Joe P talks first-ever tour, finding yourself in college and Chicago audiences


Photo courtesy of Atlantic Records

Joe P is headlining his first tour, and performs in Chicago at Beat Kitchen on April 23rd.

Kayla Cohen and Shannon Tyler

For alternative singer-songwriter Joe P, performing has provided an opportunity to surprise people with music centered on self-discovery. Joe, who first took the stage in eighth grade, is embarking on his debut headline tour, which includes a show at Beat Kitchen in Chicago on April 23. 

Joe P’s music has quickly escalated in popularity, amounting to more than 750,000 monthly listeners on Spotify and almost 400,000 followers on TikTok in just three years. Writing music that appeals to a younger audience, Joe P said college is a formative time to find yourself –– he hopes to reflect that in his music. 

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity. 

THE DAILY: Have you ever performed in Chicago before? 

JOE P: I’ve played in Chicago a few times before. One of the times, it was crazy, because it was an 18+ venue and there were all these kids trying to get in. They were messaging me on Instagram, and I tried to change the age restriction, but it was impossible. So I ended up going outside after the show and performing in a parking lot for them. We gathered around this lamp post on a street corner. There was an outlet in the lamppost so I could plug an amp into it. It was crazy. It was hilarious. So I have a cool connection now to Chicago. 

THE DAILY: Heading into your first-ever headline tour, how are you feeling?

JOE P: It’s weird. I’m so nervous because every other show I’ve just opened, and no one really expects anything from the opener. Now, there’s the pressure of the audience knowing who you are and being excited to see you there. I’m more used to having to win people over and now people are coming to see this. It feels so weird, but I’m so excited!

THE DAILY: Which song of yours do you think is underrated? 

JOE P: I like the song “Yellow Lights,” which is the last song on my first extended play. It’s the longest and slowest one. It’s the last song on the EP, so it’s not streamed as much. It probably won’t make it on the setlist, but I really like that one. 

THE DAILY: Which song of yours are you most excited to play on tour?

JOE P: My favorite, I would say, is “Color TV.” I always play that song when opening shows, and at the last chorus, I usually stop to teach the audience the lyrics. We were practicing for tour the other day, and it got to the last chorus and I went, “What should we do?” So I’m really excited to play that song because I want to see what happens.

THE DAILY: How has TikTok impacted your career?

JOE P: When I post, I play the song as is so that when my music reaches people, they like it for the right reasons. I almost try to treat the app as a live show, and it’s really cool for people to get involved and connect with followers. I’m always blown away when I post something of me sitting on my steps playing and then my Spotify or Instagram numbers go up. It’s the best tool in the world for that.

THE DAILY: How do you hope your music will impact your listeners, particularly those who are college students?

JOE P: I really want people to do whatever it is that they like to do. Hopefully just doing this music thing that I love so much gets people to do that. College years are so formative with figuring out what you want to do. You just go, and you’ll figure it out when you get there. So I just hope my music can reflect that that’s all I’ve ever tried to do too, and that can inspire someone else to do the same. 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @_kaylacohen

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @shannonmtyler

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