“I don’t have to work in the summer.”
-Joseph Vincent (when he found out he won a million dollars on The Ellen Show)
ISSUE: Winter 2010
STORY: Janice Jann
On The Rise
When Joseph Vincent first performed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, he was nervous. If you watch the Youtube clip of the episode, you can see Vincent stepping onstage, his brown eyes scanning the audience in wide-eyed wonder, as if he can’t believe this is all happening. For a guy who regularly sings in front of more than 90,776 viewers, it may be surprising that he’s not used to that kind of attention. But it’s probably because those audience members are usually watching him on a computer screen.
Vincent may have risen to fame in 2007 when he started posting videos of his acoustic versions of Top 40’s on the video-sharing site, but the crooner prefers live performances. “[When] people see me on Youtube, I sing, boom, it’s done,” he says. “Onstage, they see me talk and say, ‘oh, I didn’t realize you were so funny or quirky.’ I get to be random.”
Vincent won DeGeneres’ heart (and $10,000 from her online talent competition) last summer and has since been signed with Plan C Management. The Filipino American singer is currently working on nailing down his sound. He counts Jason Mraz as a major inspiration. “That guy is just insane live. I hope to be on that level someday,” he says.
The level that Vincent is on is already impressive considering the 21-year-old only started playing the guitar when he was 15 and has never taken a singing or guitar lesson in his life. And it’s not likely that he’ll use his winnings to start either. When he learned that he had won the competition, his first reaction was, “I don’t have to work in the summer.”
Ironically, with a new CD in the works and gigs lined up across the country, it seems like Vincent will be working plenty in the new year. — Janice Jann
More stories from Audrey Magazine’s Archives here.
Joseph Vincent, 21, has been on our radar ever since the baby-faced crooner took the stage on “The Ellen Show” in an Ellen’s Wonderful Web of Wonderment competition. After battling with other young Youtube wonders for a month-long competition, Vincent was invited back a second time on the Emmy-winning daytime show and awarded a surprise $10,000 even though another contestant, 12-year old Greyson Chance, had already won the competition.
Talent aside, we wanted to get to know this Filipino music artist a little better. He’ll be featured in the Personalities section of the Winter 2010-11 issue of Audrey, but here’s a couple of Joseph Vincent facts to tide you over until the issue comes out early December. (Subscribe here.)
Started to play guitar to get the girls.
When I was 15, in Spanish class, this high school heartthrob who was a year older than me, went up in class with a guitar and started singing. I was like, that’s pretty cool. I want to do that.
Likes the fact that he’s never had taken a singing or guitar lesson ever in his life.
I think (taking lessons) would kill it. When I go in for recording sessions, producers usually are great musicians and I just pick it up from them. It’s a really good learning experience.
Curses. A lot.
I don’t really feel nervous posting up the videos. Except for this next one I’m about to post. It’s the f-u song with the cuss words by Ceelo. We put tracking and it sounds really nice but it might not be appropriate for a lot of the younger audiences. Especially after Ellen, people think you’re a sweet boy you shouldn’t tarnish your reputation. I do like it. I do curse but I don’t like to put it too much in my music. I think it’s a good song and the message is really funny. We decided to censor it though. It had too many curse words.
Is a Public Health Policy major at UC Irvine.
I also worked at a company that worked with autistic kids. I would probably go into that if music didn’t work out. Or nursing.
Didn’t get star-struck when he met Ellen (maybe a little)…
When I met Ellen, yea, it’s cool but if you keep the mentality that they’re just another person. And she is so cool despite her status or what not. Yea, she is so cool.
…But he did get star-struck when he saw Kobe.
I saw him at the Bluffs in Irvine. And I ran up to him with a sharpie and a hat. He was with his kids. I was like, “Kobe can you sign my hat?” And he was like, “uh it’s kind of hard right now.” So I said, okay! And I walked away. I was more nervous to talk to him than my first show. My heart was like, dum dum dum dum. I’ve never felt that before. Kobe’s so cool.
Is not the owner of the messy bed in his videos.
I do my videos and (my fans) keep complaining about my bed but it’s not my bed, it’s my roommates’ bed. They complain ‘cause it’s messy. My side is messier but I put his on camera. He hates it.
Can pass for being 14.
There were three other contestants in the segment and they were all 12 years old so I was looking at the pictures, 12… 12… 12… 20 year old! They were like, look at that old guy and a bunch of kids. But the funny thing was, after the second time, after I got out, people were like, you’re really good for being 14! I was like, I’m actually, um, 20. They thought I was really young.
Can’t touch the $10,000 he won on Ellen.
I put it in an account and I can’t touch it for 9 months. It’s a great idea. I didn’t want to touch it. If I were to touch it, it would be bad. I’d buy a house. (imitating father) No son, you can’t buy a house with that. What am I going to do with the money? Not sure. Live off of it? I bought a Mac though.
Photo credits to Carmen Chan.