“Don’t try to fit any kind of mold. Be innovative and never lose the passion to create and make the world a better place.”

Check out the interview with Joe Szalinski exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.

Skilly: How were you able to start your journey in the entertainment business? Where did this all start?
Joe Szalinski:
I’ve been an artist/entertainer for as long as I can remember. Coming from a family of storytellers, I was able to hone my abilities to use language in novel ways and to perform. I’ve also recognized how much the art of others has improved my life, so it’s my hope that my own art can do the same for other people.

What are some of the creative ways you use to promote your music?
Social media is incredibly important. Typically I rely on Facebook to promote my music. Sometimes Twitter. Or people find me through Soundcloud or Bandcamp. I don’t really promote my stuff all too much, but if I’m promoting something that isn’t newly released, it’s usually tied into a memory or a particular time of year and I piggyback my promotion off of that.

What is the greatest challenge you face in today’s entertainment business? How do you overcome them?
Staying relevant and distinct. Not only does one have to sell him or herself well enough to make an impression and get noticed initially, but staying relevant amidst all of the emerging talent and established acts is a challenge too. Consumers have more of a choice and they want artists who they can relate to, but who also represent their interests.

How is the music scene like in your hometown? What do you like about it and what don’t you like?
Pittsburgh is only becoming more and more hospitable for up and coming artists. We’ve always fostered an art-friendly environment, but recently everything has become insanely accessible. I have no legitimate gripes, but I guess I’d say how for granted a lot of opportunities are taken.

Where do you think the future of music is going to be? How do you feel artists can be more a part of it?
Music, and all other art, is only going to become more accessible and appreciated. People, uniformly, are starting to appreciate innovation a lot more. As long as artists foster the passion and drive that got them into the game, they will find ways to make a living at it and make a name for themselves.

What advice can you give to other upcoming artists and musicians trying to achieve success?
Maintain personal convictions and honesty. There’s only one you. That’s what makes art unique and interesting, the personality imbued by the artist. Don’t try to fit any kind of mold. Be innovative and never lose the passion to create and make the world a better place.

What inspires you to write your next song?
Depends on what’s going on in my life. Some songs are based off of personal things, while other songs are a bit more topical. More often than not, it’s listening to music and reading and being exposed to the art of others that makes me want to push myself and continue making new stuff.

What are the steps you take to make a song?
Usually I get some ideas written down. Then I curate the rhymes I feel are similar, thematically, and I incorporate them into a larger piece whereupon I use appropriate transitions and segues to make it all flow more naturally. Other times I have an idea and don’t stop writing until the whole thing is written out, and then I edit and revise it.

What do you think makes a great song?
Passion and honesty. That’s the same for any sort of art actually. Art shouldn’t be forced or something adulterated and gross. It’s not finance. Art has vitality. It has life; it has a fucking pulse. Passion is paramount. And it’s always great to see artists excited over being able to create art. If you’re not in it for that, and to only get better, then get out.

Where can we connect with you? Can you give us your social media links and where we can contact you?
Official website: www.ideapod.com/TruFalseProphet
Bandcamp: www.joeszalinski.bandcamp.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/joseph.szalinski
Twitter: www.twitter.com/joeszalinski