Joe Ramsey: “The modern world is scarily unstoppable” | Interview

Middlesbrough’s Rising Talent Discusses His Journey


Indisputably, 2019 is the year for home-grown talent. From underground sounds making waves on bigger playlists all the way hearing from artists with accents that haven’t come from the BRIT School. We’ve seen underdogs become top players and working-class heroes become certified legends.

And now we want to introduce to you Joe Ramsey – he’s making moves from Middlesborough (Newcastle’s younger, more ambitious cousin). His new single, ‘You Don’t Have To Leave’ is out November 1st and we wanted to know how close to home it sounds…

‘There are some great venues in the ‘Boro!’ he tells us. ‘I might be slightly biased on that one though, eh? I think I’ve covered quite a lot of the scene at this point and there are some absolute gems. I’m not sure I could compare it to Newcastle directly, they’re both class areas!’

And the more intimate the venue the better, right? Joe’s quickly becoming a Sofar Sessions veteran, so he’s a fan of the unexpected.

‘I played Sofar for the first time a few months back and absolutely loved it, one of my favourite gigs to date. I brought my two mates with me to play at this small coffee bar and we thought we would be way too loud, but it was perfect! The audience is so attentive and invested in you and you hardly hear a pindrop, which makes such a difference.  If every gig was like that it would be a dream!’

Ramsey’s been blessed with a trademark Northern Soul, meaning he’s full of hard work and smooth sounds. He released acoustic love letter ‘Won’t You?’ in July, and November’s upcoming ‘You Don’t Have To Leave’ is just a sweet insight of things to come.

‘For ‘Won’t You?’, we decided to go with a single launch gig in my hometown – and it was my first headliner in my stomping grounds so it got me a little anxious! It felt like a lot of messaging, promo and hassling people to come down, haha.

But it was all worth it, it was a great night. And with it being my own gig, I could put on some class local support acts too… three acts might have been a bit excessive but I was just excited to keep showcasing as much local talent as we could.

With ‘You Don’t Have To Leave’, it would be amazing to get the same reception and see how things take off. It was all pretty cool and liberating.’

‘I wrote ‘Won’t You?’ about being young and falling fickle for every person you see, and how it transpires that not everyone is going be the love of your life.

I try and write my songs about experiences in my life, or situations people find themselves in on the regular. The modern world is scarily unstoppable, and I’m realising more now the extreme highs and lows of doing music full time. You’ve got to look at what the likes of Sam Fender are doing now, too. It’s about tackling mental health straight on – we don’t address those issues enough, especially in the North East.’

Of course, Joe’s songwriting process differs track to track.

‘Sometimes I’ll just get a random idea in my head and jot it down in my notes on my phone or try and record it, and go from there. I like the idea of structuring a song together from different melodies – sometimes a lyric will pop into my head and I’ve got to dash somewhere to record it. More often than not, it’s my car or the bathroom at work… Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t!’

You can pre-save Joe’s latest single, ‘You Don’t Have To Leave’ here: smarturl.it/YDHTLpresave

And check out ‘Won’t You’ on his Spotify:

Feel free to give him a follow across his socials, too: @joeramseymusic

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