What inspired you to become an artist?
I have always loved music and singing since I can remember. When I was five years old I was at church and was singing along with the teleprompter and the worship leader saw me and she called me onto the stage to sing “my redeemer lives” in front of a congregation of roughly a couple hundred people. That was a fun moment. Also my first time performing music for people. I didn’t think too much about it back then, but reflecting on that is pretty cool. I went on to continue singing along with the radio, YouTube music videos or on demand music videos that I would find and listen to. I had grown up playing sports such as baseball, soccer, football, basketball and wrestling. (Wrestling and football were my favorite) I wrestled at 132 and played running back and linebacker. By the time I was fourteen I loved women and wanted them to love me. I was watching the tv show Real Husbands of Hollywood starring Kevin Hart and while I was laughing at it I realized that little five foot two Kevin was getting paid tons of money to be making out with incredibly hot women. So I decided I wanted to do acting and the following school year I signed up for the drama club doing plays instead of sports. I was a natural with a big stage presence according to my teacher. I ended up doing two plays that year and received good responses from the audiences. The following school year came around and a girl I liked convinced me to audition for the school musical. After some persuasion I signed up and I am glad I did. The production we did was called Joseph and the Techno Colored Dreamcoat. I worked hands on with the choir coach and really started refining my singing skills. It was so much fun and I learned how to sing, act and dance all at the same time. They called it a “triple threat”. Doing this production helped me realize performing live music and singing was something I loved and would want to keep doing. I ended up writing my first songs that year and they were terrible, but hey you got to start somewhere. At this point I’ve written well over thousands of songs and recorded hundreds. I have the goal in mind to keep improving as much as I can everyday until it’s my time to leave this timeline, but hopefully the art I leave behind will hold value to current and future generations to come.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
My biggest musical influences would have to be talented people like Ed Sheeran (I actually convinced people I was his cousin multiple times by singing his songs to them), The Weekend, Drake, Justin Bieber, Post Malone, Frank Ocean and Soshake who is my older brother Casey’s best friend from High School who produced my first album.
What is the story behind your stage name?
Jooh Gatti is my stage name. This name comes from me being ethnically Jewish, having a love for Pooh Bear (I still have my childhood Winnie the Pooh blankee which I plan to give to my children once I am so lucky to have them), and my admiration for the vehicle Bugatti. I plan to use my talents to earn a Bugatti in my own color “Jooh Blue” drive it for a year, take it on the autobahn have that cool experience and then I want to auction it off to the highest bidder and donate the proceeds by buying Toyota Camrys and giving them to families.
How would you describe your musical style?
I would say my music style is truth from my life, raw real emotions expressed over an instrumental. Like a paint brush to a canvas my voice is that to the beat. If I was gonna try to put it into the box of a genre I would say it is international pop music. I don’t use profanities in my music so it can be played globally. I would also say it’s a blend of pop meeting hype pop, RnB, hip hop and sometimes even country. When asked by people “what type of music do you make”? Typically my response is “ I make good music that you can really feel based on my real life”.
Can you walk us through your writing and recording process?
This is a tough question because it really depends on a song to song basis how I write each track. Sometimes something will occur in my life and I’ll have a whole concept of a song or I’ll have just one line of a song come to me. Then from the one line or that one concept I will write and build out a whole track without even hearing a beat. But also sometimes I’ll hear a beat and I’ll know exactly what words should go in which place. But also Just the other day I heard a track that had an open verse on it that Soshake made and I started freestyling and the words just kept flowing like water from a faucet and I wrote them down and had a verse and bridge written in like one minute. Other times I’ll have a beat and listen to it and just take it line by line section by section. Figure out where the intro is, the verse, the chorus and find the structure of everything. Then find the concept based off of something that’s happened to me because if it has happened to me, it has probably happened to someone else who can relate to my story. Then there are times where I’ll hear the beat and instead of thinking what to say I’ll think of what sound I want to go there. I’ll start singing random words and a melody or cadence that fits and then I’ll record that and come back to it and fill in the words that fit the sound similarly. Music is a vibration so if I can vibe to music with a different language that I don’t understand that tells me it was the emotional build and melody that I felt. I aim to do that with my music for those who don’t speak my language. That’s some of the writing processes I’ve used. As for recording, I like to start by recording my main vocal line by line making sure to solo out the audio track and listen to it and that it sounds perfectly exactly how I want it before I move onto the next section of the song. This can sometimes take one attempt or sometimes hundreds before it’s how I want it to sound. I’ll finish the main vocal line and move onto recording a low harmony vocal line and a high harmony vocal line in the same fashion as the main vocal. At this point I will add in the ad libs by freestyling mutliple takes over the whole track and then I’ll go through and pick out the best parts or see what would sound good in certain spots of the track and record them until they perfect. Sometimes I will also do a bunch of layers of vocals in a certain section to add a choir like vibe to it. The last track I recorded which will be on my second album took me over 150 hours of recording time. The amount of time and effort you put into a song really shows. Of course the next steps are sending it to the best audio engineers you can find/ afford to mix and master the track and bring it to the highest level possible. Then when you get it back and play it all that hard work and time is worth it because your song is undeniable and will withstand the test of time. I like to make timeless music.
