Following the wild success of Stranger Things, Joe Keery, who portrays Steve Harrington in the smash hit science fiction show, has become a sought-after actor in his own right. Keery has set the world alight with his performance in the Duffer Brothers’ creation and his career looks set to take off ever further.
The success of Stranger Things has led Keery to be offered further envious roles in the showbiz industry, including a part in the forthcoming fifth season of Fargo. Evidently, Keery is a talented actor, yet his skills also extend beyond film into music. He is a former member of Post Animal and releases his own music under the name Djo.
Keery’s determination to make it as an actor saw him take on several commercial jobs after graduating from DePaul University with a major in Acting. These included adverts for KFC and Dominos before minor roles in Empire, Chicago Fire and Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party. When Stranger Things dropped in 2016, it shot Keery into stardom.
In a recent interview with Pitchfork, Keery noted some of his favourite albums and focused on particular tracks that regularly frequent his ears. We’ve compiled the tunes for you here.
Six songs Joe Keery can’t stop listening to:
‘Swing Star, Pt. 2’ – Todd Terje
Keery loves the tenth track from the debut album of the Norwegian producer and DJ Todd Terje. Terje produced the record himself over an extensive period of three years, and it was released in 2014.
Keery said, “He’s going to a lot of different places, but it all sounds like it’s coming through him. […] Apparently, the guy’s a car aficionado now. Maybe he’ll come back to music, but he released this unbelievable album and then bounced. I love when people do that.”
‘Genesis’ – Justice
The album is actually named Cross, though, on digital platforms, it received a self-titled name after the French electronic duo Justice. The multi-genre record is one that Keery can’t get enough of, particularly its opening track ‘Genesis’.
“When I lived in Chicago, I would bike to the restaurant that I worked at and listen to this very loudly,” Keery said. “It was actually the reason that I got doored – afterwards, my adrenaline was so high that I said, ‘I’m totally fine,’ and then went to work super bruised.”
‘Silver Cross’ – Charli XCX
Keery first heard the tune from Charli XCX’s third studio album at a party. Though initially underwhelmed by it, its catchy hook popped into his head during the lockdowns and has been a mainstay ever since.
“I was properly blown away by the production and how unique but relatable the whole thing was,” Keery noted. “Charli’s just sick. She’s a great pop star. She’s taken something and recycled it and made it her own.”
‘What Ever Happened?’ & ‘Meet Me in the Bathroom’ – The Strokes
Keery was once fortunate enough to star on a podcast with The Strokes’ guitarist, Albert Hammond Jr. He’s long been a fan of the band and takes particular delight with these tunes from their second album, Room on Fire.
Keery said, “The Strokes capture this raw electric energy like no one else. It’s not clean; it’s grimy. It makes you feel like you’re a part of a brotherhood when you’re listening. You can’t help but just be like, ‘Wow, these guys are cool.’
‘Reu Confesso’ – Tim Maia
When travelling in Brazil, Keery was driving with someone who chucked on local legend Tim Maia. The track was ‘Reu Confesso’, and Keery, struck by its sound, just had to ask who it was and add it to his ‘must listen to again’ list.
“Tim Maia is like the Frank Sinatra of Brazil,” Keery claimed. “He’s very old world, and the thing is, he’s just writing really good songs. He’s not leaning on anything other than having a really unique and great voice and writes really interesting songs that get stuck in your head.”