2, 4, 6, 8… we appreciate joe fox!
Meet the mysterious musician behind A$AP Rocky’s new record…
We first heard of Joe Fox while idly searching the Internet for info on A$AP Rocky's new album, A.L.L.A. Alongside Danger Mouse and Mos Def, Fox - a 20-something year-old guitarist from London - is one of the few names tipped to appear on Rocky's new record. A few weeks later, we met Fox face to face at Rocky's RMBA lecture in London, where the Harlem rapper told us that he discovered Joe a few months ago busking on the streets of Soho. We decided it was time to find out some more, so we subjected Mr. Fox to a 2, 4, 6, 8 grilling…
Joe Fox's Two Favourite places in the world…
"It was such a culture shock, it was so different. Rocky went to shoot a video there and he took me so I could write with him. I got to see a lot of cool stuff but my favourite thing was Japanese people. The nightlife was surreal - kind of like a dream."
Anywhere where A$AP Lou is.
"It's like, you touchdown and he starts calling girls, food, whatever. This is a guy who will go to Starbucks in Knightsbridge in skiing goggles and a dressing gown. He's all about being cosy. He's one of a kind."
4 Joe Fox Facts About A$AP Rocky
They met nine months ago at 4am in Soho
"I had nowhere to live in London so I was selling mixtapes of my music anywhere I could so I'd have money to live somewhere. I was doing that for a while and I was making quite good money. So I'm on Wardour Street and I see this guy - I don't know who he is cos I don't listen to new music - and he's with this other guy who turns out to be Hector Delgado, who's produced a lot of songs on Rocky's album. I go up to them and say 'Do you want to buy a CD' and Rocky says, 'Can you play me a song'. So I play a whole song and I get to the end - that's usually when people buy a CD - so I say 'Do you want to buy a CD?' and he said 'No, but we're going to Starbucks, and then to the studio, you should come and work with us. Jump in the car'. So I got in the car and he says, 'My name's A$AP Rocky, you've got an amazing sound, lets record together'. So we did. I checked out his stuff later that week and I quite liked it, which I wasn't expecting, because I don't like much modern music. I really liked Long, Live A$AP."
They recorded a song that very same night. Well, morning.
"We started working at Red Bull Studios in London, that's where most of A.L.L.A was recorded. We'd get there at 10pm and leave at 8am, just record all night. It was fun, because this is what I wanted to do, I wanted to dedicate my life to music. I couldn't see myself doing anything else, which is why I was playing music on the street all the time. That and I didn't have a job…
One of the songs we recorded is called Max B, who's a rapper, and it's about the situation he's currently in [Max B was sentenced to 75 years in prison on murder conspiracy and kidnapping charges that he heavily denies]. I can't say too much, other than the song is amazing and Rocky asked me to write a chorus about the situation and that's what I did. Rocky told me the story and I just wrote about it."
Joe basically lives with Rocky these days.
"We live together, well, I just crash at his place, so I'm not homeless at the moment, which is good. The good thing about working, and living, with Rocky this long is that I've seen how the industry works from every perspective. I was naïve before, which can be a good thing, but I was frustrated because I couldn't find anyone as passionate about music as I was. The first person I did find as passionate about music as me happened to be a multi-platinum selling rapper - it just happened to be rocky and the cool thing is it's worked out"
Joe has four words to describe A.L.L.A.
"Masterpiece, forward-thinking and psychedelic. I think it's going to be the best hip hop album of the year so far."
6 People Who Have Influenced Joe Fox's life, lyrics and guitar playing…
"I love him because he spoke about real things and he had an interesting voice. I don't think anyone's ever been better than him. I started listening to his music when I was younger because there was nothing else to do where I lived, it was kind of a shit place. I was just drawn to that kind of music. I don't know why."
"She's my only family member, so that means a lot. She's the only person I know in my family really. I've never met my dad; I grew up a lot in care, so… She means a lot to me."
"The emotion with which he plays is very real."
"Because of the passion in his voice and how long his music has lasted and will continue to last."
"I've gotten to work with him on A.L.L.A and he's taught me so much. We wrote some melodies together and he taught me new ways to write, like with the phrasing of melody and lyrics."
"He was crazy. I want to meet a girl who I love as much as he loved Yoko Ono. I want to stay in bed with her all day and do peace protests. Or maybe just stay in bed all day. Everyone's looking for love."
8 Things You Need To Know About Joe Fox
The most interesting creative person he's met is [photographer and filmmaker] Dexter Navy.
"He's really good and an awesome guy. I've met loads of people though Rocky. Danger Mouse is really down to earth and taught me about music, life and film. Mos Def is really cool too, I like him."
He's a nomadic soul.
"I was born in London and then my mum moved around a lot, all over the country, so I don't really feel any deep ties to anywhere."
He's not much of a fan of new music.
"I feel like music isn't that big of a deal to our generation. It's not like in the sixties and seventies where people lived and died by their artists. That's the kind of music I'm into. I don't think anyone else from my generation is going to make the music I want to hear, so I've kind of got to do it myself. Music is a career now for people; people just want to be rich and famous, which is fine, there will always be a bit of that but it's nice when you can see people have really put their life into the music and they're a bit vulnerable."
He's into Swedes.
"I like Swedish people. I just love people actually", and doesn't plan to vote in the next general election. "Because I don't think it makes any difference." Just spoil your vote Joe, don't waste it!
He's not into modern culture either. "I don't play Playstation or go to the cinema, I don't watch television Ever. There's nothing that interests me. The news is all bad news. I'd rather be outside, meeting people in real life."
He met Juicy J in LA.
"I've wanted to go to LA since I was a kid. I just wanted to go there and just… get a girlfriend. The girls in Los Angeles are beautiful. Everyone says LA is lonely but I don't think it is. I don't think anywhere is lonely. If I find somewhere lonely, I make an effort to make it not lonely. When I was in LA, I just hung out with Rocky and A$AP Lou, went to Venice Beach, hung out at Danger Mouse's studio. Oh and we went to Juicy J's house in Hollywood. He said 'You look like a rock star' when I walked through the door. That was the best moment of my day."
He's single and ready to mingle…
"Girls influence me a lot. I came out of a relationship last year and I've written a lot of songs about that. Some of the songs are on Rocky's album. We wrote a joint song about our experiences in relationships. It's called Fine Wine. We have very similar experiences in relationships. His album is so good. Honestly."
Joe will be releasing his own record soon.
"I'm at Red Bull Studios recording my own stuff. I'm not Rock or Pop, it's different. I'm trying to make the best album of 2016. In fact, I'm going to make sure my debut album is one of the best debut albums of this decade."
Text Hattie Collins
Photography Phil Knott