Singer-songwriter Joseph Eid is a dynamic performer who does it all for the love of the music. Raised in New York, he moved to Los Angeles in search of the right opportunity and connections to make it to the next level. A genuine artist, Eid has been doing it all as an independent musician and enjoying every step of the way. Releasing his first album Human in 2013, Joseph Eid latest album Watch It Fall is out now.
During his show at L.A.’s getaway venue, Molly Malone’s in the Fairfax District, the music poured onto the crowd as the songs like a spiritual cleansing as the mix of folk and indie-rock. The tracks on the latest release range from the most delicately beautifully song like “One and Only” to reggae-infused beats on “Let Me In” and “Diary.” The crowd enjoyed a full band backing Joseph Eid as the veteran musicians kept the sound on point. The night was perfect and thrilling the crowd is what Joseph Eid does best. We caught up with him after his set to chat about his work, his love of Los Angeles and the future for Joseph Eid.
What are the origins of Joseph Eid? What did it all start?
It started in New York. I grew up in New York for the most part. My family moved there when I was eleven. I’ve always loved music but I grew up in a family where the arts were considered a hobby and I never imagined it would be a real thing. But I was writing poetry and doing musicals in high school then I went to college and did Psyche and Pre-Med and even went to med school for six months but this is what I’m supposed to be doing with my life. Thank God I woke up at 22 and said, ‘No way, I have to do this.’ I dropped out of med school, moved to New York and started a band, started vocal lessons, joined a theater company and was doing this whole art-thing. Then I moved to out here and got really active here, 10 years ago and songs started pouring out like crazy.
That always seems to happen with that transition.
I think the thing about the physical move that’s important is especially when you grow up and you stay in the place where you grew up, people know you as a certain person. To reinvent yourself or to go to another level, sometimes a physical move is necessary. You move, then you kind of have the freedom to not be somebody else, but just be a better version of yourself where people’s view of you doesn’t limit you. I felt that I really got to explore that as an artist and find my own voice.
Where do you live now?
In East Hollywood.
Does that neighborhood or the city inspire you?
L.A. in general. Mostly that neighborhood. It was the first neighborhood I lived in when I moved here. Something about that land, I cannot explain it. My first place was on Beachwood Drive and I rented a room in someone’s house. I’ll never forget the feeling like when I woke up the first morning I was there. There was energy in the land the land that I do not feel in New York. I always said it to people, “The don’t call it the ‘City of Angels’ for no reason.” There is a reason for that name. I felt it when I moved here and it’s the inspiration that lit my creativity on fire.
You have a song “It’s Only Love” that was in a Sharon Stone movie. Was it written for that film?
No. It was a song I wrote 15 years ago and I seriously never gave that song a second thought. It’s not even a song I ever play. But I gave my friend some songs they needed for a film he was working on. She wanted a something a little country-folk and that’s one of my country-folk song. I had a few others and gave it to them and that’s the one they she loved. It really vibrated with her and it fits the movie. It goes to show you that music for films, it doesn’t have to be you best or favorite song, it just has to fit in with the story.
Is there a TV show or film you’d like to have your music on?
I see my songs in a TV series kind of like Grey’s Anatomy. I’ve heard from a lot of friends and fans that the songs are very cinematic.
I heard the album and I see multiple scenes within the album.
You see scenes, you see a movie. Its stories on the human condition. There’s a lot of those motifs in there. I always daydream about my songs being in credits at the end of the film or being a theme song for a show. They’re character driven songs. I think the characters are strong in my songs and it would make for good TV placement.
I love the song “One and Only.” It definitely stands out. What or who is that song about?
