Rising Scottish star Joesef has already followed in chart-topping Lewis Capaldi’s footsteps by selling out King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut without releasing any music.
Such is the buzz surrounding the soulful singer-songwriter from Glasgow, that he is being tipped to follow Capaldi into the big time.
Joesef will headline Tunnels tonight to promote his debut single Limbo.
In March this year, Joesef packed out the legendary King Tut’s in his home city solely on the back of anticipation fuelled by short Instagram posts.
Only one artist had previously sold out the venue without releasing any music – Capaldi.
Fellow Scot Capaldi recently spent seven weeks at number one in the British charts with smash-hit single Someone You Loved.
Capaldi currently has two singles in the top five and, like Joesef, also headlined Tunnels shortly after selling out King Tut’s on word of mouth alone.
As part of a sell-out arena tour next year, Capaldi will headline The Event Complex Aberdeen on March 15.
If Joesef’s career trajectory follows a similar path to Capaldi, tonight could be the first – and last – opportunity to witness him perform in such an intimate setting.
Grab it now or forever regret it.
Displaying a refreshingly self-decrepitating humour, Joesef said: “The King Tut’s gig was brilliant and I wasn’t expecting that reaction even though the show was a sell-out.
“We had only posted a few clips on Instagram (prior to the King Tut’s show) but none of them were more than 20 seconds long.
“I think everyone was just keen to see if I would be really bad or not.
“A kind of morbid curiosity – but it turned out okay.”
The legendary King Tut’s has been a launching pad for many successful artists.
Oasis were famously signed on the spot by Creation Records owner Alan McGee after he watched them play the venue in 1993.
The Verve, Radiohead, Pulp, Calvin Harris and The Killers also played early shows at the 300-capacity venue.
Following the limited online teasers and the triumphant home city King Tut’s sell-out show, Joesef’s fans now have something tangible to back up the buzz, following the recent release of Limbo.
The track is a tantalising, exciting insight into the gestalt of genres that Joesef mixes, such as Motown, soul and hip-hop.
He said: “Limbo is part of a collection of songs I wrote in the midst of my first break up.
“It is about when I split up with an ex but we were still talking to each other. It was a horrible situation as I was still in love with her.
“So this was me trying to process the situation we were in – separated, but still together all the time.
“The song Limbo is the grey area in-between being in love, and not being able to let it go.”
The track is gorgeous, so steeped in Northern Soul you can almost hear the crackles of the needle on the vinyl, as if it were a communication from Muscle Shoals in the ’60s.
However it is very much in the now, juxtaposing that vintage feel with hip-hop beats and sensibility.
There is also raw honesty to Joesef’s lyrics, as he admits every heartbreaking song is effectively like “pulling my own guts out”.
He said: “I write totally autobiographically.
“Everything you hear has happened to me directly, so maybe my honesty will separate me from the pack a bit.
“I don’t think I have a tune that’s not me pulling my own guts out and wearing them like a scarf.”
Limbo and other tracks were recorded by Joesef in the bedroom of his flat in Glasgow’s east end.
However he will play Tunnels tonight with a four-piece band to recreate the lush, full sound of his tracks.
He said: “For the show it will be myself, guitarists Leon and James, bassist Joanne, and Tony on the drums.
“On the record I play everything myself, and taught myself guitar and piano because I was interested in tunes.
“But I had to get the troops in to play the gig.
“For Tunnels in Aberdeen, hopefully anyone who likes the single can come along to that.”
Although totally unique and original-sounding, Joesef’s music is a mix of many genres and influences.
He said: “I am from the Glasgow east end so it was an eclectic mix of music as my mum loved Al Green and soul music.
“Being from the east end, there is also a big dance culture there, with tracks that use a lot of jazz samples.
“It is a big mixing pot and Limbo is representative of stuff I was brought up listening to.”
There have already been comparisons to Amy Winehouse due to the soul infusion and his smooth, luscious croon.
He said: “I don’t really fancy comparing myself to anybody, so I’ll leave it up to the listener to make any comparisons.”
Check him out yourself tonight. You won’t regret it.
In a few years time when his star has ascended and Joesef readies to play an arena show, you can say you were there when it all began.
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