Joseph Arthur (born September 28, 1971) is a musician, painter and poet born in Akron, Ohio. He’s been described by The Guardian as “a driven, visionary character…he might just be a genuine mad genius” and NPR Music as ““a ‘triple threat’ artist since the mid-’90s, bridging music, poetry and painting with prolific creativity and unyielding inventiveness.” Discovered by Peter Gabriel in the mid-90s, Joseph became the first artist signed to Peter’s Real World Records. “It has been great to watch his evolution,” says Gabriel. “Jo is a really unusual, interesting, and talented artist in music and art.”
In addition to touring a solo musician, Joseph exhibits his paintings worldwide. Arthur’s music has covered by Michael Stipe and Coldplay, and remixed by Justin Timberlake for the Hurricane Katrina benefit EP, In the Sun. He’s a member of RNDM with Jeff Ament and Fistful of Mercy with Ben Harper and Dhanni Harrison, and has released close to 30 solo albums and EPs, including Lou, a tribute to his friend Lou Reed and his most recent, The Family. “Jo is one of those rare writer-performers where you get the sense, whatever you believe, that something greater is being channeled through his music and voice,” says Michael Stipe. “It touches something very deep and universal.”
His artwork has graced the sleeves of his entire discography; the sleeve design for his 1999 extended play Vacancy was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Recording Package. He staged his first art exhibition in 2006 at the Vertigo Gallery in London, and released a 110-page book entitled We Almost Made It, a visual collection of his artworks, along with an accompanying instrumental CD titled The Invisible Parade in the same year. A new album The Family is scheduled to be released on June 3 2016 on True North Records in North America, and Real World in the rest of the world.