It’s a song about an Ex that didn’t work out. Which is sad because it is a song that I actually did not write while I was in the relationship. I wrote when we had broken up for a little bit. It was kind of about having something like love taken away but then realizing that what’s out there is not desirable and it does not compare to the life of love. What’s out there is a lot of fireworks. It’s beautiful but it ends in darkness a lot of time. It’s a song about instant gratification and delaying your gratification and building something. The difference between love and lust, really, and living in a big city like L.A., I think we all know, it’s around the corner if you want it. You can meet anybody at any time. There are eight million people in this city but to find that person that can be your person is beautiful. In the song it says, ‘a flame, a steady flame’, instead of a raging fire. People think that they have to have that excitement for something to work but it’s not always like that. Sometimes it can build slowly and become something really rich.
What was the most challenging part in making the album, Watch It Fall?
The most difficult part, I hate to be so simple with it, is the investment in making an album. It costs a lot of money to do it right. The guys that played on my record have played with Bonnie Raitt and Carole King. These guys are pros and I like working with the best people. I’m really lucky that these guys happened to be home on break from a tour or what have you. They’re like, ‘Sure, I’ll do a session.’ That studio time, its kind of like, I feel like I work at a record label but I’m the only one that works there. So, it’s kind of really hard to sometimes support the whole thing but you do it. It’s frustrating for me, the artistic part and the recording but doing all the collaboration is easy. It’s fun. I never get tired of it. I don’t care if we’re in the studio for 10 hours. It’s nothing. But doing all the other things to make it happen to support it, as an independent artist is the hard part.
As an independent artist, have you toured extensively?
I wouldn’t say extensively. But I have done it, yes. I did a bunch of regional tours last year. I did an Arizona tour and a northwest tour.
I saw you have some out-of-town shows coming up.
I do. I’m going to be doing a show in New York. I always do a show in New York every summer. It’s always a fun show because there are tons of friends and family and kids — it’s great. Then I’m playing in Maine. I’ve started doing corporate events and weddings; stuff like that. It’s been fun. I actually really enjoy it. I love getting into people’s celebrations, you know. I’ve also been writing custom songs for people, which is a new thing I’m trying out.
Anything positive or negative you’ve learned while on the road?
Yes, the same thing that’s positive is ironically the same thing that’s negative which is you’re by yourself. The thrilling part is going into the unknown, which can be scary, but always meeting all these new people, going to these new places and seeing things but then nighttime comes and the show is over and you’re by yourself. Then you wake up and you’re driving for hours and you’re yourself. It’s cute for a while but then it gets really weird.
I can image driving for hours from state to state.
It gets weird. And actually, I don’t love it. I’ll honestly say. I want to tour with a band or with another singer-songwriter. I love my alone time but when it’s like 2-3 weeks and over, it gets weird. You’re like, ‘uh, I miss my cat, I miss my friends, and I miss my routine.’ My ideal is to be home in L.A. and go on spurts. Go for a 5-day tour then go home. I don’t care where it is, all over the world. I just need to keep coming back. I don’t want to be gone for three months. I don’t like that. I’m a Virgo; I’m an earth sign. I like the earth.
What is your greatest rockstar moment, so far?
Tonight was amazing. I love playing with a full band when I can. I usually play alone. Those nights, I feel like my songs get to the maximum way they’re supposed to be; the way I imagined them. I love playing in New York because it’s really a very personal thing for me because I’m playing for people who’ve known me since I was a kid, since I was in college; through their friends and the people I’ve met. It’s very cool to go back and show people the evolution of what’s happened and what I’m doing now. It’s very thrilling to do those show. Last summer I almost cried on stage, it was very deep.
What advice do you have to new musicians starting out?
Play. Play as much as possible. Go to every single open mic. Meet as many people as you can. Play in front of people. You’ve got to go out and play for people. I went through that learning curve and it took a long time to get where I am. There’s no shortcuts. That’s my advice. Just become a master at your craft. You will not be happy unless you do that. You can have a ton of commercial success but if you’re not a master of what you are doing, you will not be satisfied.
What is next for Joseph Eid?
It funny, this album just came out and I’m already thinking about my next one. Next, in the near future is supporting this album. I want to play as much as possible now that the album is out I’m going to book myself hopefully all over the country. I’ve just started doing some promoting in Europe so that might be in the future. So we’ll see.