By Tim Helsin
In it's 11th year, the New England Music Seminar has grown into the premier north eastern must-attend A-List industry event. Put on annually by world famous music space veteran June Archer & sponsors like Digiwaxx and more, the one day event features some of the biggest producers in the world of hiphop & pop music, Grammy winning artists and songwriters, world renowned musicians and the who's who of the entertainment industry under one roof. As the event expands to all realms of the entertainment space, hang another name on the mantle- Creative Director Joey A.X.
The New Haven CT native cuts somewhat of a mysterious figure but his work has been everywhere in the past few years. Brands ranging from Puma to Def Jam have tapped him to create everything from entire fashion and footwear collections to album art for some of the biggest rappers and singers in the industry and his signature "punktrap pop art" style has been knocked off by just as many. "I see pieces of me and my style everywhere" says A.X from his New Haven studio with a smirk. "I used to get mad, I'm just flattered now."
The 34 year old started his career in the music space, and in many ways, his NEMS panelist tap is poetic justice. He attended the first ever NEMS and met the iconic Archer in 2011- striking up a mentorship and friendship back when no one knew who A.X was or what he would grow into.
"I saw something special in Joey back then that very, very few have. A visionary tenacity and fearless creativity to march to his own beat and blend different mediums of art to really tell a story. That's very rare someone would have all the skill sets, vision and work ethic to make what he does happen."
While A.X spends much of his time at his Flatiron Studio in NYC, he is proudly a native son of the Elm City. and is often inspired in all of his work by the city itself. "New Haven is one of the most incredibly unique, beautiful, gritty and narrative heavy metros in the world." says A.X. "How could it not influence me?"
"One block from the most prestigeous university on earth is the second highest murder rate strip lurking. Juxtaposition makes great narrative, narrative makes great art. All art is is the lie that tells you the truth." He goes on to say.
You can view his work at www.joeyax.com. The NEMS event kicks off at noon at The Bushnell Theater in Hartford CT on Saturday Oct 1.
"In 2011, I went to the second run of the esteemed New England Music Seminar. It was one of those days you just don't forget in life. Surrounded by A-List producers, Grammy winners, men and women with resumes you'd kill for filled the venue. It was legit the who's who of the music industry at that time.
I met the man behind the event, June Archer, whose career transcended music into the arts, tech and culture, and I don't know what it was he saw in me, but he became a mentor and big brother figure to me.
Fast forward a DECADE later and this happens.
Never fucking quit. Never compromise.
Thank you June Archer the GOAT for making one of a bad ass little creative kid's dreams come true.
God is good."
Facebook Post, Sept 25 2022