Artist Spotlight: Joe Mays (Chieflow)

Hello Strays!

Joe Mays, Chieflow, 1.jpg

It is with great pleasure that I (Stray Together Bonfire Editor, Taylor Pelton) present to you our third installment of Bonfire featuring a Mr. Joseph Mays.

Joe is a working musician who has been cutting his teeth in the D.C. area and beyond for the last couple of years as Chieflow: a sultry soul-inspired trio featuring Joe’s original songs and undeniably creamy falsetto.

Now I feel as though it is only right to point out that Joe and I have been good friends and musical companions since high school, so I may be a little biased, but I have a deep appreciation for Joe and his songs and hope that through our conversation you may come to share in that.

Joe and I discuss the process of finding his voice (quite literally), the importance of self-examination as it pertains to the songwriting process, and his family secret to a perfect pancake (Stray Together EXCLUSIVE), among other things.

So if you are a fan of honest grassroots musicians and abnormally good pancakes, be sure to listen in and check out the content below!

"I put this mixtape together with recordings done over the past year of 2017. It represents a lot of growth for me as a musician and is a preamble to my official album release in 2018. Enjoy for free here or cop it at"

Joe and Chieflow would like to give special thanks to Eunbi Hina for this original Chieflow inspired piece created specifically for Bonfire, Episode 3! You can follow Eunbi on Instagram  @kotorimemoirs

Joe and Chieflow would like to give special thanks to Eunbi Hina for this original Chieflow inspired piece created specifically for Bonfire, Episode 3! You can follow Eunbi on Instagram @kotorimemoirs

It’s the energy within you that is part and parcel with what you put into your body.
They have an unapologetic joy in music and they dive into it all the way and they live that every moment of their life.
I would have to give it all up to hip hop.
I encourage everybody to tap into that creativity because we are all creators, we all have that nature within us and unfortunately it is suppressed by almost everything we have to do in society, but it’s there!
Keep your eyes peeled. You don’t want the authorities to stop what you are doing. Spreading love and music.
Pain and longing are probably two reoccurring themes. It’s a therapeutic experience to just process those things in writing. A lot of times that takes the form of a love song, but it’s not always just a love song.
If I can hear it and it is coming from a genuine place of longing and depth of feeling, “honest expression” as Bruce Lee would say, that is where it’s at for me.
I may feel really bad about some situation but I have an awareness that that feeling isn’t necessarily reflecting reality, it’s not always what I need to act on but it helps to get it out and express it and then I can be aware of it and understand it and try not to live my life reacting to those feelings.
Spread love, that is all I have to say…love yourself first.


You can follow Joe’s musical journey as it continues to unfold via Chieflow’s social media:

Listen to Chieflow’s ever-evolving catalog via the following:

And peep a couple of live and stripped-back Chieflow performances below:

*Chieflow is fresh out of the studio with a few newly recorded tracks which Joe has informed us will be hitting Spotify and iTunes in January 2018 to kick off the new year. So keep an eye out for those and other future projects!

*Chieflow will be playing at Epicure Café in Fairfax, VA on December 30th right around 10pm.


Make sure to tune in for the last edition of Bonfire for 2017, where we'll get to know outdoors lover, tiny house builder, and Stray Together ambassador, Drew Price. Until then,

- Stay warm


Note: Want to be our next feature? Get in touch.

Taylor PeltonComment