OSU student and musician Joey Biesiada celebrates his success on Spotify and in the music community.
By Josie Stewart, ’21 and Ayah Elsheikh, ’20
In 2019, Joey Biesiada celebrated over one million streams of his music on Spotify. Although he could be considered a new and upcoming artist by his followers, Biesiada is mainly a college student at OSU whose music career has slowly grown since middle school.
At a young age, Biesiada received his first guitar after being inspired by another friend.
“[My friend was playing the guitar] and it was great, so I was like ‘Cool, I want to try to do that’ and [he said] ‘Okay. We need to make a band.’” Biesiada said.
After this, he became a traveling member from one band to the next during high school at Westerville Central. It wasn’t until starting college that Biesiada found himself alone with his music.
“After high school was over, I was just kind of writing music and had a couple of songs that I [felt good about]. So I asked a buddy of mine who recorded music if he would track [my three songs],” he said. ‘So, I started working with him.”
This partnership soon developed into an impressive collaboration between Biesiada and his producer, also named Joey, until the two released “Seafoam” and “Pale Ash” as singles in 2017 and 2016, respectively under the name LAVE.
In the band’s list of work on Spotify, each title involves a type or shade of color which Biesiada wanted to incorporate into the name. After discussing it with roommates and friends, he decided on LAVE: a shortened version of lavender.
“It just worked,” Biesiada said. “Short and sweet, you know. The word means ‘to wash and cleanse,’ so it just felt right at the time.”
Soon after the name was adopted, the theme continued with his most recent songs including “Freezing Blue,” his most popular song, “Washed Wine,” and his Instagram handle made @thecolorlave.
Biesiada continued working with his co-member, sharing ideas, chord structures and tracks with one another to produce about four separate singles.
“Most of the time, I’ll just bring in an idea, and then we just keep adding to it,” he said. “It might just be chords, voice and then I’ll say ‘Cool, here’s this.’ We’ll track the chords, might track vocals and then we just fill in around it. So we might add synths or guitars or drums: just building off of each other’s skills.”
Now, Biesiada works with Will Carlson after his past producer moved on to Chicago. Still, the two work as a collaboration and produce more singles, with bigger plans for the future.
“I’m a college student, so it’s hard to balance both [music and school] sometimes, just because you get really involved school and all that. I have songs, and we’ve been working on stuff. I think the only reason I’ve just done singles is because I get really particular,” Biesiada said. “I only want it to come out if I feel really good about it. Goals for the future: I’d love to play shows around here and put out media at some point.”
He has finished one song that will likely be released soon and has plans to work on an EP, but while Biesiada is a college student and a musician, he also is a research assistant for the College of Education and Human Ecology, as well as a caretaker for a man who suffered from a stroke two years ago.
School, though, remains his main focus with long-time goals to become a school psychologist a current path to graduate in fall of this year.
After Biesiada graduates, he believes he will follow where his music and career take him.
“If I get into a grad school program, that might take up more of my time,” he said. “I don’t want to stop doing [music] ever. I’d like to [focus more on music once I graduate]. It just depends. I don’t want it to be a hobby. I’m just trying to find a balance.”
Aside from education, Biesiada said that if his music career were to take off even more than it previously has or if a tour was offered, he would accept and put studying psychology to the side. But, this feeling is not foreign to him as he expresses that he did not think his first singles would get much of a response.
“It feels weird because the internet is so strange now that the numbers. [My music is] more popular than I thought it would be,” he said. “[When I put out Seafoam], it got reposted and was shared, and then I think within a couple of days it had like 10,000 plays. I [thought that was] amazing.”
The following year, he released “Washed Wine,” which became more popular and remains his most popular song on Spotify today.
“I think at that point, I had established a small following so it’s just easier to onto things,” he said. “I love Spotify. It’s a good platform for finding music in general. That’s where a majority of traction has been gained.”
Despite being almost a full-time student, Biesiada is compared to several other bands in Columbus such as 90’s Kids and Phangs.
“That’s what’s weird; since I’m a college student, and I just put the music out into the world, and it does [well at] similar levels [to these other bands],” Biesiada said. “I don’t feel as established just cause I’m not touring. That’s my only real motivation right now is that I just enjoy doing this so I put the music out.”
Aside from this comparison, LAVE has a different sound than most Columbus bands with a self-described “pop daze” genre, which Biesiada considers a mix of peppy, chillwave and a lot of inspiration from his favorite artists.
“I love The 1975. I love Foster the People. I love Bleachers. I love John Mayer,” Biesiada said. “It’s so song specific and I really like this piece of this band and this piece of this band. So I can really build my inspiration off of songs.”
Even with these plans and success stories, LAVE has yet to play any shows or release an EP due to Biesiada’s commitment to education. These shows, longer albums and larger following still remain in his future, though, and has been noticed by listeners far outside of Columbus.
“I am such a local artist. I don’t feel like a big thing,” he said. “You’re like ‘your popularity’ and I’m like ‘I don’t know.’ I’m literally just a college student at OSU who puts out music and it does okay online.”
Nonetheless, there are times when Biesiada is aware of his following, like when he was noticed by actress Abigail Breslin. This is one example of several of the standout moments in his career so far with much more to come.
“This project has just been really important for me and making music. I guess you could say that every person who makes music has their own experience with music and this has been the most important thing. The singles that have been out, there’s a moment when you realize that this is good,” he said. “There’s always a moment when you’re making a song and you know that this is right. [I had that] the first time the music started doing well on Spotify I was like ‘Holy crap. This is crazy.’”
If you’re interested in listening to LAVE or learning more about the band, visit the links below or their Instagram @thecolorlave.