What message do you hope to convey through your music?
Each song has its own message, meaning and desire for how I want the listener to feel. The overarching message I want for listeners to feel is that they aren’t alone. That they can live vicariously through my story. I’m sure a lot of people can relate to the words and emotions I feel and put into each track. I hope my music makes people feel great. I hope it adds to the ambiance of whatever setting they are in. I hope it brings joy and heightens the experience for people. I hope that someone can send one of my songs to someone they love and it makes their connection stronger. I hope that when I do concerts people make friends with the other audience members that last a lifetime. I hope people learn from my mistakes and from my successes that I talk about through my music. I hope that as you listen through my discography you can feel the progress of my understanding of life and who I am as a person in that moment. Ever growing and changing I hope that my music can bring hope and understanding to the listener.
Can you tell us about your latest album or project?
My first and last album FAILS OF A WINNER TALES OF A SINNER (F.O.A.W.T.O.A.S) is a “photo” snapshot of my love life at the time. It tells true tales and stories of my interactions with the lovely ladies who have been in and out of my life up until the age of 22. The intro NEVER sets the tone for the album by bringing up the desire for women that I didn’t need, but wanted. The rest of the album follows the story of what comes with that desire of love. The first song and music video SPACESHIP was a song I wrote while at work on the check stand at Trader Joes. Whenever I had downtime I had to be writing lyrics. That track was about my day dreams of taking one of the ladies in my life out in my 98 Subaru Outback my “spaceship” and going stargazing. The second track YOU was about this woman I met at a house party and couldn’t stop thinking about her for weeks. The third track HOLD ON was about my high school sweetheart who I had to choose between moving to the school she was going to or moving forward with my life where I wanted to go which was a different city. So I had to find the right way to let her go even when I wanted to hold on. The fifth track is about one of my exes that I fell for hard, but had to end things when it started becoming toxic to my well being. The sixth track MAD was about one of my exes who asked for an open relationship and then when I started seeing other ladies got jealous and mad. The seventh track OPTIONS was about a woman I spent some time with who was stunning and I could tell she had a lot of other options and I wasn’t a long lasting person in her roster to be honest. I need to be number 1 or I am gonna leave. The eighth track INCOGNITO was about an ex I didn’t give enough attention to when I had her and then when I lost her there was no way of getting her back but I could still see her online hiding in plain sight and had to learn to cope with my feelings about the whole thing and just appreciating the time shared. The ninth track 444 was about me taking a break from love and tryna find a similar feeling through lust and sinful ways that boosted my ego to help cope with the pain that comes with love. The tenth track DOLLY LAMA was about me shifting my focus from wanting to have love and a family, to wanting to be successful financially and finding peace of mind from taking the weight of love off of my shoulders. The outro UNREQUITED was about me turning off my feelings for people who don’t feel the same way I do.
What is the most challenging aspect of creating music for you?
The most challenging part of making music for me is having the resources to do so. By that I mean mostly the time. Thankfully I have built my own studio, but to record a track exactly how I want it to sound it takes a lot of time to nail every vocal take. So if you are working a full time job finding the energy to stay up super late after you get off of work to record for hours into the night is a sometimes difficult task. Also giving up social interactions to spend 8 hours of the day working on one song can be grueling/daunting, but it is soooo worth it when you can sit back and listen to what you just created. Another troublesome part of making music for me has been marketing and having the resources to do so. Life is expensive and when your main source of income either goes to bills, getting beats and paying audio engineers having the amount of money needed to really promote a song takes saving up for awhile.
How do you deal with criticism and negative feedback?
