Oribi

Tell us your real names, country of birth, date of birth and childhood experience. 

My name is Joseph Whitehead. I was born in Sheffield, Alabama in the United States on February 8th, 1991. Sheffield is a part of the Shoals area of Northwest Alabama that produced many hits through-out the decades. It’s a beautiful little place. I began playing music at age 8 and began writing songs and playing guitar/bass at age 13.

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Tell us about your music career, your band name, musical background, experience and skills. 

So far I have been writing music and playing live for over a decade and have been involved with several different bands and projects over the years ranging from heavy metal, to hip-hop, to rock. I currently play bass in another Shoals native band called Strange Waves, and started Oribi in 2016 to follow my own vision.

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Tell us about your genre, concept and idea behind your music video and the song. 

I would really just call Oribi indie rock. It blends elements from multiple genres including folk, psychedelic, and some subtle hip-hop elements. The song Doom & Gloom was influenced by the current media environment in the U.S. and the reality that my girlfriend and I were being affected with the amount of negative information constantly coming at us. It’s mostly the idea that we all need to step away from these things sometimes and experience the immediate world around us. The turtle in the video represents that immediate reality, while me watching the television represents the affect it all has on my mental health.

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Tell us everything that we need to know about you as a musician and the ups and downs you have faced in the music business. 

Music really was the first and maybe only thing I was ever good at. I was a timid child that sucked at sports so when I first picked up a trumpet at age 8 it was the first time I felt a sense of purpose. I think for that reason I keep going. I don’t really play music with the grand illusion of fame, but to fulfill a void that’s been there from the beginning. In my years of playing music I’ve faced a lot of ups and downs. I’ve had people boo me, spit on me, and I’ve had many nights of playing to empty rooms, but it’s all worth it when people connect with your music and appreciate it.

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Tell us about other members of your band, music producer, crew or music video director, how the song was recorded and how the music video was shot. 

Jeremy Couch is the other half of Oribi. He  plays guitar and helps me write and compose the songs. Without him Oribi definitely wouldn’t be what it is. Evan Sandy provides drums on the album and live performances, and Chess Swinea plays bass for us in the live performances. Greg Scheske recorded, mixed, and mastered the whole album including this song. It was a very loose and free process of us going to Greg’s studio and just kind of making stuff up as we went along. The music video was filmed and directed by our good friend Justin Lawson who also plays a pretty heavy role in Oribi. He even plays back-up guitar live. We basically found a box turtle, which is a species native to Alabama, and followed it around with the camera, then filmed the rest in my living room using a green screen on an old TV. There are also some shots of local scenery around the Shoals including the Tennessee River.

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Tell us how long you have been in the music industry, your experience and your future goal. 

I’ve been playing live for around 10 years. The early years were mostly spent in death metal bands and other heavy music. In about 2012 we all made the transition from metal to rock together as Strange Waves. We’ve produced one album by Strange Waves and we are working on another, and we’ve already began writing stuff for the second Oribi album. My goal is truly to just never stop creating. As long as I’m making songs I’ll be happy.

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Tell us what inspires you to write, compose and sing. 

Just life and the many ups and downs that come with it. It’s just what I have to do at this point. It makes me happy.

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Tell us the secret behind making a hit song. 

When I find that out I’ll let y’all know haha. I think it’s more important to write authentic music the way you truly want to make it than to just go for a hit. I feel like a lot is compromised creatively when you try to write to appeal to certain audiences or to please certain people.

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Tell us the message you will like to pass to your fans out there. 

Sounds generic, but be yourself, do what you truly love, and do it well. Always keep learning and growing, and don’t let others divert you from your own path. Life is short so just do what makes you happy.

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Tell the kind of advice you will give to an upcoming artist. 

Basically what I just said. Do what you truly want to do and do it well. Always be honest with yourself though and do your best to continue to grow as an artist. I also think persistence is key. Nothings going to happen over night so just create freely and don’t stop.

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Elaborate on your music careers, albums, songs, tours, recognition or awards you might have obtained. 

Right now we just released our debut album Time & Mind. It is available on Spotify, Apple Music, and all major streaming platforms. Go give us a follow and check it out! Right now we are doing more local and regional shows and just trying to broaden our audience. Maybe one day touring will be more of an option depending on how this album does.

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List Radio or TV Stations that are airing your songs and blogs that have featured you as well and send message to them via this platform.

Honestly, y’all are the first blog to even accept one of our songs. Getting featured on internet sources has been a struggle, but it’s just part of the process I suppose. You can, however, stream our music on pretty much any streaming service. We are also on SoundCloud and Bandcamp.

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Tell us how you write your lyrics, compose, sing and record in the studio. 

I have a number of methods of writing.

Sometimes I just have words flowing through my head so I’ll write them down, or I’ll have a melody in my head so I’ll sing it into a voice memo in my phone. Sometimes it’s a combination of both. Jeremy will also come up with chords and I’ll write lyrics and melodies over what he plays.

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Name five biggest artists that you like.

Some of my personal favorites are Tom Waits, The Drones, Ween, Pink Floyd, and Aesop Rock. There’s really so much that I listen to though that it could go on and on.

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Name the artists you have collaborated with before in your songs or artists you are willing to collaborate with in the future if you have the chance to do so. 

There hasn’t been too much collaboration outside of our close friend-group of musicians, but it’s something I really want to do more of in future. I’d really like to work with other musicians from my area because there are tons of great musicians where I live. I’m also pretty much down to work with anyone who is interested. Collaboration can lead to some really great stuff.

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Give us the links to your website and your entire social network. 

https://m.facebook.com/Oribitheband/

https://oribitheband.bandcamp.com

https://open.spotify.com/artist/2uw2zg2JNrqR9Ti7XHQiFH?si=sF3NxUFzQ3egR1om8BOs2w

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Give us the links to your various stores for fans to buy your music. 

https://oribitheband.bandcamp.com/releases

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Tell us about your happiest day and saddest day. 

I’ve had many sad days, but my happiest day was definitely the day my son, Felix, was born.

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Tell us how you will spend a million dollars.

I can’t even imagine having that much money. I would probably buy a modestly decent home with a nice yard and making a home studio.

Published by

Kolade Olamide

I am a poet , writer, beat maker, chef, songwriter, web designer, music promoter,digital marketer, blogger and director.

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