Hi Josey, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
I’m doing pretty good, considering everything that’s going on. Just fortunate that my family and friends are healthy – my heart goes out to anyone dealing with this. It’s so sad! I’m using this time to plan creative ideas around my upcoming release and even brainstorming ideas for the next album!
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “102″?
It was the first track that I worked on with my friend and producer Daneon. We were inspired by everyone on social media who can always be seen in a new location every weekend partying. We thought “What are these people’s jobs? Why can’t they keep it real?” And the idea was invented to use a spin off of the phrase “Keep it 100,” with the songs BPM of 102. So, keep it 102!
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
Yeah! I took a social media break for 100 days because of how it was taking over my life with the compare and despair method, and just being time consuming in general. However, I did get back on the train for my career and noticed how much happier I was without it and how clear my mind was not worrying about how other people live their lives. It helped me to realize that the grass is not always greener on the other side, things aren’t always what they are portrayed as. I wanted to convey that message in my own way to keep it real.
The single comes off your new album City Games – what’s the story behind the title?
Throughout my life I’ve lived in a bunch of different cities and have experienced a common theme throughout. Highs, lows, ups and downs – just like a game. The city represents my mind in this case and the struggles you play with yourself and others, kind of like levels in a game to get to where you want to be. My journey was a challenging one being an openly gay artist, and this project is a product of me overcoming those obstacles and allowing my most authentic self to come through in the most honest way. All my emotions, fears, wants, and desires make up City Games.
How was the recording and writing process?
Honestly I had a blast. I got to work with friends on this one, both new and old, and really wanted to create a unique pop project with my songwriting style. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for forever and I finally got to bring my vision to life for the first time, using pronouns I want, and not changing anything for commercial appeal.
Do you tend to take a different approach when you are collaborating with someone else rather than working on your own?
Not really because the best way to write is with an open mind. Never being “stuck in your own way” Most times when collaborating I’m amazed at how magically something fits that I would’ve never been able to think of on my own, as simple as it can be. I’ve taken some “hooks/melodies” to my producers knowing exactly where I want it to be in the song, and we’ve found better spots to place them based on the greater idea of the song. It’s so cool!
What role does NYC play in your music?
New York City is a chaotic, everchanging, and amazing place all at the same time. It can be the most social city, or the loneliest. The happiest place, or the worst. It all depends on your mindset and sometimes I’m in a great mood and sometimes I’m not – which this project shows within the songs. But, there’s an undeniable pulse in New York you can’t find anywhere else, and I tried to let that drive the album with an upbeat tempo. Plus, I just experience things everyday that give me creative ideas.
What were some of the feelings you get to explore on this record?
Literally all of them. Authenticity being the most important. The feeling of being able to write exactly what I am feeling. Happy, Sad, Nostalgic, Desire, all with a gay twist. 😉
Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
I found a lot of inspiration from the contrast of the country to the city. Growing up in Kentucky is A LOT different than New York. It was a little bit of a culture shock, but really progressed me as a person. I didn’t grow up with a lot of LGBTQ Role models around me, and am trying to be that person for someone else.
What else is happening next in Josey Greenwell’s world?
You’ll have to wait and see! We have a lot of cool remixes coming up with people I admire and listen to DAILY, and this City Games album is truly something special to me.