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Interview with Jöí Fabü

He's releasing a full album every month. Learn how he's doing it.

Give an introduction to yourself, how you got into music, where you are today, and where you'd like to be.

I’ve always been a music head and really listened to a ton of Lil Wayne, Eminem, D12, Kid Cudi, and others growing up. I always knew I wanted to be a superstar both in music and movies but had no idea where to start. Basically, I wanted to get signed to a record label before I had made anything simply on the premonition that one day I would be great.

Funny story, I actually called up Aftermath Records (true story and the basis for one of my upcoming songs “Aftermath” in my upcoming album “Get Money” due out on June 23, 2021) and managed to get someone on the phone who worked at the label. Not a receptionist, but someone actually there. (Normally it’s tough to get labels on the phone as it would either go to voicemail or they’d have a simple script they’d read about how to get signed etc.)

I actually asked him point-blank if I could have a record deal. Now, this is before I even had one song made to my name (I had some that were written but nothing that was made) and I basically explained to who I was talking to that I was meant to be great. 

Tell us about your latest release, what's it about?

Considering the fact that each release is light years better than what came before, I can understand my fans returning after being somewhat dormant in the past. My music keeps evolving the same as I do as an artist both with repetition and refining my craft and techniques with new ways of doing this or doing that. I think that my fans both old fans and new ones alike will be completely blown away when they listen to the masterpiece “Get Money” which is arriving this upcoming June 23, 2021. A few songs are available as “instant gratification” through iTunes for those that choose to pre-order it which is both a nice incentive and a way for my diehard fans to be able to hear my upcoming release before anyone else which is a nice perk.

Get Money is essentially a blueprint for what’s to come. For those that have been following my musical journey thus far, prepare to be amazed at what is coming soon. With references to celebrity figureheads like Tom Cruise (Smile So Large Tom Cruise’ll Be Watching), Gucci (Gucci With The Bible), Versace (Versace Bags) & Aftermath, this album touches on some real defining moments for me. Whether now or in the future as I live by the motto’s “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop” & Stay far from timid only make moves when you're heart's in it, and live the phrase the sky's the limit". Both motto’s outline how I live my life and how I will stop at nothing to achieve my goals.

Joi Fabu wearing sunglasses

How did you record it?

Written and recorded in my home studio, 'Get Money' is a 14 track solo album, outlining my plans for superstardom. Citing Eminem and Lil Wayne as some of my influences, I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a star, a dream which I have instilled into my music. I’m a self-taught producer and musician and I create my music at home with my MacBook Pro.

How did you distribute it?

My current distributor is Distrokid and I have never looked back. They are hands down the greatest distributor I have ever had and I’m not even exaggerating. Their system works flawlessly and I have enjoyed the fact that my fans can now follow along to the lyrics when they listen to my songs. Something I’ve wanted for a while now.

Over time and (literally) thousands of songs later, I can finally say that I have it down to a science, an assembly-like system. What used to take me sometimes all night or leading into the next day to make one song, I can now make in an hour or two and make it sound phenomenal.

I am currently working on an unreleased (too early to share) album for November of 2021 and have a brand new album coming out every single month through then. So I guess you can say I’ve definitely been pretty busy.

How did you promote it? 

I mainly promote my music through social media, word of mouth, and business cards that me, family, or friends leave around when they go places. It’s slow but effective and I have steadily been gaining more and more fans with each subsequent release.

Joi Fabu driving a quad bike

The music industry is in a state of flux right now, where do you see it heading?

The music industry has been in a state of transition for a while now and I only see that continuing into the near future. But who knows what the future holds for the music industry when you have social media figureheads like Elon Musk working on technologies to beam the music directly into your brain.

So do I see it as a positive change? Maybe, but one that will definitely change the musical landscape as we currently know it to be today. I mean, you got to wonder what it’d be like to hear an entire album playing in your head that no one else could hear. I just hope it wouldn’t become stuck in your head, because really, what could be worse?

What's the most important thing missing from Songwhip?

Honestly, so far I haven’t found anything missing from Songwhip. I still can’t believe that its sole creator is Wilson. He’s definitely super talented (he’s reading this right now, isn’t he? Haha).

My previous smart link service (and I’ve used so many I’ve lost count, trying to find the “right” one) was Feature.fm and while their service is better than anything else that is free, it doesn’t even begin to compare to Songwhip. It’s literally a night and day difference when you see how clean and professional pages look on Songwhip look. Definitely impressed and is a real-time saver for someone like me that just wants to focus on the music and not have to fiddle around with building and maintaining a website. So Kudos Wilson. Awesome job making Songwhip. Excited to see where it goes from here.

