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Photo from The Retriever archives.

Sitting down with ThatOneEyedKid

After Teavolve’s open mic night in Baltimore on September 7, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Josh Friedman, the night’s featured artist, better known as ThatOneEyedKid.  Friedman has been a musician his entire life, playing piano starting at a young age. His music is best described as alternative-pop, and listeners can tell that everything he puts out comes from his heart.

For readers that don’t know your backstory, how did you choose the name ThatOneEyedKid?

When everyone was making AIM screen names, I went through a couple of them trying to find something really cool sounding.  I eventually made an account that was ThatOneEyedKid and liked it a lot and it just kind of stuck for everything else that I started to do online. Then, I just started putting up YouTube videos under that handle and started calling myself that in public. I just thought that ThatOneEyedKid stood out more than Josh Friedman.

I noticed on your YouTube channel you do a lot of covers.  What makes covering other artists’ music attractive to you?

Basically, what I started to put out for other people to see is just covers. I think when you’re a musician or an artist, you have a part that’s really personal and a part that other people can get really excited about. I would just love at Boston University when three drunk girls would be singing along to a bearded guy singing Katy Perry. Covers are a great way to have something to share with people.

I know you shot the video for “Hang Around” somewhere in Baltimore.  Were you actually naked when you were running down the streets? 

Yeah [laughs].  We did two shots where I was fully naked, and a third for coverage where I wasn’t.  It’s hard for me to know this about myself now, but it was really liberating. There’s something about running naked even when no one’s around, but just being naked in a place you’re not supposed to be makes you think that — this is just real.

You took part in something called, “The RPM Challenge” which consisted of creating an entire album in only one month.  How do you think it developed you as a musician?

There [are] a lot of ways [to] sit down and record a song, and [this process] sort of reminded me about starting from scratch entirely with all new ideas. Anything you are going to do creatively to show to people takes a lot of work and time and, you will never feel like anything is polished enough to release.

What is your favorite song off of your upcoming EP, “Always?”

It’s really changed from day to day.  The one I’m [most] excited about now, because it has changed the most over time, is “Siphon.” It has become this really cool, weird, beautiful thing. I really like seeing the maturity of it. It’s like the kid that has grown up the most.

What do you have planned for the future?

I’m trying to fully write and produce a song in just a week. I want to try and get 50 songs, and use five from that pool to do another EP.  I want to make more raw ingredients to funnel down from.  I think I’ve got a lot of new things to say, and I want to experiment with ways to capture that.  I think that 50 will be a gratuitous amount so, it’ll be some time before another EP is released.

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