Joel Havea

Joel Havea

Tongan-born, Melbourne-raised songman Joel Havea started gigging his way around the world in 2008. In 2009, he landed in Germany, a place where he found a deep, inspiring connection. Home again to escape their harsh winter, we catch up on six years well spent.
Hey Joel, thanks for taking the time to have a chat with Forte. We understand you have just got back from OS. What was going on for you abroad?
Thanks, it’s nice to be here! Well, I’ve been living in Germany for the past six years and am currently based in Hamburg. I’ve released a couple of albums over there and have been touring around Europe non-stop for the past few years. Right now I’ve escaped the miserable winter by doing a tour back home.
So you are just catching your breath then and finding your feet?
Yes, it’s always strange to come back after an extended period away. I always spend the first few days walking around Melbourne looking at the city through the eyes of a tourist, which is a strange feeling. But it’s definitely very good to be home.
Can you give us a brief insight into your background in music?
I actually studied engineering at Uni but was writing songs and playing gigs throughout my studies. At that time music was just a hobby, but eventually it got to the point where it was all I wanted to do. In 2012 I released my first album in Germany, and it’s been a slow and steady but very rewarding build ever since.
How would you describe your style of music for those that haven’t heard you before?
I’d describe my music as sunny and soulful acoustic pop with an emphasis on harmony and groove. It’ll get you singing, moving and smiling.
You have played gigs all over the world. Where are some of your favourite places to play?
I toured France for the first time late last year and the shows there were amazing. I have also had many memorable shows in my “hometown” of Hamburg and all around Germany. But honestly, you can have a good show anywhere as long as the audience is with you.
For those keen to check out some of your music, where is the best place to have a listen?
Just go to my website joelhavea.com or the usual places – SoundCloud and YouTube.
You have a few gigs coming up in regional Victoria, in many areas Forte covers. Have you been out this way before?
Actually, these will be my first shows in regional Victoria and I’m really looking forward to it, especially Bendigo where my Dad has been living for over 20 years.
What is life like for you on the road? Nice and quiet, or are you known for getting lured back to a few after-parties?
I certainly have been lured back to a few parties, but usually I try to keep my voice in good shape by taking good care of myself and not drinking too much.
You are playing Odyssey Tavern. Have you played Odyssey before? Are you looking forward to getting down and seeing Grant and the crew?
No, first time at Odyssey. My good mate Nick Deman, who I met while we were both playing music on the Greek island of Ios in 2008, is now living down in Torquay and booked the shows. He’s an Odyssey regular and we’ll be doing a double-header there on Australia Day Eve.
Anything else you would like to add?
Just that I hope to see you all down at a show! I’ll also be bringing my brother with me, Dave Havea, who plays in a band called My Private Dinosaur. Check: myprivatedinosaur.com
For the bargain hunters out there, that’s two Havea’s for the price of one! Don’t miss it!
When&Where: Growlers, Torquay – January 23; Odyssey Tavern, Mt Duneed – January 24; The Vine, Bendigo – February 5; and Buangor Cobb & Co Stables, Ararat – February 6

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