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Interviewed & Written By: Jewels Alexandria

(5 Minute Read)

You can tell how devoted someone is to their work by how often you hear or see them around your city. Open Mic's, show casings, or simply at events being held around town, their name may be mentioned. If you're lucky enough, you may catch a live performance. Underground Hip Hop is still a thing and Cleveland native, Joey Aich is proof if it. Taking advantage of every opportunity presented to him. For over a decade, Aich has put his all into his music and just this past March, he released a Deluxe to the the beloved Open Treehouse and The Juke Joint had the opportunity to sit down and discuss the project.

Rocking a yellow long sleeve tee with a treehouse emblem necklace and a smile that can light up  room, Joey explains that Jay Niceman produced about fifty percent of Open Treehouse. "He made Love Note, Rossi on the Deck, Among the Trees, Live On, Inside, he made a bunch of records." Who he works with as far as production depends upon what sound he is trying to achieve. He does not have just one person he goes to. Some other producers on Open Treehouse include, Jim City Nate, Unknown Phrases, Akko and Hype Williams on the track Rotation featuring Weswill. A lot of these producers are people he has waited his lifetime to work with.

Explain the title for Open Treehouse 

As he goes to explain the meaning, he displays the tree emblem worn around his neck. In 2017, before moving from Cleveland to Columbus, Joey released a project called, If Money Grew on Trees. Where he sits in a dead tree with no leaves feeling  like , "I have nothing." " A tree symbolizes growth, strength, shelter and shade. A tree is so useful and resourceful. Be a tree." With Open Treehouse, the leaves are filled and he has seen more of the world. "I'm traveling, being asked for features,doing my own tour. Things have changed, im bulding something here. The leaves are green now.

Why did you make a Deluxe?

Joey never planned to make a deluxe. Taking it back a little, Aich  states, "in 2019, I quit my job. I was working at a caIl center, I did not like it. It was a job to help me continue to make music." The passion he has for music can be so powerful. At a show in LA in July of 2019, he explains hopping fresh off a show and feeling so much joy from it he knew wanted to spend all his time making music. During this time he had started a few tracks for Open Treehouse. Rossi On Deck being one of them. March of 2020, Covid hits. "I didnt know what the fuck a pandemic was." All his plans for promoting Open Treehouse to be put on hold for the lock down. As far as shows. As the world started to open back up in 2021, songs he worked on during the 2020 lockdown became songs he wanted to release. Rather than release them as singles, he decided the people deserved a deluxe and well developed  one at that. Slowly, he worked his way to adding the songs we see today on the deluxe version. With the construction of the tree being complete.

"My top 5 'right now' are, Rossi on the Deck,
Brown Liquor,
Be Light,
Construction Is Wealth and

Do you consider your music motivational and motivates you?

"I think so. A lot of the time I write music with people in mind, but I also write it for myself." He thanks his friends and family around that inspire him and keep him grounded in what matters most to him. "How can I come to the table and be the one that's fucking up?" All his friends and family are goal oriented and he wants to impress them just as much as they impress him. 

What's Next for Joey Aich?

"Traveling and performing." Joey expresses how excited he is to be promoting Open Treehouse and to be performing with the likes of Big Freeda and other big household names. He strongly believes that just because he is from Ohio, it does not mean he cannot make it on a bigger scale. Yes, Columbus is not Chicago, New York or Nashville but he knows it is possible. "One of my missions is we gone make this shit happen, regardless." 

April 16, 2023

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