Guitar and Voice Mentor
Artist and Band Development
Media Production Mentor
No stranger to the stage, Joel has performed for thousands of people, most notably as a featured artist at the 2015 Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tennessee. Continuing his musical journey here in RVA, Joel remains an enthusiastic performer throughout the local music scene. You might recognize him from RVA Has Talent, the Monument Ave 10k, or many of the open mic nights around town. Additionally, Joel regularly ministers in worship with two local congregations in the Richmond area, bringing his experience in music back to where it began: singing in church with his family.
As a young artist himself, Joel has experienced many challenges. One large obstacle for any performer lies in creating a following to share their music. This is no easy task, especially in a world of noise; yet in a few short years, Joel has grown his YouTube channel to over two thousand subscribers and over two hundred thousand views. Joel will empower his students to never give up and pursue every opportunity they are given.
At his core, Joel is an artist. Gaining a interest in photography and filmmaking to further his music career with a professional look, Joel bought his first digital SLR camera several years ago. He began to study and experiment with the camera and it became more than just a hobby. Several lenses and cameras later, he can tell you the “ins and outs” of shooting photos or videos. If you want to learn how to be ready to photograph landscapes, portraits, weddings, senior photos, and know how to use the best settings to capture that perfect moment; this media class is where you start. In addition to producing most of Passion Academy’s media, Joel runs his own photography and video business.
Joel is thrilled to be partnered with Passion Academy and grateful for this continued opportunity to mentor aspiring talent.
Tell us a little bit about your musical background; when you first started, the first experience that made you want to become a musician.
Growing up in a family of musicians, I started performing with them when I was about 3 years old. A few years later, I started playing the guitar, and with the help of some inspiring teachers, I learned how to accompany myself. In high school, I began playing small gigs and uploading my music to Youtube. Around that time, I realized that performing was my passion.
Who are some of your favorite artists?
John Mayer, John Legend, Tyler Ward, Kevin Garrett, Allen Stone, Jon Bellion, Maroon 5, Tori Kelly, Oh Wonder—just to name a few.
Who are some of your biggest inspirations, musical, and non-musical?
Josh Woods (brother), John Mayer, Tyler Ward
If you could follow in any musician’s footsteps, who would it be?
Tori Kelly—she’s always herself, and she’s talented…just a bit.
If you had the ability to pick anybody to collaborate with musically, who would it be?
Tori Kelly, Justin Bieber, or Tyler Ward.
What are your plans for the future of your music?
Keep growing. Play more gigs, record more often, write more songs, release an EP…perform at Bonnaroo…again.