Tyler Joseph performing with Twenty One Pilots in 2015
Tyler Robert Joseph
December 1, 1988
Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
|Labels||Fueled by Ramen|
Tyler Robert Joseph (born December 1, 1988) is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, musician, and record producer. He is best known as the frontman for the musical duo Twenty One Pilots. He also released a solo album titled No Phun Intended in 2008. As a member of Twenty One Pilots he has been nominated for six Grammy Awards, of which he has won one. He is characterized by his quirky personality and often dark, complex lyrical content within his songs.
Joseph was born in Columbus, Ohio, and grew up with two brothers, Zack and Jay Joseph (both of whom are musicians as well), and one sister named Madison Brett. His mother, Kelly Joseph (née Stryker), was a math teacher in the Olentangy school district before being named Olentangy Orange High School's basketball coach in 2013. His father, Christopher Anthony "Chris" Joseph is of Lebanese descent and was a coach at Worthington Christian High School from 1996 to 2005. He is also a former school principal.
Joseph played basketball from a very young age and went on to play point guard for Worthington Christian. In 2008, the varsity basketball team placed second in the Division IV state tournament. Future Twenty One Pilots bassist Nick Thomas also played on the same team with Joseph, the pair having performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" together at one of their games.
In 2007, Joseph began uploading short comedic skits and videos to a YouTube channel named "slushieguys". The channel currently has over 129 thousand subscribers as of February 2021, even though the channel hasn't uploaded any content since 2013.
After seeing a songwriter perform at a High Street club, he rejected an opportunity to play basketball at Otterbein University, along with a scholarship to the university. He began playing music after finding an old keyboard in his closet, a Christmas gift from his mother, and began to mimick various radio melodies. From around 2007 to 2008, Joseph recorded a solo album titled No Phun Intended in his basement. It was later revealed that Thomas contributed guitar to several songs on the album.
Among Joseph's first performances with Twenty One Pilots, he recounts that his mother would often stand outside of Ohio State University giving away tickets to his shows. "She'd be like, 'Come see my son play music'", Joseph says.
Twenty One Pilots
On December 29, 2009, they released their debut, self-titled album and began touring Ohio, followed by their second album, Regional at Best in 2011, which consisted only of Joseph and drummer Josh Dun.
Twenty One Pilots' third full-length album, Vessel, was released on January 8, 2013. They also embarked on a tour in support of the album, in which they named the "Quiet Is Violent World Tour".
On March 17, 2015, the band announced their fourth album's title, Blurryface, and unveiled its track listing and release date. The band's fans crashed their website attempting to pre-order the album. The band released their new single "Fairly Local" on the same day accompanied by its music video which premiered on the official Fueled by Ramen YouTube channel. The album was released on May 17, 2015, two days ahead of its intended release date. Joseph and drummer Josh Dun embarked on two international tours in 2015 and 2016: the Blurryface Tour and Emotional Roadshow World Tour.
At the 59th Annual Grammy Awards, the duo won the award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. On July 11, 2018, the band announced the release date of their fifth studio album, Trench, released on October 5, 2018. A new world tour, called The Bandito Tour, started on October 16, 2018 as well. On July 25, 2018, a music video for the song "Nico and the Niners" was released, as a second addition to a three part music video series, regarding Tyler Joseph's fictional city, "Dema". Both videos feature references to "Heavydirtysoul", a single off of the band's previous album, such as the repeated imagery of a burning car. The lyrics of "Nico and the Niners" also refer to "bishops", which is a recurring theme in the band's music. A 10-second snippet of the song "My Blood" was played at the end of a commercial for Trench during the 2018 VMAs on August 20. On August 27, 2018, a Twitter user leaked the full song onto his Twitter account in low quality, after they found that it could be played on their Apple HomePod. The leak was confirmed real when the band made the song available on streaming services later that day as the album's fourth single. The audio was uploaded onto YouTube on the same day, which shows singer Tyler Joseph in his home studio playing the song's bass line. A music video for the song was released on October 5, 2018, the day of the album's release.
On January 22, 2019, the music video for "Chlorine" was uploaded to YouTube upon the song's release as a single and was directed by Mark C. Eshleman of Reel Bear Media, featuring an alien-like creature named "Ned," created by Joseph.
