Since Joey Base left prison in August 2016 he has become one of the most exciting rising stars on the Urban Music scene.
Joey released his first single ‘Ready for Me’ that notched up 60,000 views on YouTube. He admits he perhaps went to positive on his second single ‘Here my Love’ which wasn’t so successful. As he says ‘Only a positive message doesn’t work that well in Urban Music, so I leant to tell my story in music more”
This he did in his song ‘Life Over Circumstances’, that tells his story from prison, to his mother’s death and turning his life around. Since then all his music have told elements of his story.
Joey Base creates a rare type of Urban music that crosses over to a wide audience but still keeps its integrity for original fans. Joey, himself, has a great sense of style and his videos are a work of art and meticulously choreographed and styled by him alone.
“I was not enticed by the money side of the book, but the positivity was so powerful that I knew that was how I wanted to live my life”
To him this is only an end to a means: ‘To me it is all about my story and a positive message, but I have to dress it up with fine clothes and lifestyle to interest people, but that is not who I am.”
His recent single Pattern Up has had 2.9 million views on YouTube and the video cost more than £80,000 to produce. Not bad for someone who between the ages of 17 and 25 was inside prison more than out. How did this charismatic musician with his own label and growing success, achieve this?
Like many kids, Joey made music in his bedroom in his early teens. He built a studio at home where he and his friends hung out instead of going to school on the Deeds Housing estate in Deptford. This led to the inevitable truancy and trouble at school. So far, a story repeated many times.
The moment the judge sentenced Joey he was determined to turn his life around and to use this last prison sentence to make it happen. At first the prison staff were suspicious of his motives but soon they saw he was serious and gave him jobs and made him a trusted prisoner. This gave him access to books and newspapers he read voraciously, especially self- help books.
The thing he missed most in prison was making music but he did manage to smuggle in an I Phone. With this he could keep up with the music industry, research record labels and see what was happening.
Joey’s favourite book was ‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill. As Joey says: ‘I was not enticed by the money side of the book, but the positivity was so powerful that I knew that was how I wanted to live my life’. When he left prison in the summer of 2016, he started to make positivity work for him.
Joey was always popular and likeable. When he started breaking the law, he found prison easy. He knew the score and everybody liked him inside. When his mother died when he was 19, he became angry with the world and the cycle or crime and prison became even worse.
But something changed when he was arrested and sentenced to another stretch in prison in September 2015. It might have been because he had given up smoking weed. It might have just been that he remembered his boy hood ambition to be a musician. He was determined this was the last time he was going inside.