An Interview With A Very Talented One Of A Kind Performer, THATONEEYEDKID!
Posted On 02 Oct 2015
Tag: #millennial, All Access, All Access Music Group, Always, Artist Interview, Avicii, Ben Levin, Berklee College of Music, Bon Iver, Boston, Boston University, Brewery House, Bright Eyes, BU's Got Talent, ColdPlay, District Sleeps Alone Tonight, First Day Of My Life, Illuminate, Indie International Songwriting Contest, John Harvard, Josh Friedman, Justin Vernon, Levels, M83, Machine Nightclub, Midnight City, That One Eyed Kid, The Keyboard Pirate, The Postal Service, TI, YouTube
Boston-based artist Josh Friedman, who performs as ThatOneEyedKid, recently released his original “Always” EP and he just put out a cover of “First Day Of My Life” by Bright Eyes.
TOEK takes a song that is known for its soft, acoustic and vocally emotional nature and jazzes it up with his signature funk-infused pop vibe. The video features Josh singing his heart out as he reinvents this well known track.
Check out the video here:
Restless in between classes at Boston University, Josh began recording YouTube videos of his performances. His second video, a Coldplay / TI mash-up, quickly spread around campus and made him a finalist for BU’s Got Talent contest as “The Keyboard Pirate.” Under the handle “ThatOneEyedKid,” Josh has shared over 50 videos of performances and vlogs to over a million viewers of his channel. His most successful video, a piano-arrangement of Avicii’s “Levels,” has over 700K views to date.
Anxious to find an outlet for his original songs, Josh expanded “ThatOneEyedKid” into a live band with long-time friend and collaborator Ben Levin on guitar. Along with musicians and producers at Berklee College of Music, Josh wrote and co-produced his first batch of songs and released the EP “Illuminate” in 2013. Praised for its emotive storytelling and heavy grooves, the title track was voted #8 best rock song in the Indie International Songwriting Contest. ThatOneEyedKid has gone on to perform in venues all around New England, with residencies at John Harvard’s Brewery House and Machine Nightclub. In February 2015, Josh wrote, produced, and recorded a brand new album for the RPM album-in-a-month challenge called “Millennial.”
ThatOneEyedKid’s next EP, “Always,” is due out in Fall 2015.
Learn more about ThatOneEyedKid in the following All Access interview:
Thanks so much for your time! How’s your summer been? What’s a typical day like for you lately?
You got it! Summer’s been busy, but good. I just had a tour and an EP release show recently so typical days range from driving for 8 hrs to practicing new songs and vocal warmups. Driving and music-ing!
How would you describe your sound to someone that has never heard it before?
Synth-pop music with a soul!
Why did you first decide to not go by your real name and use a separate performer name?
There are like 9000 Josh Friedmans and 4500 of them are musicians, I thought it’d be a good idea to try and stand out a bit.
How did you first get started posting videos to YouTube? What have been some of your favorite covers that you have posted? Can you remember your very first one that you uploaded?
I got started by filming myself playing using my college laptop, it was really bare-bones. I think my favorite cover recently has been The Postal Service “District Sleeps Alone Tonight” cover and M83’s “Midnight City.”
Why did you decide to cover Bright Eyes’ song “First Day Of My Life”? What’s a cover that you are currently working on now?
I love the album “First Day” is on and it had a huge impact on me when I first heard it. I like doing covers that I feel like I can put my own spin on. It was nice to reinterpret the feel and some of the chords to make it my own. No new covers in the works for now but there will be more for sure.
How do you think your sound has changed since your first EP, “Illuminate”? How are the songs different on your soon to be released EP, “Always”?
I think I’ve matured a lot more as a songwriter, producer, vocalist… really everything. I’ve worked really hard, I’ve followed my instincts a little more and I’ve worked a lot harder on crafting the arrangements and stories of these songs. “Always” is definitely a more solid EP overall.
What artists have continued to inspire you through the years? Who would you love to work with in the future?
If I could just sit with Justin Vernon (of Bon Iver) over a cup of coffee, that would be a dream come true. I love pretty much everything he’s been a part of and would love to pick his brain.
What advice would you give to an artist that just started posting videos online?
Anything you release be it a single or video… make sure it’s something that represents you well. Don’t be afraid to invest in yourself, get a good camera or some decent recording equipment… put something out there that you’re proud of. Work hard on it!
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope fans take away from your songs?
I hope they like it! (laughter) I can’t really ask for much more than that.. I’m not sure what specifically I’d want anyone to be drawn to, but I do want you to listen to it and get it and be a part of it.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
I’m trying to listen to some new music to inspire my next batch of songs and could TOTALLY use some recommendations… drop me a line on Twitter and tell me what to listen to! @thatoneeyedkid
Thanks so much guys!!