Joel Havea is a skilled songwriter, singer and a great guitarist. He was raised in the cultural landscape of Melbourne, Australia, and has spent the last decade living in the city of Hamburg, Germany.
Now, let’s talk a little! 🙂
Hi, Joel. I’m Marzia Presta, from Radio Wau, XoLafactory’s media partner. I’ll just take some minutes of your time to know something more about you and your music.
From Australia to Germany, wow! This got my attention and curiosity. It has been difficult for you to experience such an important life change?
Adapting and learning a new language and culture has it’s challenges, but I’ve always been surrounded by different cultures; my mother is Dutch and my father from Tonga in the south pacific, where I was born. And had lived in 3 different countries before I turned 4. I also grew up listening to stories of travelling the world from both of my parents. So in a way, I had been preparing for this move my whole life!
“You Make Me Believe” your debut album in 2012, then comes your EP “Strings & Wood” in 2014 and The Joel Havea Trio’s experience since 2017. How do you think you’ve grown as an artist in all this time?
I think for the first two releases I was still trying to find my own voice as a songwriter. By the time I started playing with the trio, I had started to define my own sound and that’s really become clearer with both trio albums.
What new influences have informed your sound?
For our new album “Ki ‘a Lavaka”, I have gone back to the music of Tonga for the first time and tried to integrate these sounds into my own songs. Living away in Germany for the last 12 years, has really helped to give me a new perspective for my roots and where I’ve come from. The result is something quite unique and the album comes out next Friday (24.4.20).
What advice would you give to yourself back then when you were starting out? Anything you would do differently?
I would tell myself not to get too sucked into the glamour of the music business and just focus on the things that make me happy, which are writing songs and playing live. Everything else is just a distraction.
Quarantine is emotionally challenging, how are you living this particular hystorical event?
Keeping in regular contact with my friends and family has been important but the best decision I made was to stop obsessively reading the news a couple of weeks ago, and since then I feel much better!