JOEM (pronounced JO-M) is a Helsinki-based saxophonist turned singer-songwriter who has just released her brand new single “He’s Got It All”!
This talented artist has kindly taken the time to speak with Fierce & Fabulous Revolution about her latest release.
Hey Joem, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Can you start by telling the readers a little bit about yourself?
Joem: Yes, so I’m a 25-year-old songwriter and an independent artist from Finland. I transitioned from playing saxophone as my main thing to singing and writing songs a few years ago when I developed a chronic neuropathic pain in my arms that forced me to stop playing and rethink pretty much everything. This particular challenge was a blessing in the end, as I’d secretly wanted to be a singer ever since I was a kid but was too shy to open my mouth.
In 2017, I started releasing my music under the name Joem, soon after graduated from the Pop & Jazz Conservatory here in Helsinki, and now I’m graduating from our University with my English BA degree, which I’ve been working on on the side. Now I’m putting all my efforts into music and growing as an artist.
When did you first discover your passion for music?
Joem: I always loved music, and mainly listened to it in English even when I didn’t know the language, but I started to play saxophone pretty late – I was 13 back then. After a couple of years, I knew music would not stay a hobby for me. What I did not know was that the road to finding my most authentic way of making music and expressing myself would turn out so bumpy.
Have you always wanted to pursue a career in music?
Joem: I’d say by the time I was 18 it was pretty clear to me on a heart-level. However, as most musicians will relate, your practical side combined with the pressure from family and society to get a proper job and stability can make you second guess the ambition to make a career out of any creative endeavor. It most certainly is a thing I still deal with.
How would you describe your musical style to someone unfamiliar with your music?
Joem: My music is mostly in the pop genre flavored with electronic elements and with a soulful vocal centric sound. I’m all about writing in an honest, vulnerable way and I gravitate towards everything emotive, romantic, and cinematic.
You are about to release your brand new single “He’s Got It All”. How did the idea to create this single come together?
Joem: I wrote “He’s Got It All” last summer, actually, so it’s been a long time coming. I was dealing with some issues in my marriage and had to remind myself and others that my loyalty and devotion belong to my husband. Essentially I wanted to write a song that celebrates this devotion and sort of declares it out loud. It’s a bit sassy, even. I imagine any girl being proud of their partner in front of others and telling ’em that she ain’t available and walks away confidently.
I sent a crappy demo like I always do to my producer and he was convinced we can make it a banger. I absolutely love the production in this song. This song is the first of a few singles I’ll release this year.
What does the song personally mean to you?
Joem: For me personally, the song is me celebrating my love for my husband, as well as re-establishing the commitment I signed up for when we got together. But it’s also a banger of a song I wanna dance to.
If listeners could take one thing from this song, what would you like it to be?
Joem: What I want listeners to take from this song is the confident attitude in standing behind your decision to commit to whatever.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Joem: I’m deeply stuck in my routines as I feel like I need that structure in my life, so I do the same things pretty much every day. I love to do a workout in the morning, either pilates or dance cardio, I love to take walks in the forest next to us, I love to read a lot and listen to audiobooks and podcasts, I love SciFi and fantasy movies and meeting up with a friend for deep soul talks in coffee shops (which I miss so much now in this lockdown).
What was the last song you added to your playlist?
Joem: There’s two: “How Deep the Father’s Love” performed by Selah and Selena Gomez’s “Souvenir”.
What was the first album your purchased & do you still listen to it now?
Joem: This is a hard one, I’m not sure I remember. I do remember getting Kelly Clarkson’s album “Breakaway” and I still do listen to some of the songs. I still think that is her best album.
If you could perform a duet with anyone in the world, who would you choose & why?
Joem: Who would I duet with? I’ve got a list for this one, haha. But if I had to choose just one for now, it would be Michael Bublé. My goodness, he’s got a velvety gorgeous voice and he’s super charismatic. We saw him in concert last Fall, he’s amazing.
Who would you consider to be your biggest inspiration?
Joem: It might not be possible to mention only one who’s inspired me significantly, but Tori Kelly has been one for sure. I feel like we share values and her way of carving out a path in music not defined by basic industry standards inspires me. And then, of course, there is Celine Dion, who made me fall in love with big songs and emotive voices.
What is the best piece of advice someone has given you about pursuing a career in music?
Joem: It sounds so boring but I’m being reminded by my mentor Cari Cole that patience and persistence are key. Usually, nothing happens as quickly as I’d like. The seed you plant needs time to grow. I’m really hoping to see the fruit of my efforts someday. Also, creating as your authentic self as an artist, and not what others want you to do, is important.
Finally, is there anything you would like to say to the readers of Fierce & Fabulous Revolution?
Joem: I’d like to encourage everyone to keep a positive attitude in the midst of this global crisis, to be brave in asking for help, and to surround yourself with uplifting ideas and great music, obviously. Cheers to all of you supporting us independent artists, as well! Every listen, share, comment and encouragement mean the world to us who create music.
You can check out “He’s Got It All” on Spotify below.