Interview with Jonathan Joel

Divine Magazine
Divine Magazine 7 Min Read

Jonathan Joel is an emerging pop artist who puts artistry into motion every time he takes the stage. With dynamic vocals accompanied by breath-taking violin playing, this NY-based musician creates a one-of-a-kind oasis for his audience to let loose and express themselves. 

As a self-proclaimed anomaly, Jonathan strives to empower others to embrace who they are through his art. 

“For me, it’s about all the pieces—the music, lyrics, choreography and styling—coming together to create a beautiful story that connects with others. I hope when people listen to my music they feel free and liberated to remove any masks that they may be hiding behind and live more authentically.”

Jonathan draws inspiration from an array of artists and genres ranging from pop culture icons like George Michael and Britney Spears to more classical crossover influences like Lindsey Stirling and string quartet Bond.

The avant-garde artist is on a mission to reclaim creativity and bring beauty to the world one song at a time.

“I want to be a creative force that positively impacts people in an unconventional way. My music pushes the typical pop boundaries by incorporating idiosyncratic sounds from my classical, jazz, and EDM roots.”

Ultimately, Jonathan hopes he will be able to use his own story to inspire people to pursue their own passions.

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What first got you into music?

Probably church or my mom, but I saw some kids on TV playing violin, and felt like that’s what I was supposed to do, and started Suzuki violin shortly after. I was 4 years old!

Who would you most like to collaborate with?

Imogen Heap, she’s one of my all time favorites and so creative!

What is one message you would give to your fans?

God loves you!

What is your favorite song to perform?

Probably my song “Mascara”; it’s so much fun – the rhythm, lyrics, melody…oh, and choreo! It’s a fave for sure.

What about your music is rebellious, unconventional, or unusual?

All the strings I use are pretty out of the norm for most mainstream pop. I love bringing my classical music influences into what I create. I really feel like that is my niche, and am ever discovering how to lean more into that.

Musically, I love using jazz and seventh chords – very unconventional and a bit rebellious for pop music!
I think lyrically some of the metaphors I have used in the past have been a bit unusual as well.

Who are your main musical influences?

I would say Imogen Heap, string quartet Bond, Jean-Luc Ponty, and the CCM group Raze from the late 90’s/early 2000’s.

What is your top two favorite albums of all time? Why those albums?

Hard choice, but my go-to’s are Coldplay “Rush of Blood to the Head” and Imogen Heap “Speak for Yourself”. Both have influenced me majorly – musically and as a songwriter. I could listen to them over and over and never get tired of them. Imogen’s harmonies and production are stunning, as well as her lyrics just take me to another world. I love Coldplay’s melodies and progressions, I just feel like I never get tired of that brit-soft rock/pop vibe and Chris Martin’s vocals mate.

What are your musical plans for the next 12 months or so?

Continuing to learn and create/record/hopefully release more music! I relocated back to the east coast since covid and had music plans put on hold, so hopefully I’m going to be able to share a lot of the music I created during that time period!

Do you enjoy recording and production?

I love it! It’s amazing watching everything start to come to life.

Where was your last song recorded?

In Nashville at various studios/home studios.

What kind of recording facilities do you have at home?

A super humble bedroom studio setup! My MacBook, audio interface and my mic 🙂

Would you have any advice for would-be artists or songwriters wanting to follow in your footsteps?

My advice would be to just dive in, learn as much as you can from other people, don’t worry about messing up, you will learn as you go. Start writing as much as you can, and learn what it is you like about your favorite songs. Become a student of the kind of music you think you want to write. I’m still doing this!

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You are a new addition to a crayon box. What color would you be and why?

Pretty sure this doesn’t count as a “new addition”, but Robin’s Egg Blue.
My friend in middle/high school always joked about that color in specific in crayon boxes and so now I can only think of that when someone brings up crayons lol!

Would you rather be the one in a movie who gets the hero/heroine or the baddie with all the good lines?

Obviously the baddie!!

What makes you nostalgic?

Pop music

Which are cooler? Dinosaurs or Dragons?

Hmmm I’m gonna have to go with dragons?? I mean the fire breathing is pretty hard to beat.

If you were talking to a younger version of you, what advice would you give yourself?

Don’t get caught up in chasing the wrong things, work hard, put God first, spend more time with family, and practice/write more!

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