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Virginia Tech basketball commit spends free time producing music

Virginia Tech basketball commit spend free time producing music
He hasn't yet graduated high school, but Monacan's Joe Bamisile already knows how to make the most out of his time.
Posted at 11:46 PM, May 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-04 14:57:59-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. - He hasn't yet graduated high school, but Monacan's Joe Bamisile already knows how to make the most out of his time.

Bamisile has been around basketball since age two, and despite a lack of early success against his brothers, found a way to stick with the game.

"They are six or seven years older than me, so I would lose all the time. For the first 10 years of my life, I was a loser and I think that made me work really hard because I don't want to keep losing," Bamisile said.

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Even with the familial pounding he took in his own backyard, basketball was the only sport he wanted to play.
But not for a lack of at least trying all the others.

"I played flag football when I was 8 and got tackled and quit. I got hit in the head with a baseball. Every other sport causes coordination that's weird because my legs are half my body and my arms are 7'2" so it just made sense."

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Bamisile played just one year for the Chiefs, but as a junior averaged nearly 29 points per game, was named first team all region and all state and earned a handful of college scholarship offers.

He then sat out his entire senior year.

"It was hard before, not during. Beforehand, I was looking forward to it. But I scheduled my surgery to be three days before the first game so I couldn't even be tempted to play."

Bamisile had a nagging cartilage injury repaired before his senior season. He had already committed to Virginia Tech and would rather have a great freshman season in college than a great senior season in high school.

So his senior year was spent rehabbing - and recording music in his bedroom studio.

For the last few years, Bamisile has been composing music under the stage name Phouelisi. He began making beats at the age of 12, but in the last couple of years has graduated to producing full songs.

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"After I got around 16 or 17, I started spending time on layering and how things can collide and come together to make an even broader sound," Bamisile said.

He listed his influenced as Aries, Still Woozy and Drake, but said that he also takes a bit of inspiration from a more unique source

"I listen to a lot of Japanese rock. It's good stuff."

"Whenever I show people, they laugh. But that just tells me that they're in a box. They can only listen to what they listen to because society accepts what they listen to," he explained.

On a good day, Bamisile can create a song in 3 hours. He has followers on Spotify and other social media platforms from as far away as Brazil and Thailand.

His unique stage name is his way of connecting with his listeners.

"The Pho is from Joseph. The Elisi is from my last name, Bamisile. I picked the back half of my name because my music is a different side of myself. The U is what connects the listener to me. Without 'U' the listener, I wouldn't be the artist."

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Bamisile figures that he composed more than 30 songs while rehabbing his knee during his senior year, and created parts for 30 others. There are not many moments during the day when he's not making the most of his available time.

"I meditate every single day for an hour, write poetry every single day, have a thought journal, have a quote of the day book."

"We live one life, and I feel that if you don't get as much as you can out of it instead of being tightly knit to your community, tightly knit to where you grew up, I feel like then you're taking away the chance to find out who you really are."

You can find Phouelisi's music on Spotify, Apple Music, Youtube, TikTok, and IHeartRadio.