Q&A Scene: JOEL TURNER

Tell us about your new single Mullet?

Mullet is a comedy rap track about Mullets. I wanted to write a mullet anthem because no haircut has copped more crap or controversy over the years than the mullet. I noticed that everyone from kids to adults, to celebrities and athletes were rocking mullets so it was the right time to bring out a track like this. 

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

These Kids and Lady from my first album

How would you describe your sound in food form and why?

Mixed Paella because my music a mixture of what I’m feeling at the time. Could have rock guitar or Latin style, blues, funk etc….

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

When I was performing a gig in front of a large crowd but they had 1 sound guy between 3 stages so we had no fold back. That was a challenging moment for me because the sound was hitting my ears half a second late and a semitone out of pitch but we still managed to pull off a good show.

What, or who, inspires you?

I get inspired by learning new things that I can use in my tracks. There’s always room for growth 

Which song do you wish you wrote?

Breezin by George Benson 

What’s next for you?

I’ve got more music on the way and can’t wait to perform and share my craft with people

What’s your scene?

I’m not boxed in to one scene because my style is versatile. I have a hiphop/street cypher background as a beatboxer but also enjoy and can appreciate many forms of live music. 

Hold onto your hair and your hats, Aussie singer-songwriter and beatbox extraordinaire Joel Turner is back with his first new material in well over a decade; and he’s celebrating the iconic mullet itself with a brand new track Mullet out now featuring Macca the Rappa.

Mullet fuses comedy, rap and an undeniable Aussie spirit with guest vocalist Macca the Rappa firing off mullet-friendly lyrics like, “I’m going back to Queensland / Yeah, XXXX is my brand” alongside some 90s hip hop elements and driving beatboxing from Joel himself. Recorded with MC Preech with mixing by Steve Scanlon, Mullet re-announces Joel and his skills that first turned heads as the surprise standout of Australian Idol’s inaugural season back in 2003 in fun and tongue-in-cheek fashion. Of the inspiration to pen an ode to the hairstyle dubbed “business up front, party down the back”, Joel shares, “We’ve had this idea for a while now, but it felt like the right time to bring the song out since mullets have made a comeback. We kept noticing that heaps of everyone from kids to adults to celebrities and even athletes were rockin’ mullets, so we thought: it’s time.”

The accompanying music video for Mullet found both Joel and Macca the Rappa working alongside Peter Stagg of Stagg Productions to bring the pair’s larger than life narrative to mullet-worthy fruition. Featuring young dynamos Sun-Son and Maxim stealing the show in co-starring roles, Mullet’s video largely showcases the two young stars miming along and rocking their own mullets, while Joel and Macca do what they do best: beatboxing, repping “Bring Back The Mullet” tees and rocking mullet wigs while paying momentary visual homage to Queen. As to who the ultimate brainchild was behind the hilarious clip? “Macca the Rappa wrote the overall storyboard, “ Joel reveals. “And I had some ideas along the way like the over-the-top eccentric barber”.

Having been immersed in the creative arts and songwriting since first playing guitar and drums as a child, Joel, brother Tim and cousin Chris Heiner began performing together under the moniker Modern Day Poets, with the group soon changing their name to Joel Turner and the Modern Day Poets to capitalise on Turner’s runaway success following his Australian Idol appearance in its debut season. And it was on the very Australian Idol stage that Joel first caught the eyes and ears of one man in particular: none other than the touchdown king himself, Mark Holden, and it’s a relationship that has only blossomed over nearly two decades, with Mark also a key driving factor behind the long-awaited release of Mullet. “Joel Turner was the surprise breakout of Australian Idol’s first season. The whole country fell in love with Joel’s extraordinary talent,” shares Mark. “A singing show launched a beatboxer! When the dust settled, I followed up and discovered not only an exceptional beatboxer but a writer, producer, singer and brilliant guitar player. Joel played me a stunning song called Change he wrote, produced, played guitar on, sang, and beatboxed. I then asked whatever happened to that song Mullet? Back in 2005 it was going to be the next single. ‘Nothing,’ was the reply. So, Dream Dealers signed those two songs and here we are. It’s great to be back in the music business after twelve years as a barrister. It feels really good working with Joel again. He’s got such a beautiful soul and is a singular talent”.

Signing to Mark’s label Dream Dealers, Joel and the Modern Day Poets’ double Platinum single These Kids swooped in at #1 on the ARIA singles charts upon release in 2004, with the group’s Gold-certified, self-titled debut album releasing that same year, while Joel also toured alongside some of the best beatboxers in the world. From entirely humble beginnings to primetime and now, as of 2022, returning to doing what he loves best, Joel is ready to share his passion and creative exploration with the world, as he concludes, “I got into beatboxing when I couldn’t afford a drum kit so I started making the noises with my mouth on the bus or at home or wherever I was. My older brother and cousin were already rapping from a young age so I started beatboxing on songs we wrote together. That’s how the Modern Day Poets were born. I have more music coming out after Mullet, and I’ll be playing guitar, bass and beatboxing just like people remember. And you might even hear Modern Day Poets on some upcoming tracks…”.

Fans of both Joel and literal mullets can catch the new track Mullet, as well as an array of his earlier works, on full display on Saturday August 20, with Joel appearing live at Mulletfest in Dubbo. From its first ever event back in 2018, Mulletfest has grown into an internationally acclaimed affair, celebrating the lifestyle of the mullet in all its glory, while also raising money for the Mark Hughes Foundation for research and care for those who have been diagnosed with brain cancer.

With an Australian Idol reboot slated to return to screens in the next 12 months, after a decade of being off-air, which also coincidentally marks nearly the exact amount of time between new releases for Joel, Mark Holden himself couldn’t speak higher of the beatboxing wunderkind that stole the show back on 2003 alongside the likes of Guy Sebastian, Shannon Noll, Paulini and countless other Aussie household names. Perfectly summed up by Mark: “Australian Idol 2022 should be so lucky to find a singer let alone a writer, producer, guitar player like Joel who also happens to be a world beatbox champion”.

 

Mullet feat. Macca the Rappa is out now!

About Mary Boukouvalas 1481 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.

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