Joseph Aranza’s song catches eye, ear of Nashville
By Dominick Cross • Photos by Robin May

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

LivingIND1A couple of weeks ago, Joseph Aranza was just another Lafayette dude with a guitar and a knack for writing and singing his own songs. In just over a week, Aranza will be at a Nashville showcase playing three of his songs that could put him on the road, literally, doing his own music thing.

About nine months ago, Joseph Aranza’s “When I Was Young” got about 300 views on YouTube. “Nothing crazy at all,” he says. In time, that would change. Two weeks ago, his song “Wild” went viral on YouTube.

In the first two days, “Wild” got 10,000 views; two or three days later it had 400,000 views. And by last Wednesday the views hit 650,000. “It blew up,” says Aranza, who is quick to give credit where it’s due: his brother Jacob Thomas Aranza, a Nashville musician who goes by Jacob Thomas.

“My brother plays piano with Sonia Leigh and Zac Brown,” Joseph says. Thomas then got musicians in both bands to Tweet about the video. “It got a lot of love from a lot of people.”

LivingIND2The “Wild” video was filmed by Aaron Moore and produced at Little House Productions in Baton Rouge by Brian Beyt. Recording and filming was done at the studio and then Beyts put it all together. Joseph Aranza sings and plays electric and acoustic guitars, Beyt does the piano work, and Stephen Theriot hit the cans.

A newly minted 21-year-old, Aranza says he got serious about music at 14 and started recording a couple of years ago at his home. “I was just doing my stuff in my house. I had my own little set-up,” he says. “Then I heard about Little House and their stuff sounded really good, really professional.”

And it shows in the video on YouTube.

“It’s crazy. It’s crazy,” says Aranza, adding that he’s since heard from some major record labels including Sony and Universal, as well as management companies. Interviews with area media are under way, and “Wild” also got some airtime on local commercial radio. “I just heard myself on the radio yesterday. It was pretty crazy. It’s awesome,” he says. “It’s definitely been a very unique experience.”

LivingIND3Technology has enabled musicians to go out on their own these days, and Aranza knows this. But before he decides which direction he’ll take, he has some opportunities to check out, beginning with a music showcase July 11 in Nashville.

Before the music starts, Aranza has a few meetings to attend and some practice time with the band. “Based on what happens, I’m going to come home and weigh out my options,” he says.

Aranza sings at Our Savior’s Church in Lafayette, where he is also the worship leader and music director. The non-denominational church has about 3,000 members and is led by his father, Jacob Aranza. “My dad is 100 percent behind me and supported me throughout this whole thing,” the musician says. “So it’s been really good to have that support.”

Unlike his older brother, Aranza did not gig around Lafayette or the area. “That’s what’s crazy about it,” he says. “I just put up the video, and it went viral. It was nuts. It’s been a huge blessing because I kind of had to skip that whole process of playing around in a bunch of bars and just playing everywhere trying to get my name out there.

“It’s like I put out a video and it did all the work for me,” he says.

Aranza is working with Beyt on co-writing material in the pop country genre. He hopes to have a few singles down before he leaves for Nashville.


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