With all the work he has done with so many amazing artists it would be an understatement to call Andrew Joslyn a staple in the Seattle music community. After sitting down with him recently and hearing his story the case could easily be made that he is the hardest working musician around these parts, a title he would of course never claim.
His path has taken him from studying classical music at Western Washington University to performing in front of millions on television. If you take the time to really look at it, the last few years have been a pretty incredible ride for Joslyn.
“I’m an avid serial collaborator,” he said. And it’s true.
The list of people Joslyn and his Passenger String Quartet have worked with is pretty incredible. Artists like David Bazan, Kris Orlowski, Sol, Lerin Herzer, Craft Spells, Susy Sun and so many more than we could possibly name here.
Most famously Joslyn is responsible for the string arrangements for Macklemore and Ryan Lewis on their breakout record The Heist. A collaboration that took Joslyn all over the world, including a performance at the Grammys (that probably made you cry a little bit if you’re being honest) with Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, Mary Lambert and Madonna.
“I started working with Ben (Macklemore) in 2008 when we met through a mutual friend,” Joslyn recalled of his relationship with Macklemore. “This was before Ryan Lewis got involved and Ben was actually playing keys at this point.”
“I knew it was going to be a good album because it was such a good energy. I was volunteering and putting in a lot of time and I think everyone felt like it was something bigger than ourselves,” he said of his work on The Heist.
After what seems like years of constant touring all over the world with some of the most well known artists today, Joslyn is ready to go in a different direction in 2015.
“I have been collaborating for so long I feel like this is the year I need to write my own stuff. I want to finally say something that is my own voice … Lyrically, arrangements, scores, the works. I have a lot to say. Being a collaborator is great, but you’re always waiting for the next phone call.”
Joslyn’s plan is to write an album with the Passenger String Quartet as his band and invite guest vocalists in to sing his songs. He has five songs already written and other than his March tour with Judy Collins and some one-off shows with the Passenger String Quartet he has intentionally left a lot of his time open to work on the new project.
There is no word yet on when the new Andrew Joslyn project will be ready for our ears, but considering how hard he has worked on everything else he has had a hand in I think it is safe to expect the finished product to be pretty darn good and likely feature vocals from some people you’ve heard of.
Now, it’s time to shift gears a little bit. Everything above this was written back in December when I sat down to chat with Andrew. Shortly after our conversation he was away on vacation with his girlfriend and fellow Seattle musician Susy Sun in California. On their way home they were informed that their apartment caught fire and they lost pretty much everything, including their beloved cat. This tragedy was obviously not a start to 2015 that either of them could have possibly imagined.
After receiving some disappointing news from their insurance company the couple decided to start a Go Fund Me campaign to help raise money to cover everything their insurance policy couldn’t. At this point they have raised $17,500 and are about $2,500 short of their goal.
In addition to their online campaign, there will also be a benefit show this Sunday night at the Tractor Tavern. The show is being present by Artist Home Booking and Seattle Living Room Shows and will feature music from Shelby Earl, Mikey &Matty, Kevin Long and many more. Tickets are $15. Don’t miss this chance to come out and support Andrew and Susy, enjoy some great music and see how the Seattle music community takes care of their own.