Joseph Milauskas is from the small town of Middle Village, Queens, New York. He grew up listening to music and was writing songs by the time he was 8 years old which continued through high-school where he attended an all boy's seminary where he gained an appreciation for the simplicity of music. He briefly attended Queens-borough Community College, but left after a year and would go on to work multiple jobs while making music on the side writing songs from personal experiences. Inspired from trips around the United States, primarily a brief trip to Los Angeles, he recorded and released his new EP titled "Sunset Paradise" in June 2020.
Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.
I had always done music at an early age but was never fully serious about it until Scott Sire came to the hotel I was working at. Todd Smith who he performs with invited me to come to the show and I got to be pretty close with their manager who I think was named Lucas. I got to be on the stage and even walk out of the venue with them all together, the venue was the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn. The adrenaline I could feel from those people yelling at them as we walked out was the most addicting thing I had ever felt in my life, and I knew it right then and there that this was the path for me.
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career?
My first time I was ever scouted it was such a weird and different experience. It went from a comment on an Instagram post to a text conversation to a phone call with a manager. You see that happens in movies so you always expect the reality of it to be different, but in this scenario it was just like I had seen so I guess in that moment I was just really enjoying the fact that this was actually happening.
What has been the high point of your music path?
I honestly feel so humbled by everything that has happened so far; it's hard to just pick one. If I really had to narrow it down it would be the fact that people have been reaching out to me telling me how much they love my songs through Instagram. I think the most powerful thing in music is creating something that allows a complete stranger to feel a connection with and wanting to reach out about. The fact that my music has that effect on people blows my mind to this day.
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like?
I love to write in general so I'm actually writing all the time, jotting notes down in my phone about experiences or just how I'm feeling in that moment. Once I think I have something I'll try and make a melody based around it and I just go from there until I'm satisfied with my progress. The best feeling is when you just know your onto something and the song practically writes itself. I had that moment with this one song Legacy and it's just a great feeling.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be?
I think the biggest challenge for an independent artist is trust. The transparency in this industry is non-existent and I've sadly experienced some of the shady dealings that come with it. I think if more independent artists had resources to legitimate people in the industry who generally want to help them succeed you would see the independent scene really thrive.
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why?
This question is so unfair, there's so many people that I would want that experience with. If I had to really narrow it down it would actually be Ed Sheeran. I've seen him live a few times and the energy he brings to that stage is really magical. I really think he has the creative gene in him not only as a musician but as a live performer which really is rare today and it's just something you can't make up.
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?
I drink so much tea it might actually be unhealthy for me at this point. I read somewhere a long time ago that it's great to relax your vocals so I always have tea in hand. The other biggest factor is repetition. I've never been someone that can just ace it right from the get go so as a result I practice and practice to try and make up for it. I tend to drag my notes a lot when I sing so doing these little things helps shake off those bad habits.
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!
"Back to The Basics "was actually such a challenging song because it got really raw and emotional for me. Writing down some of those lyrics made me feel uncomfortable just because I can still recall the memories of where they come from. Sunset Paradise overall was a very upbeat EP and I knew I wanted to end it on a somber note. Relationships are full of highs and lows and writing that song really brought me back to that feeling of all the emotions you experience in a relationship. I felt really vulnerable writing the song because the lyrics were so just so brutally honest at some points but I think that's the whole point of songwriting at the end of the day.
What's coming up in the future?
I think in the short term future I'm focusing on just promoting my newly released EP Sunset Paradise. Down the road I do have some cool stuff planned as long as the world starts to get back to normal so I think patience is just kind of key at this point but I can assure you good things are on the way!
Tell us where fans can access your music?
You can find my music on all major streaming platforms!
Stream on Spotify.
Connect on Instagram.
Find on Apple Music.