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Patrick Joseph keeps his Pittsburgh roots while operating out of Los Angeles

"I think being from Pittsburgh gave me a grounded, down-to-earth personality, and I think that's refreshing to people out here."

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Stand up and tell 'em you're from Pittsburgh: Patrick Joseph
  • Stand up and tell 'em you're from Pittsburgh: Patrick Joseph

Patrick Joseph grew up in Pittsburgh, cut his teeth playing shows at local venues and then left for Los Angeles. The singer-songwriter makes a living there as a musician, splitting his time between contract commercial work and a solo career; his new album, Moon King, was just released. He's on a tour that brings him to Club Café this Saturday, then finds him back in town opening for The Clarks next Saturday at Jergel's. He spoke with CP via phone about his trajectory after Pittsburgh.

When did you leave for L.A., and why?

This was 2008, I was only about 20 at the time. I decided to try to find a new audience for my music, try to make more of a financial living doing it. I was trying to find ways to get my music heard in film, television, maybe try to get on tours with like-minded singer-songwriters. It worked out really well — I miss Pittsburgh, I love Pittsburgh and I love to visit, but Los Angeles is nice.

What's day-to-day life like for you as a full-time musician?

I have my own studio in Burbank that I work out of, and I do a lot of TV — a show needs a song, a movie needs a song, stuff like that. That's my day-to-day: It's split between planning my solo career and tour schedule and recording my album, but also doing that work. Exercising my brain musically still, but making money just doing music.

Was that hard to break into?

Yeah — it takes a long time to meet the right people and get into that, because everybody wants to be doing that. Persistence, too: There's a lot of rejection that comes with it, and a lot of failure, you're trying to break the ice. You have a good attitude, you keep trying and trying, and you finally get a break; somebody recognizes that you're able to do something that can benefit them and that benefits you. I originally got into that world because some of my solo songs were getting placed into shows, like The Office or Gossip Girl.

How has simply being in that city affected you as a songwriter?

The competition is great over here. Anytime I go play a show or even a showcase, a songwriter club out here or something — I'm lucky to be friends with a lot of great songwriters out here, and it's fun seeing my friends doing what I'm doing, but it's also inspiring. It kind of makes you want to be better.

To what extent does your time coming up in Pittsburgh still inform what you do?

I think being from Pittsburgh gave me a grounded, down-to-earth personality, and I think that's refreshing to people out here, when they meet somebody from Pittsburgh — somebody who's not just looking to get ahead, or use people. I genuinely like to meet these people and hang out, and I like to think people think of me as a friend, not just competition. People always say when they visit Pittsburgh, it's such a friendly place; I like to think I carry that and represent that out here. I'm proud that I'm out here; I still identify as being from Pittsburgh.

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