Arts, Central New York, Community, Feature, Music, Politics

Local musician looks to strike a chord in politics

By Marlee Tuskes SYRACUSE, NY (NCC News) — Joe Driscoll always knew he wanted to be a musician.

He said some of his earliest memories are of listening to The Beatles’ White Album.

Throughout middle school and high school, Driscoll picked up beat boxing after his friends encouraged to rap along to the likes of The Notorious B.I.G. and Nas.

“Beat boxing became a part of life, growing up in the environment I grew up in,” Driscoll said. “It’s how [my friends and I] used to pass the time when we were bored at the lunch table. One of us would beat box the others would try to freestyle and rhyme.”

Music became Driscoll’s full time job as he traveled across the world to perform.

He said one of the biggest highlights in his career was getting signed in England where he lived for 10 years while beat boxing for large crowds.

But he said it was a revolution that brought him back to Syracuse – Bernie Sanders’ revolution.

Last month Driscoll announced his bid for the fifth district of Syracuse’s Common Council.

“I’ve always been hyper-politically conscious. I was involved in a lot of activist movements throughout my life,” Driscoll said.

It was Sanders’ run in the 2016 presidential election, that encouraged Driscoll himself to run for political office locally.

He said it was Sanders message about getting involved and inciting change that inspired him to get a start in a political career.

“Put the shovel to the rubble, so to speak,” he said.

Driscoll said the topic of “outsiders” running political campaigns has been largely discussed lately, but he said not to rule him out just because he does’t have a typical political background.

Much of what he does as a musician, he said, shares similarities in the political field.

Many issues surrounding his platform — such as helping the environment and economic equality –are issues he saw while traveling to perform.

“I have a totally different perspective on things from being a musician but I think, surprisingly, a lot of the skill sets are relevant to the job,” Driscoll said.

Driscoll will be holding a campaign fundraiser at Funk ‘N Waffles on Feb. 16.