Community Creative: Joel Quinn

Joel Quinn is a local singer and guitarist. By the time he was 18, Joel had performed over 200 gigs and is now a regular act at several Melbourne venues. Joel collaborates with other musicians and band ensembles, covering diverse music genres. He also teaches modern guitar.

How do you describe your creative practice?
My creative practice involves singing and playing the guitar. I entertain people for a living by performing at pubs, bars, weddings, private and corporate functions. I perform popular songs in my own style and provide a lively vibe at all my gigs.

How did you get involved in this area of work?
I started playing guitar at the age of 6 and played my first paid gig at 13.I have been fortunate to sustain this line of work ever since.

What are you working on at the moment?I am constantly building my song repertoire as it is very important not to be stagnant in my field. Performing a variety of songs is something I pride myself on as I believe that the best musicians are the ones that can play any type of song or genre.

What does a typical day involve for you?
A typical day for me involves following up on upcoming gigs, organising and attending rehearsals, learning and practising new material and preparing for my students’ guitar lessons.  On gig day, I load up my car and head to my gig and do what I love best.

Has anyone or anything influenced your practice?
I have many influences when it comes to my music.  They include The Eagles, The Rolling Stones, the Bee Gees, Chuck Berry, Tom Petty and many more.  Many of the local musicians that I see and collaborate with have influenced me with my music too. 

What is the best thing about being an artist?
For me it’s about being able to make a living out of what I love to do. I don’t know any other life and can’t imagine life not being a musician. I feel most comfortable on stage and love the feed off my audience.

How do you define success in the arts?
Defining success in the arts really depends on what your perspective of success means. For me, I believe success is being able to constantly become a better performer/guitarist/singer every time I play.

How do you celebrate your successes?
I celebrate my successes with my family and friends who are always there to support me.  I also support my favourite charities.  It’s a way of giving back for all the opportunities I have had.

What advice would you give to an aspiring artist?
Set your mind on what you really want to do, whether that be writing music, recording or performing live and put in 100% effort. Be patient, consistent and work hard to build up a base for your brand.  The foundation of your brand is the most important and takes the longest to establish. 

Do you have a favourite artist or book?
My favourite song writers include the partnerships of Don Henley and Glenn Frey, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney and John Lennon. Others like Barry Gibb, James Taylor, Carole King and Tom Petty are also incredible song writers. I’ve read many biographies on artists, including Paul Kelly, Billy Joel and Keith Richards.

What would be your dream project?
My dream project would be to eventually record an album full of my own original material.

Where can we see more of your work?
My website, Facebook Page, Instagram or YouTube Channel… or come along to one of my public venue gigs.

Do you have any upcoming events at the library?
Yes, at the Diamond Valley Library Maker Space launch on Monday 17 September.

YPRL’s #CommunityCreatives social media project features local artists, writers, creators and makers each week. We’re on the lookout for inspiring stories, creative projects and upcoming events to profile. Visit for more information.

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