INTERVIEW: Josh Birdsong

How would you classify your music?

Indie Pop with hints of alternative, electronic, and acoustic.

Who are some of your top 5 musical influences?

Tycho, Dido, Morrissey, James Taylor, and John Mayer have had great influence on my creative process.  Tycho’s ambient landscapes and use of guitar is so innovative.  Dido’s intertwining of acoustic, electronic, and poignant lyrics crafts such powerful songwriting.  Morrissey’s characteristic vocal phrasing has had great impact in how I craft my melodies.  James Taylor and John Mayer are so expressive through their intricate guitar styles and songwriting.

What do you want fans to take from your music?

I strive to create an emotional atmosphere through my music.  I hope to give my listeners an experience—almost as if there is a physical response, or a sense of greater understanding created by the unique picture the music and lyrics have come together to paint. The songs that speak to me always gives a new perspective or an actual physical feeling that can only be conveyed by the music.  I hope I can write music that resonates with my audience, in the way so many artists have touched my life. 

4. Can you tell us a bit about your latest album? When will it be released and how does it differ from your previous work?

My debut studio EP, “Simple Geometry”, was recorded over the summer at Yackland Studios in Nashville and released this past August. In “Simple Geometry”, I explored the echoes of electronic and ambient sounds that I have always wanted to incorporate in my writing.  I had the honor and opportunity to collaborate with incredibly talented individuals in the studio, including my producer, Stephen Leiweke, and the phenomenal Nashville session musicians who tracked on the songs.  This artistic freedom and collaborative spirit contributed greatly in bringing my creative visions to life.

What do you love and hate about the Music Business?

I love the music industry because its purpose is to create a relationship between the artist and the audience.  I really do believe music has the potential to be such a powerful force for human connection.  Perhaps the most profound lesson I have learned so far is to embrace your art and yourself individually and wholly, and don’t try to think that your journey has to be in a specific way or format.  I believe that each person has his or her own road and lessons to learn, and that if you follow and embrace it, you will arrive where you are meant to be

What is the best concert you have been to? What do you like most about playing live? 

One of my most memorable concert experiences was seeing Jason Mraz perform. He writes songs with such positive and powerful meaning, and the energy he brings as a musician and human being creates such an impact in the world.  One of my favorite things about performing live is using my guitar pedals.  I use a loop pedal to record layers of guitar, along with some delay and reverb to give atmosphere.  I love to use the different sounds and timbres from the guitar to create a unique experience, while sharing my creative process in a live setting with the audience.

Is there a song on this latest CD that stands out as your personal favorite, and why?  

Each song has such an individual life of their own, I don’t really have a favorite on the EP.  I love the vibe and electronic atmospheres of “Radio Waves”, and “Why?”.  “Unspeakable” and “Drive” really speak to me through their guitar and rhythms, while “You And I” has deep personal meaning to me in the lyrics.

How have you evolved as an artist over the last few years? What made you decide to come back into the music business?

“Simple Geometry” captures my identity as an artist and songwriter.  The past years have definitely been a period of discovery in the writing process, and this EP really explores the facets of sound I want to continue to develop.  I so look forward to sharing these recordings with new listeners.

If you could meet, play a gig, co-write a song, have dinner, get drunk with any band or artist (dead or alive) who would it be?

I’d really love to meet or co-write with Tycho.  His sonic productions are so incredibly dimensional and are masterpieces of ambient music.  His music is a science as well as the epitome of artistic craft.

So tell us what’s next?   

Currently, I’m working on new material that continues with the hint of electronic that was on “Simple Geometry.  I’m aiming to have the full record sometime in this next year, after I’m finished promoting the EP.  The music video for “Why?” is officially launching within the next few weeks, and it features some really interesting graphic design elements.  Afterwards, I hope to tour for a longer period of time to connect with new audiences and listeners.  For me, the most exciting part of the journey is sharing the creative process and connecting with fellow artists and individuals who are passionate about music.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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