Joee and I

We con­verse with Joee Me­jias on JOEE AND I, her mu­si­cal project more than a decade in the mak­ing, and why she’s not a Björk copy.

Scout - - IN THIS ISSUE - By Lex Cel­era Photography by Ed­ward Jo­son

Get­ting to know more about the avant-pop project of Joee Me­jias

WHEN JOEE ME­JIAS isn’t teach­ing production design at the Col­lege of St. Be­nilde, do­ing some pro­jec­tion map­ping on projects like new me­dia fes­ti­val WSK Joee and I. It isn’t her al­ter ego, or an evil a to­tally dif­fer­ent per­son.

in the sim­plest terms. Even the genre that no bueno, artist for that mat­ter.

“Her mu­sic is oth­er­worldly and en­ter­tain­ing way,” says Ian Ur­ru­tia of The of her per­for­mances from her per­sonal very eyes. The use of mu­sic, production weave to­gether the world of Joee and I.

What’s the story of “To the End Of the World”?

you don’t re­ally know where it is. There is an ac­cep­tance of the whole cy­cle.

an au­dio­vi­sual performance. How much of it is you? Do you pro­duce there col­lab­o­ra­tors?

me. Like Jeona Zo­leta, she’s a vis­ual artist, so sasabi­hin ko sa kanya ’yung story, tapos I let her make some­thing. then she’ll come up with her own ver­sion of is­lands. Ganoon siya. And for pro­jec­tion, I get Mvl­ti­verse, or sometimes it’s my pro­jec­tions, and I ask some­one to play it. Pati ’yung banda ko, they’re not reg­u­lars. En­ergy is im­por­tant for me.

’Cause most of the time, my shows are im­pro­vised. Min­san lang kami mag rehearse, parang the day it­self lang. So parang this is the song, and my songs are repet­i­tive, so sinasakyan nila ’yung just do whatever they want with it.

Con­ven­tions in the realm of art have an ef­fort to say some­thing new isn’t re­ally say­ing much.

That said, the ap­peal of Joee and I’s mu­sic lies not in the fact that it’s not just dif­fer­ent from what we usu­ally hear on the ra­dio, Spo­tify’s Dis­cover Weekly, or on what you’re ini­tially watch­ing, re­ally), and I is ef­fort­lessly unique—a tes­ta­ment

How would you de­scribe the sound you want to achieve?

I think it’s more of a col­lage. record sounds.

Like field record­ings?

I’m play­ing with a kalimba, or whatever record my friends, and they have riffs that I like. And then I would put them to­gether, so it’s more of a col­lage of sounds and storytelling.

It’s re­ally on the spot when I write it. That’s the sound I’m look­ing for that has that story I’m try­ing to tell, and most es­pe­cially with the sounds I col­lect. Then I con­nect them to some­thing re­ally wanted the song to de­pend on the story I want to share.

to re­mind me of this place, and the things that I wrote there.

Do you in­ten­tion­ally choose in­stru­ments that are un­com­mon? Es­pe­cially in­stru­ments like the kulin­tang?

’ Yung kulin­tang I used it for this song called Kid­nap I go to a place, like the palengke, tapos maghanap ako ng in­stru­ments nila like it on the song. So pwe­deng af­ter ko siya i- pla- place. Parang ko lang siya kahit ano, tapos af­ter gagawin ko siyang kanta Parang ito na ’yung struc­ture… ay, gusto ko ng ano dito, ng kulin­tang. It’s more of the sound that I’m af­ter. But for the kulin­tang it’s a spe­cial case. I want that… Wala kasi tayo ’nun eh

Yeah. Hindi siya nabibili sa mall.

very West­ern. Be­cause with our pop­u­lar fol­low the West.

And you want to go against that?

In­done­sia where the game­lan is used in ev­ery genre. May gamit ’yung tra­di­tion nila mod­ern rap, or pop. Meron siyang fu­sion ng tunog nila. In the Philip­pines, we have want to in­cor­po­rate some of that sound that’s com­ing from here pero in a way na parang ’di siya masyadong the­matic.

“To the End of the World” was re­leased way, are ac­cu­mu­la­tions of her past work

is struc­tured and fo­cused in Joee and I, evo­lu­tion in sound more than a decade in the mak­ing.

Whether the mu­sic sounds haunt­ing in the heart of Joee and I’s mu­sic is a knack de­sire to con­nect with an au­di­ence: an same time. It’s a gust of whimsy pierc­ing through you, a dream un­fold­ing right

What do you want your au­di­ence to feel when they “wit­ness” your mu­sic?

liked your track.” I’m not af­ter that. It’s more of… you know, magkuk­wento sila tungkol sa panaginip nila.

When they can re­late.

Ganoon. Sa An­ge­les nag ako there’s the lo­cal crazy guy, an old man. ’ Yung biglang sasayaw

Some of the peo­ple who watched dreams. And they’d say they went to an­other place.

Lalo na ’yung mga ’di taga- Maynila. Sasabi­hin nila na, “Grabe li­pad ako!” Parang naka­punta sila sa ibang lu­gar. That’s the from their past, their child­hood.

You men­tioned that you wanted to add a cou­ple more tracks or you want to change some other tracks in your cur­rent project. How do you know if a song is done?

Oh, that's hard. That's re­ally the hard­est.

Do you think your songs are

It re­ally takes some time to de­velop a song so what I do is pag may gig ako tapos meron akong me­dyo bagong hi­law na tunog, ip­ip­ilit ko siya. And then, pag na- ko na siya, start na ’yun. That’s the start of the de­vel­op­ment of the song. And it should end in the stu­dio,

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