Nashville R&B artist Joe Daccache dropped an explosive single today with “Clouds,” a powerful, tasteful reflection on feeling stuck in the prison of a negative state of mind. The song combines astoundingly rangy vocals, brilliantly stacked harmonies, and expert musicianship to create a flavor of soulful vocal pop that Justin Timberlake would tip his cap to.
We were able to converse with Daccache via email to discuss his latest release, as well as his experiences handling the various challenges of 2020. You can read our exchange below.
With all of the chaos that’s happened so far this year, how are you holding up? How
drastically has your year been disrupted?
I’ve been staying in North Carolina with family throughout all this craziness. In all honesty, there was a period where I wasn’t doing too well. I felt really down on myself, and I felt very stuck, both personally and professionally. But we’re all navigating this new way of life together. We’re learning and growing, even when we don’t realize it. I’m thankful that I have my family and friends by my side and that everyone is safe and healthy. Sending good vibes to everyone reading this!
Who was on your team to put “Clouds” together, and what do you think their
On the creative side, it was myself, Autumn Buysse and Tony Chetta. Tony and Autumn are great friends of mine and are INSANELY talented! We all bring something different to the table when in a session together, and I think that’s what makes our songs as great as they are. Tony is an insane producer and plays so many instruments, and Autumn is a phenomenal writer and is a beast at finding harmonies.
What was the creative process like for “Clouds?”
My mom was diagnosed with cancer in August of 2019. In January, I began writing an EP inspired by what my family and I were going through during that time. The first song I wrote (also written with Tony and Autumn) was “Better Days”. I wanted to share something with the world that was light and feel-good. What my family and I were experiencing was very hard, but somehow we all remained hopeful and positive.
After writing the song, I held myself to writing only positive and uplifting songs. I didn’t want to share the anxiousness or the doubt I felt. So at first, “Clouds” was never going to be written. Then I realized, there’s nothing real about what I’m doing if I’m only sharing half of the story. When we got to the studio, I started talking about how I felt stuck in a state of mind I didn’t want to be in. I just wanted to feel like myself again.
I related it to clouds and how they are constantly changing. Every time you look at the sky, the clouds break, move and shift in shape. They’re constantly evolving, and I felt like I was going to be stuck in the mental state I was in forever. Tony started playing the keys, and hunny lemme tell you, it was over! We spent the whole day in the studio writing the song. We probably finished it in an hour but kept going back and re-writing lines or editing melodies. I wanted for the melodies to be playful to contrast the lyric so that there is still a sense of hope amidst the hopelessness.
What do you think makes “Clouds” a unique addition to your catalog?
I wrote the song from a different mental space, and I discovered a new part of my voice during the writing process. I felt myself being challenged as we were writing the song, and I learned so much about myself by writing it. We took this song to a different place (lyrically, melodically and vocally). I’m very excited for everyone to hear this.
What do you hope people take away from the song?
I hope people feel less alone. The hardest thing about anxiety is that it’s isolating. We all experience doubt, anxiety, loneliness, sadness, and the best thing we can feel when going through it is inclusivity. I hope that when people hear this song, they feel connected to it and that it helps them feel a little less alone in the world. And I hope their shoulders groove a little bit.
How do you think your time at Belmont and at events such as songwriting retreats helped you grow as a writer?
I’ve learned the difference between writing a great song and writing a great song for me. As a very ADD person, I experience a lot of emotions and they can be translated onto paper in so many different forms. Belmont and writing retreats taught me how to channel my inner voice and write from that voice for myself as an artist.
When writing for others, I try to understand who the artist is at the core of it all and what it is that person is experiencing and how they want to deliver their message. I remove myself and my feelings, because this song isn’t about me – it’s about the artist. I use all the skills I have in writing and help the artist write from their voice – from what they know and how they feel.
What music has inspired you lately? If you could open for any artist in the world right now — assuming COVID isn’t a factor — who would you choose and what would the venue be?
I don’t have a specific venue in mind, but it would definitely be something outdoors. There are a lot of artists that come to mind, but lately I have been on a Jessie J kick. I think she’s a dope human with a great attitude and mindset. Also, her energy is out of this world. I would give anything to open for someone like her.
What are you most looking forward to between now and the end of the year?
I am moving to LA in the fall, and I am super excited to be a 30 minute drive from the beach!
Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?
Allow yourself to feel your emotions. You are 100% justified in them. I went through a period of time where I pushed past my emotions and tried to channel how I wanted to feel. If you are having a bad moment, let yourself — in a healthy way — experience whatever emotion you’re feeling.
The most unhealthy thing we can do is put a smile on our face and ignore/overlook something that made us feel a certain way. Before channeling a more positive side to any situation, we have to first allow ourselves to experience the situation fully.
God wouldn’t have put tears in our eyes if he didn’t intend for them to roll down our face. Our emotions are a gift. They are what make us human. Let yourself feel and be human.
Also, never microwave a slice of pizza without a mug of water #lifehack
We fact checked that last one. It’s true.