JOA is a recording artist and producer from Atlanta, GA, who was immersed in music at a young age, memorizing every lyric and melody to his VHS collection of Disney Sing-A-Longs. At the age of 10, he picked up the guitar and never looked back. JOA formed his own band and began gigging while still in middle school. Jesse found his love for recording at 15 when his mom gave him a multi-track cassette recorder and he began to demo his ideas.
At 19, he joined a touring rock band, Travisty Theory, and shared the stage with acts such as Sevendust, Lifehouse, Hoobastank, and Cypress Hill. This experience fueled the fire for recording again and soon after, he and his father built a studio in Atlanta, where he produced local bands. JOA began self-producing his own records, releasing them under the moniker “Like Clockwork," and landed his first major-label gig at age 23. JOA’s new single “By All Means” displays his experience and pure love and understanding for music and storytelling.
“By All Means” opens up with an authentic arrangement of synths, chords, and keys that capture our ears right away. We bob our heads as JOA’s warm vocals welcome us into an intimate and conflicted love story. As the dynamic song progresses, hard-hitting drums come in hitting our souls as we begin to belt out JOA’s lyrics “By All Means!”. This is the kind of record that describes a situation perfectly. A toxic sort of romance to which many of us can relate to.
“By All Means” has all of the ingredients of a successful hit record. It’s one of those songs that come on the radio to which you feel an instant connection. The catchy melodies and poetic, heartfelt lyrics mixed with JOA’s energetic pop/rock performance have us hooked.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, JOA. We adore the story and energy of your new hit single, "By All Means." What moment or feeling inspired you to create this record?
"By All Means" is very much based on actual events. I was coming from a deeply hurt place, and though it may sound as if the song is centered around being angry or spiteful, my intention was pure, honest, and coming from a place of love. I was disappointed and heartbroken, but I truly wanted to see this person be happy, no matter what it took. In that, I realized an even deeper sentiment which was that I sincerely loved someone. I knew my love for them was absolute and without conditions, and while it was going to devastate me, I had to let them go. The old cliche is true. I wanted to find the most sincere, polite, and loving way to tell someone to "get lost" - and I believe I achieved that here.
"We always said that we'd be honest if we ever felt we needed more-" this line is a conversation starter! What was your writing process like? Was it difficult to capture this story in writing, or did it all just flow out naturally?
This one flowed out of me very easily. I find that the more honest I can be, the easier it is to capture. I think I wrote the whole song in about 15 minutes.
What advice do you have for someone who's caught up in a toxic situation?
Try to focus on moving forward and realize that when someone hurts you when the damage is done, the pain is only perpetuated by your own willingness to suffer. Let the past be the past, take whatever can be learned from the situation, and apply it to a brighter future. If possible, try to surround yourself with friends and the people who love you. Try to avoid self-medicating.
Though it may seem easier to do so in the short term, experiencing and feeling all of the emotions that come with a breakup will allow you to move on faster and stronger in the long run and with more clarity. I have been sober for almost nine years, and I am so grateful that I faced this situation head-on without any substances.
It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to endure, but I felt every ounce of it, and have now integrated it into the very core of my being, and will use this experience to make better decisions that will inevitably (and hopefully) allow me to trust my intuition more and avoid situations like this in the future.
You have an impressive and intriguing resume! Having worked with so many industry professionals, has that "dream collaboration" already happened for you? If yes, who was it with? and if not, who would you like it to be with?
Thank you! I really believe that every collaboration I have had the opportunity to participate in - is a dream come true. I'm living my dream by making music for a living. I am so grateful that I have been able to work and learn from such talented people, and I look forward to doing even more of that in the future.
What's next for you?
I have several things in the works, including an acoustic album, new songs from my band World Is Watching, and a JOA "concept" album that is manifesting itself and has been for years. I continue to produce for other artists with Jan Smith here at Jan Smith Studios in Atlanta, and I'm looking forward to spending a lot more time outside this year, hiking and backpacking.