Hailing from Mandurah, Western Australia, JOSHUAis a budding artist within the Australian music scene, exploring the realms of pop, RnB and electronica.
We recently caught up with the up and comer to chat his outrageously good single The Boys.
We caught up with WA electro pop artist JOSHUA to chat toxic masculinity and his brilliant new single.
HAPPY: Hey JOSHUA, how’s it going? What are you up to at the moment?
JOSHUA: Hi! I’m well, thank you, which is a first. I’ve had a cold which has been hovering around me for months!
HAPPY: We’ve loved The Boys! How does it feel sending it out to the world?
JOSHUA: So good! I’ve been sitting on this song for a while now and to have it finally out is great! I wrote it over two years ago and just kept refining it and refining it until it made sense. The final edits for the first verse were done the week we recorded it!
HAPPY: Tell us a bit about your musical upbringing, who were your inspirations as a kid.
JOSHUA: I actually haven’t had much of a musical upbringing. I’ve always loved listening to music and some of my favourite memories are of me singing along to PlaySchool tapes. My parents couldn’t have had a more diverse musical collection: we’d go from ACDC to Mozart to Dolly Parton to Cats the Musical to Queen so I wasn’t really sure where to go from there! I do remember being captivated by the R&B pop that hit the charts at the time—Justin Timberlake, Timbaland, Usher and JoJo. I knew I wanted to do something with music when I was a kid but we couldn’t afford the piano lessons or the guitar I asked for so coming into music as adult has been very interesting so far. My family are super supportive though and I’m so thankful for that.
HAPPY: What is the music scene like in Mandurah, WA, where you grew up?
JOSHUA: Mandurah’s known for being quite laid back and there’s a pretty acoustic, surf/indie-rock scene going on down here which is cool. The city puts bands up for local community events which is great but that’s it at the moment, other than acoustic gigs at restaurants and bars.
HAPPY: Tell us a bit about the concept behind The Boys!
JOSHUA: So I wrote the boys after one particular night when I’d been messaging this mate of mine about where we going to grab some food because we had planned to hang that night. I didn’t get any response so I thought maybe he’d forgotten. Later that night I see a snapchat of him and one of his other friends driving and while chanting “Saturdays are for the boys!!!” That hurt, of course, because I felt like I wasn’t one of the boys. The song stemmed from there and it became more of a reflection on how I didn’t fit the stereotypical Australian male role.
HAPPY: How dire is ‘toxic masculinity’ and how do we go about addressing it?
JOSHUA: You know I thought it was getting better and in some regards it is! I see the changes in the way a lot of guys are become comfortable in openly processing their emotions and eschewing that stoic facade. However, there’s still quite a few guys who don’t treat women with respect, or even each with respect, cutting out guys just because they might not fit what the think a man should look like. Like I said, we’re getting better but we still have a long way to go.
HAPPY: How has your sound developed from your first single Circles?
JOSHUA: When I was writing Circles I didn’t want it to be a pop song so I lent more heavily on my R&B and electronic influences but there’s been this massive shift in the perception of pop music lately which made me feel that it was ok to be a male pop artist. Look at how we use to make fun of Justin Bieber as teenagers (I think he’s awesome by the way, he’s such a great vocalist) but now everybody embraces Shawn Mendes (also, amaze). So with The Boys I just let that pop influence come right back on in and found this darker kind of pop sound that I felt matched what I was trying to make.
HAPPY: Was there some divine, breakthrough moment when music, life and purpose all come together and made sense to you?
JOSHUA: I’d been wanting to write songs for a while but I just didn’t know where to start until Circles. When I went through what I did and as a response I wrote that song there was a light bulb moment. Oh! This is what they mean when they say you should write about what you feel. Since then I’ve definitely looked for moments to write about but also use songwriting as a means of processing what I might be going through at a particular time, whether that be a first date, a break up, mental health stuff, etc. but also looking for interesting perspectives from which to write and that’s been really cool.
HAPPY: Who is your all time favourite artist at the moment?
JOSHUA: CXLOE! Solid mentions need to be made regarding Lorde and Meg Mac and their strong influence in my lyrics and my voice, but at the moment I’m loving pretty much everything CXLOE does. She has a such a sick sound, her vocal delivery is nuanced and fantastic, and she writes from these really interesting perspectives which I really love. She’s doing BIG things for Australian pop at the moment and I’m here for every moment.
HAPPY: What does the future look like for JOSHUA?
JOSHUA: More songs! I’ve got a couple of songs lined up, just waiting for mixes to be finalised at the moment and then I’ve got a stack of demos to work with. I’d really love to start doing some little acoustic gigs here and there but I can’t seem to find anyone to play for me (I don’t have that level of skill just yet) and I’ve emailing out those demos to labels to see if anyone wants to pick me up and help me develop further as an artist. the no how-to guide for this business so trying to figure out as I go. In the meantime, I’m just going to keep writing, keep learning.
HAPPY: Cheers for the chat man!