Music Bugle Exclusive – Q & A – JOEM

Photo courtesy of Joem.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

After chronic nerve pain and depression forced Finland-based independent artist JOEM to switch roles from saxophone to songwriter, she embraced her new direction with the new song “Copper Ground,” which she describes as a “poetic pop jam.”

Currently, she works part-time as a life auxiliary/personal assistant for seniors and is busy on her future 2021 releases, hopeful to break ground as both an artist and creative entrepreneur.

The Music Bugle had the chance to speak with JOEM about “Copper Ground” and more.

Music Bugle – What do you find is the biggest challenge of being an independent singer-songwriter?

JOEM – Definitely trying to do it all. You’re your own manager, promoter, image developer and social media manager on top of doing the actual work of writing and recording songs. Sometimes, it feels like too much, but often, you learn a lot of important skills – and learn through your mistakes most of the time!

Music Bugle – How would you describe Finland to someone who has never been there before?

JOEM – Finland is a relatively calm country, with lots of nature and only 5.5 million people in total. We’re a sort of no-nonsense people; we say what we mean and often try to get by without asking for help, which isn’t always a good thing.

Music Bugle – What directly inspired your new song “Copper Ground”?

JOEM – Changes in nature during Fall and Winter, turning visual images into poetic pop and falling in love as a warming contrast to the cold outside. Also, my need to slow down as a relatively anxious high achiever type.

Music Bugle – Does social media help or hurt musicians?

JOEM – Social media is a double-edged sword. Yes, it helps and is a must in today’s world for an independent artist. You can connect with people all around the world without some gatekeepers’ – like labels, etc. – permission, but it takes work and a ton of patience. I’m still learning and pivoting as I go. Sometimes, it feels overwhelming, though and some days, I feel like the pressure to be always online affects my mental health and energy in a negative way. It actually fuels the addiction to social media, because “it’s part of your work.”

Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?

JOEM – The pandemic affected my financial situation last year as my part-time job hours got reduced to almost nothing. Fortunately, that changed later. As an introvert, I find it easier to be less social and stay at home, but the continual stress and worry of catching something really affects you unconsciously, for sure. Weirdly enough, wearing masks causes headaches and jaw tension, too.

Music Bugle – What’s something you wish happened more in today’s music industry?

JOEM – I’d love to see more collabs between music artists and other creatives, such as visual artists, mixed media artists, dancers, poets, etc., online. That’s my goal as well. Also, I’d love to see some other platforms rise to the level of Spotify, something that has a potential to be more profitable.

Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep doing what you do?

JOEM – “Someone somewhere needs your music more than you can imagine.”

Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need an escape?

JOEM – I live next to a small forest and walking there without headphones on is what I need to keep myself sane!

Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?

JOEM – Now, I’ve been listening to Polina Gagarina – Russian singer – Miley Cyrus’s new album, “Harry Potter” soundtracks and Celine Dion.

Music Bugle – What are your goals for 2021? 

JOEM – My goals for 2021 are to have at least five collabs with musicians and other creatives, to release more music than last year and grow my #enchantedfam online, to find income streams as an artist and to start working on an album/EP. 

*Photo Credit – Nelly Julia Design*

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