Born in New York, grew up in New Jersey, and raised by rock and roll, 32-year old multi-instrumentalist Joe Mifsud has sought to create a unique sound that not only pays homage to his influences but also interprets & combines them in his own way. Drawing from influences as eclectic as The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, The Smashing Pumpkins, Miles Davis, Hip Hop & Old School R&B to local musicians, film, literature, sports, life & love, Mifsud's music is every bit as diverse as his inspirations.
At the age of six, Mifsud began to play along to the rhythms of his parents' Latin music record collection on a conga drum. Noticing Joe's potential musical talent and growing interest in the art, Mifsud's parents enrolled him into his elementary school's music program for drums & percussion. While learning basic music theory, Joe was beginning to think of how to incorporate his newly developing skills as a drummer into something outside of ensemble music. Joe was growing up during the early nineties alternative rock scene and his musical interests were gravitating towards modern rock and classic rock. As Joe's ear became attuned to the early nineties alternative rock radio rotation, he was able to learn the popular songs of the day by ear. Despite being recognized as a talented drummer, Joe was not satisfied with just playing drums; He wanted to write songs like his earliest influences The Beatles, Queen and Nirvana and that required him to learn how to play guitar.
Joe's older brother played bass in his high school band but was also learning guitar. Much to the annoyance of his brother, Joe would borrow his brother's guitar and mess around on it. Noticing Joe's interest in the guitar, Joe's older brother convinced his parents to buy his younger brother an acoustic guitar. In 1997, Joe received his first guitar, an Epiphone Acoustic PR-100, as a graduation gift for graduating elementary school. While in elementary school, one of Joe's favorite music teachers showed students how to play basic chords on guitar by reading tablature. The lesson had such a life long impact on Mifsud that he decided to continue to learn on his own and taught himself how to play guitar.
Throughout the years, Joe would continue to improve his guitar playing, songwriting and singing skills until he was able to write and perform his own songs. Even though Mifsud believed in his musical abilities, he was often met with adversity and negative criticism. Choosing to let the criticism inspire rather than discourage, Mifsud would refine his talent to the point where it was hard for people to ignore his catchy, well-crafted songs. Offers for shows and requests for song contributions to films began in 2006 when Joe Mifsud partnered up with his college friend and aspiring filmmaker Billy Tooma.
In 2006, Billy wrote, directed, filmed and edited music videos for early recorded versions of "My Kind Of Girl" and "These Days" for his film production company Icon Independent Films. Shortly after the music videos, Tooma began writing the script to his first short film," Brothers Of Freedom", which required a soundtrack or more appropriately a film score. Mifsud jumped at the opportunity for a new challenge and not only did he score the film but he also acted in it. With the release of "Brothers Of Freedom" in 2007, it began a series of film and musical collaborations between Mifsud and Tooma that resolved itself with the 2012 release of "Seeking Nirvana", in which Mifsud's songs "Helpless" and "Hard To Get" make an appearance as well as Mifsud himself as an actor.
Fueled by an unwaivering dedication to detail, undying belief in the beauty & healing power of art & a remarkable drive to succeed despite having little to no budget, Mifsud took a risk that would no doubt pay off in the end. In November of 2008, Mifsud bartered the majority of his music equipment to begin the recording sessions that would result in the recording of Mifsud's 15 song full band style debut album," Mifology" and the 20 song acoustic album," Out On My Own". On both albums, Mifsud played all the instruments, wrote all the songs and was very involved in the production process. Without a record label deal in place, Mifsud decided to start his own record label, Munchkin Records, and his own publishing company, Songs That No One Hears Publishing, initially for his own music but with the long term goal of working with other musicians.
Downtrodden by the lackluster response to the release of Mifology, Mifsud took some downtime to recouperate and rethink his game plan. Eventually Mifsud started performing live again and networked to an old high school friend named Andrew Jaworski. Joe's live show and music made an impression on Andrew and the two began discussing plans to record together. With money being the only setback for making a new album, Jaworski and Mifsud structured an agreement to record the album first and work out payments in installments towards the end of the process. Under Jaworkski's guidance, the second album," Stay Calm and Carry On" began to take shape.
