We had the good fortune of connecting with Joseph Lopodi Gaza and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Joseph Lopodi, why did you pursue a creative career?
I’ve always been in love with the part of me that enjoys entertaining. From a young age, I had the ability and the talent to perform whenever I was given a platform. So when it came to deciding what kind of career I would build for myself as I got older. I realized that being an artist and a creative is what I was meant to do. With so many icons from the generation I grew up in like; Michael Jackson, Usher, Jay-Z, Kanye, Brandy, Denzel, Will Smith, Akon etc. I felt I had all the right masters and teachers to help me go the distance. And coming from Africa I knew I would have a long way to go, but I was ready to walk that journey. Funny enough today I’m in Los Angeles about to join the major leagues where they’re all playing in .
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Being an African in the entertainment world, you always enter a room or performance space with the public having a certain expectation/stereotype of what you’re going to bring to the table. The most powerful thing about me ever since my talents as an artist have been recognized, is that my presence is universal no matter where I go.
It excites me, because the audience stays attentive to the message I bring with me whenever I perform. Which is the impact every artist wants to have on their audience. That way they walk away with a truthful peace of you after every encounter. I got where I am today working on my skills as a performer; Singing, Acting, Dancing, Writing, Producing. Its been 5 years of hard work and adjusting to make the performances effortless and have the messages within them come out more clearer. From my BFA through to my MFA, every lesson was and is still worth it. As well as workshops and all the industry experience I’ve gained along the way.
The legacy I want to leave is for everyone but most importantly for blacks kids in Africa who are growing up as immigrants like I did. It really doesn’t matter where you are from, so long as you work on who you are and who you want to be. Focus on where you’re going and have faith in God and the efforts you put into your work. Never stop working and believing!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The best places for me to be in Los Angeles when it comes to relaxing is the movies. I would love to take more friends with me to the Chinese Theatre or AMC theaters to watch the new films coming out these days. Though there are more relaxing spots like Venice and Malibu Beach in the evening. Or If I’m really in the mood to party then, I’d definitely be at the Sky Bar on Sunset Boulevard for a vibe.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
As much as my music spoke in volumes for me when I was freelancing in Cape Town, South Africa. The biggest returns I got from being an artist came from my time working with my first manager ‘Judy Phillips'(JPM). She helped me reach opportunities I would’ve never been aware of just talking to the average artist. And she helped me land my first roles working in films and television for Netflix and BBC on a lot of great projects.
As well as ‘Elsubie Verlinden’ and her company ’33 and Me Talent Agency’ who gave me the IATS platform which helped me transport my talents and crazy career ambitions to Los Angeles. I’ll be with them again in July for the IMTA 2022 competition in New York. I thought I was working hard before, though now that I’m in studio with great names in the industry like ‘Shawn Barron'(Motown), and looking at Hollywood Red Carpets roll out 10 feet in front of me. I feel the real work is only beginning.
I really appreciate my family and all the beautiful people that have supported my career ever since I started. I have a lot more projects for you to enjoy in the coming years. We’ve only gotten started!
I’m looking forward to diving back in the action once I graduate from the New York Film Academy with my MFA Degree this years.
Other: IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm11762252/
Headshots by: Babajide Kolawole