My name is Joe or also known as “walkingshoe”. I write and produce my own solo music, as well as music for other artists – a majority of which reside here in Chicago. I’ve lived in this area all my life, and have a fully equipped private studio I now run out of Fort Knox where a majority of my music is recorded.
When did you first start getting into making music/producing?
I’ve always played guitar and wrote songs that I would sing since before I can remember, but that sort of took a back seat when I began producing hip-hop music beginning my freshman year of college timeframe.
What was it like to work with Towkio on Eyes and RN?
It was great; Towkio is one of those artists with vision and who’s not afraid to try completely new things in order to push the boundaries a bit. If you’re not doing that then what’s even the point of creating anything? I also have some new production on his upcoming WWW. Not sure exactly when that is coming out though.
Now it seems like you’re on a new journey, experimenting in indie/rock music. What caused this transition?
Like I said I’ve always been writing indie guitar music – it’s kind of what comes most naturally to me – so the transition was sort of inevitable once the timing was right and I acquired the ability to begin producing myself out of my Fort Knox studio. I have so much material in my head and can see myself working to put it down on tape for years to come. Also, working to set up some live shows. I have a show in December at Schubas!
Can we still be expecting any hip-hop production?
Oh yeah, of course. Don’t think I’ll ever stop that. However, I don’t think I’ll be exclusively a hip-hop producer anymore and like to continue splitting my time across a few different genres.
For a year now, we’ve been hearing about Hennie & Me coming? Is that something we can still be expecting?
Yes definitely. Though I can’t guarantee what a release date will be yet, I can guarantee I will have a steady stream of singles coming throughout all of next year. More or less want to wait for the right time to drop a full-length album, even though I probably have enough material at this point recorded to do that. Need to keep building up my fan base and spreading the word!
Rumor is…. You have a project coming out next year with Rich Jones?
That’s right. He and I linked up about 2 years ago for the first time, and between then and now we’ve completed a fully unreleased EP that we will likely drop sometime early next year. He and I have been making the rounds at Sofar all throughout 2017 doing acoustic renditions of some of these songs, but I’m so excited for people to hear the full production album. It’s a mix of hip-hop and almost vintage rock/Motown and it’s one of the favorite things I’ve produced to date. We’re releasing it RTJ style under a new group name unrelated to our solo work.
You once said, “My favorite song to date remains “Sympathy for the Devil” by Rolling Stones. Favorite in all categories from production to writing”. Is that still true to this day? And if so, why?
Haha- where’d you find that? Yes, it’s still definitely top 3 because that list is always rotating out but you know how it goes. The song has everything; it’s catchy, it’s got a great groove, the lyrics tell an original and interesting story from the perspective of the devil, and it’s got that thing where you just hear it and you know it’s “cool”. I don’t know how to explain it but I’m sure everyone knows what I’m talking about. I think that’s often the hardest thing to achieve in an original production, but when it happens everyone knows it.