Joe Alexander Shepherd
When did the project begin?
I started playing the piano when I was 11 so I have roughly been playing for 12 years – I was brought up with classical training but love great pop records.
What song of yours is the one you like the most?
My favorite track I’ve ever written is a piece called ‘Time’ which I wrote two years ago – it was actually the song that helped me sign a publishing deal in London with Nettwerk Music Group. I love performing the track live because I feel the audience can really feel my emotion in the song. ‘Time’ was recently used for UEFAs short film celebrating the World War One Truce featuring a few famous footballers including Wayne Rooney, Sir Bobby Charlton, and Gareth Bale.
How do you write your music?
Good question. I’m not sure really how to describe my writing process but I just sit down at the piano and try get in the zone – sometimes playing different chords singing melodies over the top. I always carry my phone on me so I can record song ideas wherever I go. Recently, I have started with one note constantly playing on a loop & then experimenting with different ideas/sounds over the top. It keeps it interesting to try different things out!
What influences do you have?
I am heavily influenced by an Italian Composer/Pianist called Ludovico Einaudi who has written a great batch of songs for Film & TV over the years (especially for the BBC). I love The Beatles records – timeless hooks that you can’t stop whistling.
What´s the best experience you have had with your project?
Playing a 100 year old grand piano at the incredible La Residencia hotel in the Spanish mountains – it was wonderful playing at such a well known hotel knowing that so many famous actors/musicians have stayed there. But, obviously the UEFA project was very exciting!
…it was wonderful playing at such a well known hotel knowing that so many famous actors/musicians have stayed there…
What plans do you have this year?
I will be releasing a 5 track EP on Nettwerk Records in the summer – I’m really excited to get my music out there because hopefully the release will open up more doors for me! I will be working with vocalists on pop records – Nettwerk has a great collection of artists they look after so it’s quite handy!
Mention something you don´t like about your project.
Being a perfectionist – for instance, I could spend a good few hours on a track loving it, but then the next minute wanting to start something fresh & scrapping the whole new song! Very frustrating at times but I always want to release the best tracks I can.
Mention the biggest sacrifice you did for your project.
Traveling around the world. I thought my gap year would be much more beneficial staying at home writing music. I am hoping to travel with my music anyway; playing wherever I can.
What band, music project or solist from your city do you like?
I currently love a band called Hello Operator who are doing great in the York scene! We are good friends & I am pleased that things are going well for them – go check them out! They have such a unique sound similar to Royal Blood & the New Arctic Monkeys album ‘AM’.
If your project was a word, what would it be?
– Joe Alexander Shepherd. On a lovely fluffy carpet in the countryside.