*All photos courtesy of and provided by Eddie “Joe Coffee” Williams
Most people do not associate reggae music with Australia. With New Zealand being in such close proximity to the country, it did not surprise us that reggae’s popularity has gained strength in Australia as well (as you have learned in our previous articles reggae is extremely popular in New Zealand). The newest artist to make waves in the Polynesian scene is Eddie “Joe Coffee” Williams. This Australian lover’s rock crooner serenades his listeners with his smooth R&B vocals and romantic lyrics. His bright melodies and uplifting rhythms evoke emotions of elation and relaxation that can alleviate anyone’s anxieties. His latest hits “Why Would You Do That”, “No One” and “For You” have all gathered thousands of YouTube views. Recently, we had the pleasure to interview Joe Coffee to discuss the Polynesian reggae movement, his songwriting process, musical influences and much more!
How did reggae music become so popular in Australia?
As more and more Polynesians are migrating to Australia, the demand for reggae music has grown and there is more appreciation for it. The style of music reminds people of home and where they came from including countries like New Zealand, Hawaii, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga.
The Polynesian reggae movement has grown strong over the past few years. Artists like J Boog, Common Kings, Sons of Zion and many others from the Pacific coast have been very successful. What makes Polynesian reggae different from other styles of reggae from other regions?
I don’t see that there is a huge difference between Polynesian reggae and other reggae styles. However, Polynesian reggae seems to be able to take sad lyrics and create a positive vibe in the song.
How would you best describe your signature sound?
I would describe my sound as smooth soul.
What’s your song writing process like?
I like to create a chord structure to begin with; this gives me a foundation to start on. Then, I will write the whole song beginning with a verse, pre-chorus, chorus, verse 2, pre-chorus, bridge and ending with the final chorus.
Who inspired you to become a reggae artist?
I don’t actually define myself as only a reggae artist, I like my music to reflect all different genres. This gives me a diverse audience, which allows me to be creative with my music. My reggae style definitely comes from artists I’ve grown up listening to such as, Fat Freddy’s Drop, The Black Seeds, Sons of Zion, Common Kings, Spawn Breezie, Katchafire, J-Boog, Brownhill, Fiji, and Herbs.
Which contemporary artists are you listening to right now?
Artists like Sammy J, Sammielz, 501 Band, Sioasi, Common Kings, Fiji, Spawn Breezie, Brownhill, and Paua.
Which artists would you like to work with in the future?
Definitely Sammy J, Brownhill, Fiji, Sammielz, John Legend, John Mayer, Jack Johnson, Ed Sheeran, Sampha, Sam Smith, and Kwabs.
Do you have any upcoming singles or albums?
I’ve just finished recording and finishing my video clip to my latest single, “Why Would You Do That”. I’m working on a few other singles that are to be released later in the year, such as “Sweet Lullaby” and “Love Me, Hate Me”.
Where can your fans see you perform live?
At the moment I am just performing at local gigs and restaurant venues. I am still working on getting my name out there, so it’s all a process. I update my Facebook page as to where and when I am performing on weekends.
Is there anything else you would like people to know?
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