Which artist do you look up to the most and why?

Going back to the first question, the artists that stood out the most to me were definitely Lil Wayne, Eminem, D12, Kid Cudi, Kanye West, and many others but these artists really resonated with me the most.

Tunechi (aka Lil Wayne) because I can sound just like him and would love to sing the songs and make it sound like Weezy. Eminem, like a lot of people, would say, was an artist you just had to have on repeat. And I definitely have many many of his songs memorized because they were just so dope. I was also impressed with the fact that I was able to keep up and sound just like him on his fastest stuff. So Em was definitely an early motivator for me to get into the music game and carve my niche. D12 was another one and just like Eminem (he was in the group too) a lot of the songs you just had to have on repeat. They were just that good. Kid Cudi obvi because I was smoking a lot of pot back then so literally anyone that smokes has probably heard a Kid Cudi song at one time or another. Still have an original CD that you can’t buy anywhere. Super rare stuff. Kanye West because he had that unique sound. Yeah, it was rap, but it was more than that. With Ye and Jay Z making the hits, it was like a symphony that you just had to listen to. And yes, I still listen to these artists to this day.

What artist tools/services can't you live without?

Going all the way back to the first songs I made, once they were finally released back in 2017, I started to get that “itch” or the drive so to speak. One song just wasn’t enough. I needed to make more. (I also live by the theory that every song leads to a hit. So every song made, whether good or bad, I am now one step closer to a hit) So what I did was, on my lunch break where I used to work, I went over to the Apple Store and bought the latest and greatest MacBook Pro that they had in the store. The best one there.

I knew that the key to making great music was using the very machine that the professionals use. So $3000+ dollars later (my first MacBook Pro), I started to fool around with garage band and self-taught myself everything there is to know about it and created a plethora of some great (albeit very early and pretty rough) songs with it. I started to gain a niche following, but I knew that the music I was making wasn’t the best that I could make. I needed better. I needed great.

I decided to then purchase Logic Pro X as my main workforce as it essentially runs on a process similar to GarageBand but on a much larger, more professional scale. I ended up buying the educational discount version which lumped Logic Pro X with Final Cut Pro and others together for one (slightly lower) price.

Again, completely self-taught (without watching or reading a single tutorial on how to use Logic Pro X) I started to make more songs. I was immediately impressed with the fact how similar Logic Pro was to GarageBand which is probably why the transition was so seamless for me.

I did also add another MacBook Pro to my repertoire mainly to keep up with all the new ideas and techniques I was using to make my music which needed the extra horsepower so-to-speak. So I got a maxed out (at the time) 2020 version 32GB ram MacBook Pro and my workflow has more than doubled. I’ll probably end up getting one of the M-chip MacBook Pro’s in the future but for now, these two machines are working wonders for me.

What is your advice to other indie artists to help fund their work/produce music?

The advice that I have for other artists trying to pursue this is that they need to be sure that this is what they want to do. This is not a let me try this and see how it goes type of deal. It takes some serious dedication, time, sweat, and tears to make anything happen and I’m just starting to surface now in this industry after 3+ years. But if you are dedicated, stick with it and never give up, you can maybe be one of the few who can say they made it.

Also, those aspiring should know that they don’t need to wait on other people to make it happen, be it producers or the like, they can literally grab life by the horns and make it happen themselves. Start small with GarageBand, teach yourself the ins and outs of that. When you’re comfortable with that, move on to something more challenging that is more in line with what the professionals use, Logic Pro. If you do it that way, you will have the blueprint and can grow from there.

Kaia

Anything else you'd like to plug?

I also adopted a puppy in December who is now the joy of my life and he is now 7 months old. His name is Kaia and he is a Border Collie mix (we initially thought he was a purebred border collie because his parents both were but we definitely found out through a DNA test that he actually shares DNA from a few different albeit slightly similar breeds) and is 62.7% border collie, 11.9% Australian cattle dog, 7.6% German Shepard, 5.0% Samoyed, 3.7% Collie & 9.1% super mutt. I am so proud and happy for Kaia. He’s super smart with a loving nature, loves to swim in the pool and I can’t believe how lucky I am to have him as my dog. It’s so different now, then to now how the paradigm shifted. It’s now so much better than I thought it could be. All because of Kaia, my little beast.