gouda, a combination of the senses

A combination of the senses

Joey Heins is a current Drexel University music industry, and, in his words, more importantly a solo artist under the name ‘gouda’.

‘gouda’ is an identity project, as he also releases recipes and food photography, in addition to music. After releasing three experimental ‘prelude’ tracks, he has recently his debut single named after his cat, Marley, which can be streamed on Spotify and Soundcloud. This song in particular is about his experience with loneliness.

You can find all of his links, including social media, music, and website here


To begin, how have you been doing during this pandemic? Have you found inspiration/creativity in unexpected places? 

I’ve been tackling more and more of the problems that used to drive me crazy. It seems the rest of the world’s problems have been highlighted ever since this happened, especially our country. I think there is a correlation there – something as shocking as what’s happening now sheds a light on what’s going wrong. I think that has caused me to be more creative, in a different way. The upside to this is that I have always preferred writing and creating to socializing, so I am no stranger to being isolated.

However, I was going through some real mental health issues before this happened – I used to write to cope. Now it feels as if I’m writing and healing as I’m writing. I’m more confident, I never thought I would sing on a track and put it out there. I’ve always thought of myself as just an instrumentalist. I’ve always believed that creation holds endless possibility, now I’m putting that into action. 

Can you give us some info about your musical background?

My first musical memory is being absolutely obsessed with Lady Gaga’s “The Fame” & the soundtrack to “Wicked” when I was 4 or 5. I think it was how big and cinematic the melodies sounded. In my old band, Rusty Blue, I loved making hard rock riff-based songs, but ever since I discovered Tame Impala and Urlich Schnauss I have been into electronic music, more pop-oriented. Electronic music is where I find the most sonic possibility. I play everything on a four-string bass and a synthesizer. 

We have a mutual love of The Fame and Wicked! So, ‘gouda’ appears to be a delicious combination of the senses – taste, sight and sound. How did you come to create this project?

Going back to struggles, I had always dealt with depression by cooking and writing music. It was like a lifeline – I have a really addictive personality and had to learn the hard way how to channel that. I discovered that the best high was to perform, cook, and writing recipes and music. I’m definitely an introvert, but I have some burning need to put myself out there. I love showcasing what I’m passionate about.

What are your future plans/hopes?

I have so many ideas of things to work on, it’s more about organizing them. I’m planning on getting a podcast going this fall, and have been working on a certain kind of book related to cooking food that will be more of a work in progress. Most importantly, have plenty of songs to release throughout this year (& beyond) Be on the lookout this September.

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