Joel Porter is an american folk songwriter since 2017. He released his first EP ” Mountain Twin” featuring 4 songs + 1 single called “Hymn”. 2 other singles are on their way, one on July 6th and the other on July 20th. He’ll release a second EP on August 3rd.
When / How did you discover you wanted to do your own music ?
Music has been a part of my life since I was 3 years old (I have my composer/artist father and singer mother to thank for that). In junior high and high school, I started discovering bands and musicians who had important messages to share… and communities that formed and gathered to support those messages. I realized that there was an opportunity to put beauty into the world, and to create things that would bring others joy and hopefully offer them an experience to share together… and I knew I could build those beautiful things using my own words and messages and experiences that could potentially help myself and others make sense of the things we come across in this life.
How did you learn to sing and develop your style ?
I learned the foundations of singing in my father’s children’s and church choirs when I was very young, but when it came to creating and singing to the music I perform, all I try to do is support the project I’m working on as best I can. The most recent material I’ve been working on has a very specific sounding vocal style where I sing very quietly and, for the recordings, layer the vocals multiple times to give it a sense of texture and depth. I have my producer, mentor and friend Eric Hillman (Foreign Fields) to thank for that bit of guidance.
How do you write your songs ?
I write very thematically driven music and like to explore certain themes over the course of an album and break that theme up into different songs. Once I have the idea for a theme, I usually start on an instrument and use a chord progression or a rhythmic picking pattern for a foundation. Then I’ll sing melodies until there is a skeleton of a song. After that, I spend a lot of time on lyrics. I try to write as poetically as possible… hiding little gems and secrets/easter eggs into my songs that usually form a bridge between the theme of the song and my own experiences.
Who inspire you the most as an artist ?
That’s a tough question. I’m just going to give you a long list: Simon & Garfunkel Justin Vernon, Sufjan Stevens, Asgier, Olafur Arnalds, Coldplay, Foreign Fields, Gregory Alan Isakov, Sleeping at Last… the list goes on and on and on.
Have you had an attraction to only music or other form of arts as well ?
Yes, in a few forms. I was an architecture major for a hot minute and then was an art major in college. I love to draw and try my hand at photography and graphic design quite often. For my upcoming album, the Hiraeth EP (available August 3, 2018) I am working on an album-length film to support its release. To premiere the film, I partnered with a creative company from my hometown of Bismarck, ND, to create a pop-up art gallery that will display Midwest-themed art created by 20 amazing artists. I am so excited to blend music with these different mediums of art. I think there’s so much space for partnerships and collaboration between art and music.
What do you like doing apart from making music ?
I love spending time with my wife, Megan, my friends, and my family the most. Anything outside. Back home, the Missouri River flows right behind my backyard and my brothers have a couple of kayaks… so that’s a common place to find us during the summer months. I am a snowboarding fanatic and will choose to escape to the mountains any chance I get. I had the opportunity to go to Alaska and do some backcountry peak-bagging with a good friend a couple years ago. It was a life-changing experience.