Q&A Scene: Joel Sena

Tell us about your new single/ album/ tour?

I’m on the cusp of releasing my debut self titled EP. It’s been a long time coming and I’m really excited to share music that’s really important to me. Strong sax drenched melodies, infectious grooves and honest songwriting are the defining aspects of my music. The EP has both fully instrumental and vocal tunes. All of the songs have a lot of meaning for me and I hope that people can relate to that. It’s an exploration of Soul, Funk, Jazz and R&B.

What’s your favourite work at this point in time?

At this point, my debut EP is the only work I’ve completed and I’m really happy with it. I had an awesome team of musicians, sound engineers and press working on this release and the results have been great. I was able to make music that I’m passionate about. It has been a great first step in a really exciting time.

Tell us a quick, on the road or studio, anecdote.

The first session I did for this EP was funny – the drummer had a broken hand and the bass player had a broken foot! Regardless they turned up well and truly on time and played incredibly. You know you’ve got the right people on your team when they’re that committed!

What, or who, inspires you?

I’m inspired by people that pour energy into mastering their craft whatever that may be. I’ve been particularly inspired by great saxophonists like Michael Brecker and Kenny Garrett. I’m also really inspired by science and psychology and am always reading up about those disciplines.

Which song do you wish you wrote?

Anything by Stevie Wonder – I think he’s an incredible songwriter. If I had to choose one – “That Girl”.

What’s next for you?

In 2017 I plan to return to the studio and record another album. I also have plans for regular live performances and plenty of online content. It’s going to be a busy year!

What’s your scene?

My scene is somewhat of a small one in Sydney – the contemporary soul scene. There are only an handful of bands playing that type of music. Even less with a focus on improvisation and live spontaneity. It’s definitely a niche, but people are really craving to see more high level musicianship regularly around Sydney.


Sax drenched melodies, infectious grooves and emotive songwriting is the heart of Joel Sena’s soul music.Hailing from Sydney, Joel comes from humble beginnings. After studying a Bachelor of Music he went on to become one of Sydney’s most in-demand saxophonists. Joel has graced a slew of iconic venues with both national and international artists.

After a solid few years playing as a sideman, it was time for Joel to step out into the spotlight. Having written his first song at age 12, his upcoming debut EP has been long awaited. The project draws inspiration from an eclectic array of influences from Kenny Garrett to Robert Glasper. His music is a compelling and raw fusion of Soul, R&B and Jazz. It features his compelling saxophone style alongside some beautifully crafted songs and modern production. Also featured on the EP are the sultry vocals of up and coming singer Phoebe Papatheodorou.

The future’s looking bright for the budding producer and saxophonist with his debut self titled EP approaching completion. Alongside this release are plans for live performances. Joel plans to get back in the studio and follow up with more music in 2017.

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About Mary Boukouvalas 1576 Articles
Mary is a photographer and a writer, specialising in music. She runs Rocklust.com where she endeavours to capture the passion of music in her photos whether it's live music photography, promotional band photos or portraits. She has photographed The Rolling Stones, KISS, Iggy Pop, AC/DC, Patti Smith, Joe Strummer, PULP, The Cult, The Damned, The Cure, Ian Brown, Interpol, MUDHONEY, The MELVINS, The Living End, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against The Machine, The Stone Roses –just to name a few - in Australia, USA, Europe and the Middle East. Her work has been published in Beat magazine, Rolling Stone magazine, Triple J magazine, The Age Newspaper, The Herald Sun, The Australian, Neos Kosmos, blistering.com, theaureview.com, noise11.com, music-news.com. She has a permanent photographic exhibition at The Corner Hotel in Richmond, Victoria Australia.