I welcome criticism. I am my own harshest critic. So if I missed something that could be made better I am down to hear the person out and try to understand where they are coming from. I’ll take it with a grain of salt, but potentially they could say the right thing that makes my next draft or song better than where I was at prior. Negative feedback is also welcomed. If you took the time to listen and then write something about my art that means you felt something from it. Whether you liked it or didn’t I know everyone is entitled to their opinion and I respect it.
What sets you apart from other artists?
My art is based on my real life. I keep my music clean so all spectrums of people can listen to it. My voice, sound and style is unique. My goal isn’t greed, but to use my talents to give back. My music is timeless. I genuinely love making music and I share it so others can enjoy it too. I have never and will never sell my soul even though I have been offered the trade and turned it down. Jesus is my savior and I try to live as much like him as possible. I am a sinner who knows right from wrong. I will never stop creating music and art in general until I breathe my last breath and go to heaven.
What was the biggest obstacle you faced as a musician, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest obstacle was finding my sound and training my vocal chords. I started out making obscene rap music under a different alias known as Full $end you can find some of my old tracks on SoundCloud and one titled AUTOMATICS on mainstream streaming services. I found my sound was singing and making pop music after about two years of rapping. I wasn’t great at singing at first. I still aim to keep becoming better and better at it. I spent day after day singing for hours upon hours to myself with no beat while I was working at my job I had at Intel. This was truly where I gained the most progress on my vocal range, voice, breath control and understanding of the instrument that is my voice. I can now sing confidently in any setting because of the years of hard work and dedication I put into understanding how to use my voice.
Who are your dream collaborations and why?
My dream collaborations would be Justin Bieber, Ed Sheeran, Pharrell, Bruno Mars, Frank Ocean, The Weekend, Drake, DJ Khaled, Kanye West, Post Malone, Miguel, H.E.R. Doja Cat, Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus and Rihanna. I choose these artists because in my eyes they are truly masters of their craft and would bring undeniable work to the art we would create. Not to forget to mention the marketing and exposure that they would bring to the track would be epic as an understatement.
Can you discuss a time when you faced a creative block, and how you overcame it?
After I had back surgery I had a hard time finding the motivation to get back into the studio. I was tired and hurting. After I healed, coming back to the studio was still difficult, I had lost my momentum. I had to go into recluse mode and cut off the people I was hanging around and just force myself to put the hours in. Once I cut off distractions it was easy to be creative and let the words and melodies find me. Another time I had a creative block was when I had gone sober. That only lasted about a month before I could start entering that creative space again. I’d say I was more creative at that point sober than high on weed or any other substance. I am still staying sober and will continue to do so. The clarity sober is way more valuable than any high. My life is great, I don’t need to escape or alter my reality anymore.
What do you consider to be your biggest musical accomplishment?
Recording at the house of hits in Miami and creating the song TIME produced by Grammy award winning Vinny Venditto is my biggest accomplishment thus far. I came into the studio on three hours of sleep but more drive and motivation than I had ever felt in the studio. I wrote the song in less than thirty minutes and it was just perfect. I recorded it all in one day. My whole crew with me was in awe. They were telling me “bro, you really just did that. I am proud of you”. I would definitely record there again and I am grateful I made the connection with the people who helped make that track as awesome as it is.
How has your hometown and community influenced your music?
My hometown has influenced my art because the choir teacher and drama teacher at my school were pivotal in me finding a love for performing music. As well as my older brother’s best friend from the same town, Soshake produced my entire first album and mentored me in ways of creating music that truly helped me progress way faster.
What advice would you give to aspiring artist?
Make sure you are in it for the right reasons. Make sure you keep your soul, eternity is real. Build your own studio so you can work on your own time towards your project’s completion. Don’t rush it. Find a mentor who’s been doing music longer and try to see how they maneuver in their recording sessions. Find your workflow. Make time for your art. How much time you put into a track will be evident when someone listens to the song. Make sure it is a song you would want to perform later if it is successful. You don’t want to be performing a song you hate over and over on a tour. Understand what you are getting yourself into. Fame comes with good and bad repercussions. Have a stockpile of undeniable songs before you put one out. You don’t want to be a one hit wonder. Love what you do and be okay with never making it as long as you get to listen to your own music and enjoy doing it.
What do you like to do in your free time when you’re not making music?
I enjoy spending time with friends, family, my puppy Stud Muffin and with the lovely ladies of this world. I find playing the video game nba2k super fun.( I am really good at that game) I love watching movies, dancing, playing ping pong, working out, painting, drawing and designing clothes. I also enjoy listening to music!
