Welcome Joey! Thank you for chatting with us today! You are a composer, performer, sound engineer and session musician and you’re blind, what is the greatest challenge you’ve faced being blind in the industry and how did you overcome it?
Thanks for allowing me to chat with you!
There are two primary issues to overcome as a blind musician.
First, you can’t read sheet music.
This is hard as it means you either have to learn Braille music, which has its own set of problems, like needing both hands to read, so you can’t read and play at the same time, or you have to have a good knowledge of music theory and a good memory, which thankfully for me I have both!
The second problem is that as music has moved more and more into the digital domain and a lot of our work is done via virtual plugins and everything is on a screen, the accessibility for blind people has decreased.
There are some wonderful companies that are at least thinking about accessibility and in 2019 accessibility is the best it has ever been, but there are still around 60% of music technology we still don’t have access to like our sighted counterparts. The only thing you can do is have a good attitude and keep making people aware of the problem and hope you meet people that are interested in assisting to fix the problem. Again, thankfully I do know a lot of people like that including the great folks from Magix, Audified and iZotope, just to name a few!
You just have to keep going and never give up!
What got you into music?
Well, it was a long path that got me into music. From an early age, music was very important to my family, but at first, I never dreamed of a career in music as I was just focused on surviving the brain tumor that left me blind and with some other health challenges. But, around 13 years old, I got into sound recording. I got my first job in sound around 15 years old and people started asking me to record their bands. I did and around 17 years old I knew that I not only wanted to record music for others but that music would be the vehicle through which I would tell my story and I have been making music for a living since I was around 19 and haven’t stopped!
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Green Cove Springs, FL, from the time I was born until around 7 years old. Then I moved about an hour away to Jacksonville, FL, and stayed there until around 15 years old when moved to Macon, GA, where I still live. In fact, I am proud to say that I received the key to the city for Green Cove Springs for my work as an inspirational speaker and my musical accomplishments and I am also the official music ambassador for Macon!
I also traveled the world with my family when I was well enough to do so and still travel a lot doing inspirational talks, music master classes and performing!
Who is your biggest musical influence?
Oh so many from Coltrane to Lady Gaga, but the biggest will always be Hendrix and the Beatles!
If you could collaborate with any artist this year, who would it be?
I would love to work with so many people!
I could make a list a mile long and it still might not be enough, but I would love to work with Peter Gabriel and Neal Finn. As to more current artists I would love to work with Camilla Cabello and Bebe Rexha!
What would your advice be to someone wanting to get into the music industry?
First, you got to truly love it so much that it hurts not to be doing it. If you don’t feel that way you won’t be able to stand all the hard work and heartache that come with the job.
Second, you must have a plan for a path to success. The plan can change over time, that is as it should be, but not having a plan will see you making some bad decisions and making costly mistakes.
For more, check out my blog on www.joeystuckey.com and some of the blogs I write for GigMerge.
Where can we check out your music and connect with you on social media?
iTunes for JS3 Sun Sessions https://music.apple.com/us/album/in-the-shadow-of-the-sun/1450976425
End of Interview