UNIT-E has had the opportunity to interview Joe Gil, a singer-songwriter hailing from Los Angeles, California. We had the pleasure of seeing him perform live at the Bookworm Literary Festival in March. Armed with captivating vocals, a piano, a guitar and a ukulele, Joe Gil was a wonder to listen to. We couldn’t resist asking him to pitch in for a UNIT-E interview.
UNIT-E: How would you describe your music?
Joe: I would describe my music as a mixture between indie, folk and pop. At the core, it’s really just comforting music: not too loud, but not too soft.
UNIT-E: What inspired you to pursue a career in music?
Joe: I never had a moment where I told myself, "I’m going to do music and nothing will stop me". It was more of a progression of just getting better at making music, to a point where I just found myself in the thick of things. I’ve loved music since I can remember, and luckily, I get to call it my career now.
UNIT-E: Have you ever been formally trained in music?
Joe: I’ve never had any training in any type of music. I think when I was around 8 years old I studied piano for half a year, but I don’t really remember. I should probably get training in something…
I originally studied architecture at the University of Southern California, but after I came out of college, there were no jobs. I thought that if I didn’t have a job, I might as well not-have a job and do something I love at the same time.
UNIT-E: What advice would you give to a high school student still looking for a direction in life?
Joe: All I would say is: don’t worry about what you’re going to study in college or do after college, just make sure you enjoy whatever comes your way. When I was in high school, I thought my life would be completely different to how it is now, but I wouldn’t change anything. I don’t think anyone really knows where they’re going, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
UNIT-E: Is there anything you would like to say to those budding talents waiting to be unleashed on the world?
Joe: Work, work, work! I’ve been writing songs since I was about 14. I never thought I’d be doing it for a living and didn’t really care at that point. I just wanted to write good songs. I’ve written hundreds of horrible songs, but those ones are what got me to where I am now. Just keep trying to perfect your craft and everything will work out fine.
UNIT-E: What’s the formula for success?
Joe: I’m not sure, maybe someone could tell me? I don’t think there is a formula for success in any field. I think if you’re putting time into being the best at what you’re doing, it’ll show. Greatness always rises to the top and it will never be overlooked.
You can read more about Joe or listen to his music on his official website.
This article originally appeared in the April 2013 issue of UNIT-E. It was written by Kathleen Ma, a student at the International School of Beijing.
UNIT-E was founded in the spring of 2010 with the aim of establishing a non-profit, student-run magazine for international students in Beijing. Staffed by current students from a range of international schools, the magazine provides an amalgam of cultural tidbits, fragments of Beijing student life, and a broad spectrum of unique perspectives from a diverse group of young adults.
photo courtesy of UNIT-E