Indie Spotlight: Joel Phil

We were first introduced to Joel Phil through his explosive Single entitled, “Raise Up”. Check out the FIRE Single below: 

This extremely versatile artist is the son of Spanish immigrants and was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. A recurring theme found in Joel’s music is his ongoing struggle with his identity (something that many of us listeners can easily relate to). Joel embraces his past/current struggles and wears them as a sort of badge of courage, acting as a source of inspiration and serving as a role model for many of his fans. His willingness to be open about his struggles undeniably injects his music with humbling integrity. This type of fearlessness is becoming more rare in the industry with the overt commodification of music as a whole.

It is interesting to note that Joel is certainly no stranger to the music industry. Impressively, Joel wrote and performed his first song at the incredibly young age of 10. At the age of 12, he wrote a well-received Christmas song for his local community center called “Oh Christmas”. In an early milestone, Joel performed alongside Joey Lawrence at the Macy’s Day Parade at the age of 13, igniting the young musician’s rising star. When discussing what his role is as an artist, Joel explains that his “job is to bring our lyrics to life”- and he recognizes that accomplishing that is impossible without a solid support group and help from honest and sincere people. Joel cites a diverse range of influences, such as; Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, Bobby Darin, and Amy Winehouse. Joel recently completed and released his newest EP entitled “Rise Up”. The new release has been met with wide-acclaim and praise by critics and music-lovers alike.

We find that one of the most glaring setbacks for new-coming independent artists is the lack of professional mixing and mastering that is necessary to break through into the mainstream markets. This certainly isn’t the case with Joel Phil.

With independent recording continually growing more affordable and accessible than it ever has been; the industry is quickly becoming over-saturated with hobbyists and fame-seekers. Due to this, it is becoming ever-harder to be noticed within the endless sea of independent noise. The number of new artists entering the industry every day is growing exponentially. With this increase in industry competition, you’d think there would be a “standard” for things you shouldn’t do if you’re trying to become noticed and successful. Unfortunately, this is not the case…in fact, it seems that a vast majority of new artists have taken the lazy route —- copy those whom are more successful than you. You would think that this competitive environment would inspire some artists to go against the grain and carve out their own identity, but this is too often not the case.

This is precisely what makes this Joel Phil such a remarkable and respectable artist.

Joel has developed a sound that feels entirely fresh and new. This brilliant artist not only acts as a unique innovator; but also effectively channels his vision through an impressive command of the Pop genre. Avoiding the gimmick he could easily become; Joel Phil stands out among an overpopulated market as a fearless and honest artist with a story to tell.

Check out the infectious remix of “Raise Up” by Ali Stone : 

Musically, Joel has effectively unleashed his wide-spanning musical tastes and influences into a giant boiling caldron, seasoned with style and flair —  and much like a mad scientist, he has stirred ferociously until what has emerged is unrecognizable — an infectious monstrosity of incredible, emotive sound. Joel has been steadily gaining notoriety for his distinct flavor of soul-infused, electronic-driven pop, mixed with heartfelt lyrics about identity. His remarkable versatility is always on full display. The impressive accompanying instrumentation, creative sequencing, masterful songwriting are undeniably alluring and captivating. His soothing vocal prowess draws you into an authentic and emotional sonic journey.

Listen to the amazing “Marc Remix” of Raise Up: 

It is an unfortunate reality in the current world of music crafted by today’s generation. It seems as if fearless, ambitious artists are becoming more and more rare and undiscovered. This is mostly due to an unapologetic desire by most new-coming artists to shamelessly reach into existing successful markets, void of any integrity, and follow an incredibly safe musical formula of commercially appealing and catchy copy of a copy Singles.

When approaching nearly all newly independent-released music, it’s hard to do so without inherent cynicism and skepticism. It has become tiresome and mundane within the current culture of Pop dominated music. We, as listeners, are continuously exposed to these same formulaic, cookie-cutter, brand of artists. Although these types of artists have brilliantly perfected the ability to produce safe, catchy, and infectious music; they ultimately amount to being entirely forgettable, soon to be replaced by the next musical doppelgänger. This trend has infected almost every musical appendage and genre, whether it be commercially produced or independently released. The most unfortunate result of this trend is the stifling of musical ambition and the lack of innovation to set oneself apart in the industry.

While this approach may work well if your goal as an artist is to make fast cash, albeit becoming forgettable, it certainly isn’t the winning formula for industry longevity and lasting notoriety.

In a refreshing twist, the undeniably fearless and refreshingly authentic Joel Phil is fiercely rebelling against this trend and flexing his highly unique brand of sound.

The audio production exhibited in each released track is nothing short of spectacular. This is especially remarkable considering the music itself is often ferociously dynamic and unrestrained; we imagine these must have been very challenging to mix. The soundscapes are masterfully complex and unrelenting, the powerful vocals are intertwined perfectly with each evolving and ever-changing layer.

 Listen to his powerful previous hit “Tell Me Now”: 

Each mix is absolutely stunning, with each complex sonic layer given space to breath and evolve. The genre is a brilliant fusion, with Joel sculpting his own self-defining soundscape and style. Somewhere within these complex and fastidiously crafted tracks there’s a magnificent injection of anthemic and masterful vocal pieces.

Joel is showing absolutely no signs of slowing down anytime soon. This artist is quickly proving that with his addictive, unique, and emotionally authentic style; music, as an artistic medium, can transcend the label of “commodity” and “one-dimensional”, becoming something much more intimate and immersive. Listening to this artist’s newest EP was truly an engaging and worthwhile experience. These tracks differ from most recent independent releases in that they are fearlessly ambitious and unapologetically unique and difficult to label perfectly. Each track oozes with integrity and honesty. Not only are they polished and meticulously crafted, but they’re sequenced to perfection, leaving the listener wanting more. We are eager to watch this artist continue climbing the ranks and become a household name. 

Joel Phil is definitely a breath of fresh air within a tired music industry that has become overly saturated with copycat artists whose sole goal is to cash in on an increasingly uninventive formula. This is an artist that you simply CAN’T IGNORE!

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