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Meet Sidney Joseph

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sidney Joseph.

Sidney, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Growing up in South Africa, you are exposed to so many different cultures, as well as a huge variety of musical styles. This has been one of the biggest influences of my lifelong passion for music. All of my dreams have always been about making music that would touch people’s lives around the world. My parents sent me for music lessons at an early age, and really provided awesome opportunities for me to learn and grow all throughout my childhood and school years. In high school, I knew that this was the only thing I wanted to do with my life. It has been a long journey, with many hours of practice and sacrifice, but also with the most incredible adventures and rewards, far more than I could ever have dreamed of. One of those dreams has been to live and make music professionally in the USA, and since 2017, I have been really blessed to see that dream come to be reality. And LA is the place where many of these dreams have come to fruition! There is just something about the immense talent and the sheer number of phenomenal artists who live in LA, that creates a really powerful and forward-thinking creative culture.

Without being in LA, I never would have had the opportunity to fulfill these dreams, and I never would have met the incredible musicians that I have been so privileged to work with. And this is definitely still just the beginning. Being a full-time freelance musician means always having a few fires burning at the same time, but it is something I love and embrace, being able to manage multiple projects. At the moment, my time is split between being musical director, teaching, recording remote drum sessions, production, and arranging. On top of that, I am writing and recording original music projects and educational content, which I am very excited about releasing soon.

Has it been a smooth road?
It is never a smooth road – if someone has found one, please let the rest of us know, haha. Much like a highway, things can both move really fast and really slow, and the condition of the road is ever-changing. But I think learning to embrace and be ok with both the highs and lows, the fast lane and the slow lane, is part of what makes the journey enjoyable. In some ways, you can’t have one without the other.

Being disciplined, growing up in South Africa, getting through college on scholarships, finding gigs, making connections, feeling hopeless, not having rent money, being creative, being excellent, fighting self-doubt – it’s all been a struggle. Honestly, though I am grateful for all of it because it’s taught me to run head-on to challenges, not away from them. Now that I have a family, the pressure to perform is even more heightened. But I definitely think that having struggle in our lives is what gives us determination and grit, and what sets us apart. I want my four year old daughter to see and know that anything is possible – when we just have a bit more belief than doubt when we put in the effort and never give up. But it doesn’t ever happen automatically. One of the things that I have always respected in my heroes is that they always find a way to turn their struggle into strength. I hope to somehow do the same.

Can you give our readers some background on your music?
I have always worked mainly as a session drummer – playing live shows and doing studio recordings. Though what I am now specializing in is doing remote recording sessions from my home studio, as well as production and education. Artists send me their tracks online, and I record and/or program drums for their songs, before sending them the finished parts back. One thing that sets me apart is my knowledge of many different styles of music; Pop, Rock, Jazz, Funk, Gospel, CCM and World music. Finding the right emotion for each song is really important, and so I always try to convey those feelings and put passion into every project.

One of the things I am most proud of is that my childhood drum hero, Dave Weckl, asked me to teach and perform an original song for his online school. It may not seem like a big deal to some, but this small segment embodies the beginnings of everything that I do as an artist – composition, production, performance, recording and education, as well as sharing my unique understanding of African and world music.

Some of my other favorite experiences so far have been:
– Touring across the USA, Europe, Asia and South Africa
– Sharing the stage with Randy Jackson at The Belasco Theater in LA
– Performing with French Montana at the MTV Africa Music Awards
– Recording remotely for Gospel artist Travis Greene
– Recording for Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees
– Opening up for Seal’s South African Tour

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
What I love most about LA is the people. Despite the challenges of having thousands of musicians all crammed in one city trying to get gigs – there is a real camaraderie among the LA musicians that I have met and worked with. It is truly amazing and something that always inspires me. Of course, there are exceptions to everything, but for the most part, the people that are genuine about their craft (and that have been through the hustle) have a mutual respect that is really awesome. Their authenticity and kindness has continually blown me away. Plus the beach and the mountains don’t hurt either. Then honestly, the main thing I don’t like about LA is the air-quality, haha!

Pricing:

  • Remote Drum Sessions – $100 and up (per track)

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Jethro Snyders, Christie Joseph

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