On April 9, 2020, the band released a new single "Level of Concern". The song's lyrics reference the anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic, also, the accompanying music video for the track was filmed in Joseph and Dun's homes while they were under lockdown due to the U.S. state and local government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Joseph directed a portion of the song's proceeds to Crew Nation, a charity for live music crews who cannot be paid during the international quarantine.
On December 8, 2020, Twenty One Pilots released a Christmas song, titled "Christmas Saves the Year", during a Twitch livestream hosted by Joseph. Originally, Joseph was reluctant to write a Christmas song, although he said that he was inspired by the fact he was "experiencing Christmas through a little girl's perspective." The sound of the track was inspired by a musical instrument called the Mellotron.
Tyler Joseph had a solo project before starting Twenty One Pilots where he released a full-length album titled No Phun Intended. The release is still available for listening purposes on his PureVolume account. The album was recorded in Joseph's senior year of high school, from 2007–2008, in his basement. The song "Save", off the release, was redone and released as a free download for some time on Twenty One Pilots' official website before it was then pulled. A song titled "Whisper" from his solo career has also been released on the internet.
In 2010, Joseph was featured in the song "Live" by the hip hop artist and rapper Joseph Michael Langston (better known by his stage name Jocef, or sometimes as Jocef Michael), who is a friend of Joseph's from college, along with two other rappers, Juda and Alon. The song is the opening track to Jocef's debut album, In Search of: L.O.V.E. The track was co-written by Tyler Joseph and Jocef. Jocef eventually returned the favor a year later by being featured on the song "Be Concerned" off of Twenty One Pilots' 2011 album Regional at Best.
In 2011, Joseph was also the lead star in Five14 Church's three episode mockumentary titled "The (moderately inspiring tale of the) Longboard Rodeo Tango". According to the mockumentary, Joseph was an intern at the church at the time.
In 2012, Joseph was featured in an internet-use awareness video titled Where Are You? by Mark C. Eshleman (the producer and director of many Twenty One Pilots music videos) for an annual contest put on by Trend Micro, called What's Your Story? The room used in the video is the same room in which the original music video for "House of Gold" was filmed.
On December 24, 2013, Christmas Eve, Joseph participated and sang "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" at Five14 Church's Christmas With the Stars in New Albany, Ohio. The official video of the performance was uploaded to YouTube on February 14, 2014. He also performed a magic segment with the church's host and emcee David McCreary for the show.
Joseph also contributed to a few tracks for Five14 Church's worship album Clear by the gospel band New Albany Music led by Travis Whittaker "Whittaker". Joseph appears on four tracks out of thirteen in total. Additionally, another single was recorded called "Dead Come Alive".
In December 2014, Joseph contributed backing vocals to the song "Sickly Sweet Holidays" by Dallon Weekes (then-bassist of Panic! at the Disco). Joseph initially had an entire verse in the song, but it was excluded due to Joseph's label.
I still believe in God, I still want to call myself a Christian—because I am a Christian. I don't know how to talk to people about it yet. And if I can't talk to other people about it yet or if I don't know exactly why I should talk to other people about it, does it really mean anything to me, then? If I don't truly have the answer, shouldn't I just be talking about that? But I have to get there first.
Joseph has a three-part tattoo that represents "something that saved his life". Though it is assumed it deals with his Christian faith, Joseph has been specific about the fact that he doesn't want the meaning of his tattoos spread across the internet. However, he has stated a few times that he is willing to tell people one-on-one if they decide to ask him in person. Both Joseph and Twenty One Pilots drummer Josh Dun have an "X" tattoo on their bodies symbolizing their dedication to their hometown fans in Columbus, Ohio. They received it on stage during their hometown show at the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion on April 26, 2013. Joseph's is located on his right bicep and Dun's is located on his neck behind his right ear.
Joseph married Jenna Black on March 28, 2015, after they became engaged on July 8, 2014. On September 7, 2019, it was announced that Joseph and his wife were expecting their first child, a girl. Their daughter, Rosie Joseph, was born on February 9, 2020.
As solo artist
No Phun Intended
Before assembling the band Twenty One Pilots, Tyler Joseph recorded the self-released No Phun Intended album in his basement between 2007–2008, during Joseph's senior year of high school. The songs recorded during Joseph's solo-career are nonetheless celebrated and have made several appearances in the band's future projects. It was later revealed that aside from Joseph, Nick Thomas also contributed guitar to several of the songs on the record.
