Joey Price grew up on Chicago’s Westside, before he and his parents relocated to the West Suburbs where he attended private school until the age of fourteen. Before graduatingfrom grade school, his grandmother passed away and he was asked to speak at her funeral but did not know what to say. The only thing he could think of was poetry. So, he ended up writing a poem about his life experiences with his grandmother and after he was done, he instantly felt better.
Years passed and he continued writing poetry about life issues that concerned him. Eventually he perfected his skills in poetry and his friends told him he should turn his poems into raps. After becoming confident enough in his skills, he announced himself as a solo artist. Now as an artist, his songs touch on so many subjects in life, and they do not follow the trends of commercial rap. He is influenced by artists he feels he can relate to such as Lupe Fiasco, Common, Kanye West, and Andre 3000.
Joey Price is full of energy. He’s creative and prolific. With his music and youthful style, he will become the voice of his generation.
IAA: What city and state are you from?
JOEY PRICE: Technically, I was born in the West Suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. The hospital I was born in was on the line that divided the suburbs from the city. After I was born, my parents and I lived with my grandparents for about two to three years. When I was eight, my parents divorced and my grandmother stepped in to serve as an even greater support system for my mother. So during the summer, my days were spent with my grandmother in the city. This was the way of the world until I was old enough to stay home by myself.
IAA: What is your music background?
JOEY PRICE: My grandmother passed away in 2002, leaving behind three children and one grandson. Since I was her only grandchild, my mother wanted me to deliver the eulogy at the funeral. I had no idea what I was going to say. The only thing I could think of is what I was learning in school at the time. My eighth grade English class was learning poetry, so I wrote one about the experiences I had with my grandmother. After that, my love for writing grew. For four years, I kept writing and writing, becoming more comfortable with a new thought process.
When I graduated from high school, I went off to Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. I started attending open mics, and one day decided to get on stage and recite a poem I had written. After several successful performances, my roommate and other college friends suggested that I try rapping. I was hesitant at first, but I gave it a try. I was a big fan of Hip Hop/Rap, but my love for it was greater, considering I now wanted to be a part of that culture. Since 2007, I have been writing, recording, and performing.
IAA: Why do you want to record and release your own music?
JOEY PRICE: That’s a really good question. Monetary gain can put a smile on anybody’s face, but that is not why I make music. I guess you can say making music is a part of my (African American) heritage. During slavery, the beat of drums, accompanied by chants, were used to send messages. With that mentality, I take my beats and add my voice to send a message to those who are willing to receive it. Or if you’re not big on American History, put it this way, think about your favorite song. Do you have that song in mind? What feeling do you get when you hear that song? The main purpose of art is to elicit a response. That response can range from a person shedding a tear all the way to launching a nation into war. That is all I want to do, not wage war, but simply get a response from people. The majority of the music being promoted lately is extremely effortless. It’s almost like you don’t have to think, and if you don’t have to think , how can a response be drawn from you as the listener? Hip Hop (music in general) is an art form, but commercialism is definitely leading us away from the art form. I want to put us back on the right path.
IAA: What are your songs about?
JOEY PRICE: There is no one set concept for my songs, so it’s hard to classify. It’s funny because I never begin a song actually knowing what I’m going to write. I don’t sit around and think about making a song on this topic or that topic. The beat tells me what the song is going to be about. The drums provide the drama. The piano keys bring pain or pleasure. The melodies deliver the message. Any other instrument, sound, or technique can shape the story I will tell.
IAA: Who is your fan base directed towards?
JOEY PRICE: Anybody who wants to see lyricism make a comeback in Hip Hop. But to be more specific, I’m reaching out to college students all the way up to the folks who are in their mid to late forties. However, I will not turn down a fan. As of right now, and probably as long as I am making music, my number one male fan is a young man from Green Bay, Wisconsin. I know, it’s weird right? I’m from Chicago, a Bears fan naturally, and he practically lives on the Fifty yard line at Lambeau Field. Despite the differences (race, age, and even gender), the things that are universal are my thoughts and ideas. And for my thoughts and ideas, something that is unique only to me, to have the ability to grasp the mind of an individual who is the complete opposite of who I am is amazing. With that being said, there is an open invitation to anyone who wants to listen. Hopefully I can grasp your mind as well.
IAA: Who are your musical influences?
JOEY PRICE: My favorite artists are Jay-Z, Kanye and Lupe. I look up to those three. I love Jay-Z’s confidence on the tracks; Kanye’s creativity; and Lupe’s thought process. They are my main influences.
IAA: How would you describe your music to people?
JOEY PRICE: Another good question. I would describe my music as music for the average Joe, because I am average. The culture of Hip Hop is dominated with misogynistic lyrics and images. Verses have become nothing more than eight to sixteen lines about this person making that person’s yearly salary in two days. How many Americans make $50,000 in two days? How many Americans make $50,000 in one year? It is an unrealistic notion of life. I believe that as a music artist, you are the voice of the people. But these popular artists speak only of things that The One Percent is used to. Here lies the enigma of this situation, they make music that the extremely wealthy can relate to, but the extremely wealthy are not the ones buying these artists’ albums. Their album sales and concert tickets are being purchased buy the Americans who are living paycheck to paycheck. How can this specific group of Americans relate to your yachts, Ferraris, and trips to foreign countries?
IAA: What makes you stand out from other artists?
JOEY PRICE: The fact that I am not relevant. I know that it is a strange way to describe myself, but this is honestly what I feel separates me from other artists. The majority of amateur artists view a record deal only as a “get rich quick” type of thing. They see certain mainstream artists as a road map for success. The amateur artists steal a part of the mainstream artist’s DNA, and from that we have clones. This amateur artist becomes that mainstream artist, just with less followers on Twitter. This is why most beats and songs sound the same. I want to be that artist that makes good music despite the musical trends that may arise. I want to be one of those artists whose fans will still listen to that first album, even if it is five to ten years old. I want to be timeless.
IAA: What are some upcoming projects you are currently working on?
JOEY PRICE: I’m currently working on this project titled “Barely Broke Intellect”. The concept for this project is choosing not to sell out for monetary gains. One part of the project consists of my ideals regarding the music industry, and the other part is me just having fun. It will be thirteen tracks. “Barely Broke Intellect” will be featuring four unsigned, but very dope Chicago artists. My fans can expect a phenomenal listening experience.
IAA: What are you career goals? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
JOEY PRICE: Some goals that I have would be to work with the artists I look up to and the artists who make excellent music. Another one of my goals is to act. Since I was little, I have always dreamed about being in a movie. Music is my passion, and I want that to be the gateway to greater things. In ten years, not only do I want to be a successful music artist, I want to be a strong public figure. I want to have community outreach programs. I want to initiate scholarship programs for students who want to continue their education but do not fit the criteria for a traditional scholarship. In ten years, I see myself contributing to the growth of my city and this nation.
IAA: How can your fans access your music and contact you?