s formula for success is different. Everyone’s process is different. Embrace your process, and trust yourself to know what does and doesn’t work for you. Find the right intersection of openness to learning and growing, while staying strong in your convictions as both an individual and an artist.

Did you buy anything you don’t need during the pandemic?

Hulu without ads was a luxurious and unnecessary purchase during the pandemic. Big fan of “Only Murders in the Building,” though, so I’m not sorry.

What was the worst experience on stage?

I was performing at a restaurant festival in 2016 and took a request for a song I had never heard. My usually trusty tablet shut off midway through sight-reading the tune, and whatever I made up from that point to the end of the effort was clearly underwhelming to the people who were originally so hyped to hear it. 

Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about.

I have casual aspirations as a stand-up comedian. I’m not going to elaborate right now, because I’ve been advised I might be canceled before I even start.

If you had to describe your band/music to an alien how would you describe it?

I probably would just play it for the alien and hope they vibe. If I had to put it in words, I’d say it’s a sonic blend of romantic classical piano idioms, progressive rock, and vibes that would make you want to phone home and say you’re staying right here.

What makes you stand out as an artist?

I think versatility is an element I pride myself in having, and I work hard to bring such stylistically divergent projects to fruition.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world? 

I feel so lucky to do what I love and to have such an incredible support system, especially my family. A huge shoutout to my amazing partner, Liberty; and to our two awesome kids, Dakota and Mirabelle.