What are your favorite and least favorite things about the music industry?
My favorite thing about the music industry is that it gives people a platform to express themselves and pursue their purpose/dreams. My least favorite thing about the music industry is all the ego’s, corruption, satanic stuff, and the over saturation of people making “music” to just try and get money or fame without having any real meaning behind their art. They just wanna try to look cool and say they make music for some sort of social status.
What was the biggest lesson you learned from your musical journey so far?
Have perseverance and patience. Take the time to calculate and plan how you want your artistry to unfold. Do not settle on the quality of your art. Make sure that it sounds like a hit before you mix and master it. It might take you one take or one thousand takes to deliver the vocal the way you want it to sound. Persevere and have patience. Once the song is done it will withstand through time if you take the time to make it undeniable. Also do not be shy, everyone you meet should be listening to your music after they know you or at the very least subscribed or following. Be charismatic and charming. Be authentic and genuine. Make real art and real connections. Do not work with everyone. Respect yourself enough to only work with serious artists who are willing to put in the effort you are to make the collaboration the best it can be. Don’t give up. Imagine the rocky theme music playing in the background and your whole life is a montage of you passionately working towards your purpose.
Can you tell us about a memorable performance you’ve had?
I performed at the Wesley Chapel Studios “Beats, Bars and Biz” musical mixer. I waited all day to perform for some A&R executives who left before I got to perform. That was frustrating, but I was still going to perform because I had rehearsed the songs I was going to perform everyday for a month straight multiple times a day. I performed an unreleased song that will be on my third album and my crowd favorite “TIME”. You can see the full performance on my Instagram where you will see me rip my shirt off while singing my heart out! That performance meant a lot to me because my team all made sure to be there and devoted a whole day to see me perform. I feel it also showed my tenacity to even after being let down by the A&R reps leaving I rose to the occasion and still put on an epic set.
What are your future plans for your career as an artist?
I plan to use my talents and skills to create as many albums as possible. Whether it’s only my albums, or producing/writing other artists’ work. I plan to own a studio, clothing line and a label. My goal would be to make it as far as performing at the Super Bowl. It would also be an honor to be considered for a Grammy and especially to win one. Eventually I would like to write, direct and star in my own film depicting the life I’ve lived. I would be open to taking on other roles for films or tv shows as well. I hope that I can use my efforts to give other artists an opportunity to succeed in the field.
What is the biggest challenge you face as a performer?
The biggest challenge while performing is making sure to have a full breath while singing and dancing to hit the right notes. This is relatively easy to do with practice because you will find the timing of when to breathe. It is also tough to get people to come to the show before you are a big name and have a bunch of capital to promote performances. I tried handing out flyers before and people looked at me like I was tryna give them the ick when I was inviting them to my show. So in a new area that can be tough to deal with, making all this music, investing all the time and money into creating it just to be looked at like a gross freak for tryna invite people to come to a show. But the more you do the easier it gets and you start building up a resume of performances to show for which leads to bigger venues and more opportunities for larger crowds, hopefully resulting in some new fans.
Can you discuss a time when you faced adversity and how you overcame it?
I have recorded hundreds of songs and had them all on an external hard drive. Unfortunately for me the hard drive broke and I lost almost all the data. This resulted in me losing years of work. I was quite upset at first, but I decided to take it as an opportunity to recreate the music with a more seasoned voice and make small edits here and there to really bring up the quality. Right now I am almost completed with re-recording my second album and I am enjoying the new versions of the tracks much more than the prior ones. Everything happens the way God wants it to. Having to redo all the songs must have needed to happen so I could make an even better album for the world to hear.
What do you think is the most important quality for a successful artist?
I think originality, charisma, marketability and aesthetics are the most important qualities to be a successful artist. I think the most important qualities of a person would be integrity, loyalty, honesty, wisdom and kindness.
How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals as an artist?
My whole world revolves around Jesus, family and my purpose which is creating. Specific
How do you stay connected with your fans and supporters?
I try to stay connected by using social media platforms such as my Instagram, tictok, twitter, Facebook and Snapchat @joohgatti I post all sorts of content and try to keep the fans updated. As well I do my best to respond to comments and messages. I also promote upcoming events/shows, songs and albums on my pages. If you want to stay most connected with me, my Instagram is where I am most active.
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