Although not on the album, the song "Going Down" and an untitled demo surfaced on the internet on July 2, 2018.
|1||"Blasphemy"||3:38||* The lyrics of the first verse became the final verse of "Anathema".|
|2||"Drown"||3:37||* The lyrics from the second verse were reused for "Fall Away".|
|3||"Hole in the Ground"||3:53|
|4||"Save"||4:02||* An alternate version of this track was recorded in 2010.|
|5||"Taken by Sleep"||4:15|
|6||"I Want to Know"||3:18|
|7||"Just Like Yesterday"||3:31||* Some lyrics were re-written into the second verse of "Ode to Sleep".
* A slightly longer version of this song exists on YouTube, which is 3:45 in length
|9||"Prove Me Wrong"||3:40|
|10||"Realize That It's Gone"||3:24|
(featuring Jay Joseph)
|6:22||* Due to its comical nature, this song has become an internet meme in the Twenty One Pilots fan community.|
|15||"Chords/Words"||Unknown||* The original recording is missing.|
|16||"Trees"||4:20||* Some people have assumed that the original recording is missing, although it's likely that this song and the version on Regional at Best are the same.|
* This track is the subject of speculation, as it's apparently the predecessor of both the "Trees" that appears on Regional at Best and the "Trees" that appears on Vessel.
* It was later revealed that Joseph and Nick Thomas collaborated on the No Phun Intended song "Trees", of which was later to become a signature Twenty One Pilots song.
|17||"Where Did We Go"||3:24|
|18||"I'm a Goner"||2:06||* This track is the subject of speculation, as it's apparently the predecessor of both the unreleased 2012 song "Goner" and the version that appears on Blurryface. However this song and the song from 2012 could likely be the same.|
|19||"Hear Me Now"||3:29|
|—||"Going Down"||3:58||* Uncovered in 2018.|
|—||"Untitled Demo"||1:23||* Uncovered in 2018.|
|"What's Your Story?"||2012|||
As featured artist
(Tyler Joseph and Jocef)
(Jocef ft. Juda, Alon and Tyler Joseph)
|2010||In Search of: L.O.V.E.||Recorded during college between friends Joseph and Joseph Michael Langston (known simply as "Jocef").|
|"Rulers of Reverse"
(Whittaker ft. Tyler Joseph)
|2014||Clear||A "worship" album created by Travis Whittaker (known simply as "Whittaker") and the gospel band "New Albany Music" for the church "Five14" of which Joseph interned at. Joseph is featured in four out of thirteen tracks on the album Clear.|
(Whittaker ft. Tyler Joseph)
|"Lord of Glory"|
(Whittaker ft. Tyler Joseph)
(Whittaker ft. Tyler Joseph)
|"Dead Come Alive"
(Whittaker ft. Tyler Joseph)
|This song does not appear on the Clear album but was still recorded with Whittaker.|
|"Sickly Sweet Holidays"
(Dallon Weekes ft. Tyler Joseph)
|Xmas Jambz||Originally released as a single but then placed on Weekes' Christmas EP Xmas Jambz.|
Twenty One Pilots
Awards and nominations
|2017||59th Annual Grammy Awards||Record of the Year||"Stressed Out" (as performer and producer)||Nominated|||
|Best Pop Duo/Group Performance||"Stressed Out" (as performer)||Won|
|Best Rock Performance||"Heathens" (as performer)||Nominated|
|Best Song Written for Visual Media||"Heathens" (as songwriter)||Nominated|
|Best Rock Song||Nominated|
|2019||61st Annual Grammy Awards||"Jumpsuit" (as songwriter)||Nominated|||
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- Grandfather Robert Joseph (1931-2018) Obituary was born to Tony Joseph and Catherine Joseph (nee Charlie) both immigrants from Tripoli, Lebanon. Information from the National Archives, United States. Scan of Catherine Joseph Death Certificate of 1972 on familysearch.org
Grandfather Robert in the 1940 Census in Belmont, Ohio Information from the National Archives, United States. Scan of Robert Joseph on the US 1940 Census on familysearch.org.
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These songs were written in my basement in 2007–08, Tyler's senior year in high school.
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We don't really like to answer it in interviews because it's meant to be more one-on-one. So if you would turn your phone off we'd be happy to answer it.
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