Started at the end of 2011 and finshed in 2013, Stay Calm and Carry On, the sophomore release from Joe Mifsud is a testament to his commitment to making great art against all odds. The latest offering from Joe Mifsud is more ambitious and diverse than its predecessor Mifology as evidence by the album's musicianship and overall range, both stylistically and emotionally. On July 1st of 2013, Joe Mifsud launched an unsuccessful Indiegogo campaign to raise the remaining money to financially reward Andrew for everything that he contributed to the album. Fortunately, Mifsud was able to raise the necessary funds to pay off the album by selling his musical equipment. In Fall of 2013, Stay Calm and Carry On was released to positive reviews.
Ultimately, Joe Mifsud sincerely hopes that his music will inspire, serve as a soundtrack to celebrate all of life's joys as well as provide comfort during turbulent times, and essentially resonate with the heart & soul of anyone who cares enough to listen.
"My brother and I met Joe Mifsud in 2008, when our artistic lives crossed paths. Joe wasn't far removed from recording his album,'Mifology' and my brother and I were relatively fresh from the success of 'An Anomaly of The Theory' which premiered in Cannes. We talked about our respective arts, exchanged business cards and developed a mutual respect for one another. Throughout the years, we had discussed eventually working together in some capacity and in 2011 an opportunity presented itself. Joe was beginning work on his latest album,' Stay Calm and Carry On' and we began work on the script to our latest film,' Awful Sexy'. We had mentioned the film to Joe and he was interested in contributing a song to the soundtrack even though we were still working on the script. Joe, inspired from reading the synopsis of the film, wrote and recorded an acoustic version of 'Seedy' and sent it to us. When we heard the song, we knew that he got 'IT'; that he understood what we were trying to convey in the film. Months later, Joe recorded and emailed to us the finished version of 'Seedy' and it was a complete 180 from the original version we heard and I mean that in a good way. 'Seedy' was everything we had hoped for and more. Joe understood what we wanted and was able to incorporate our direction into the final product and the delivery was on point."- Gabriel Francisco of Francisco Productions.
"Joe Mifsud came back into my life when I was working at a radio promotions company out in Santa Monica, CA. We met through email and have been in contact ever since. I am a creative mind and tend to gravitate towards people who have the same outlook on life. I'm happy to say Joe and I share a passion towards not only music, but creating art out of what we love. In the years that I've known Joe, he's gone from this musician that I pester about promotion, to a friend. The one thing that has been consistent is his tenacity for hard work. I've watched him focus so much energy and time on non-music things like jobs and such, just so that he can continue to make music and perform. I look forward to what the future hold for Joe Mifsud and I can't wait until I can say," Yeah, I knew him when..." - Kendra Beltran of Bryan Farrish Radio Promotions and Blogger at Goldenmixtape.com
"Back in December I met a friend of a friend, Joe Mifsud, as he was collaborating on a music video with cinematographer Matt Rosen for his song 'Bound'. I was a producer on the video and got to hear this and other songs of Joe's while on the shoot. I knew right off the bat that he had talent, but I was impressed with his skill as a guitarist and the care he took with the lyrics of his song, that they came from the heart and had sensitivity to them. That the songs rocked out anyway were a big plus. I had been also at this time working out what songs to use for my feature film 'Green Eyes', and was having trouble with a song that would take the place over a love scene (nothing explicit but tender and stark, a dark scene but with a bluesy feel). I realized Joe was the guy to do it, and after some back and forth on some ideas, and a few demos, he came up with a wonderful song called 'Passion in the Darkest Places'. I couldn't be happier how the experience turned out, and it added something extra to the film I didn't expect as truly soulful. You need that with the blues." - Jack Gattanella, Writer/Director of Green Eyes
"Joe Mifsud has been one of my longest collaborators. I have had the pleasure of working with him on numerous projects. In the summer of 2006, we shot two music videos together, in locations around the northern New Jersey area as well as down in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Following that, Mifsud acted in my first short film, Brothers of Freedom, and created an entirely original soundtrack for the movie. After a few sessions of sit downs, telling him what I wanted, Mifsud crafted something that helped give the film an aesthetic tone. After realizing that we could work with one another and challenge each other creatively, Mifsud and I worked on two more films together, the last one being Seeking Nirvana, where he contributed two of his songs. “Helpless,” which is played near the very end of the film, helped the scenes I matched it with resonate with audiences. In short, Joe Mifsud is a multi-talented artist who I will always back and vouch for. He’s got an ear for music and a talent for writing lyrics that I don’t see in most." - Professor Billy Tooma - Author, Filmmaker, Published Poet