INTERVIEW: Rapper/producer Josh Sallee

Hi Josh, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

I’ve been good. Life is tough for any artist right now, but I’ve been working hard on the album rollout and visuals. I’m excited for people to hear the new sound and also hopefully find new listeners.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single, “Hollywood Hoax”?

The song is about my experiences in Hollywood. Being from Oklahoma, the stigma is that you have to move to make it. I had found success in my brief trips there, so I decided to book a one-way flight, with a backpack, laptop, and headphones, with the intention of never returning. I was quickly hit with the realization that it might not be for me.

Did any event, in particular, inspire you to write this song?

Quite a few, actually. I was offered a bad record deal. I wrote a song for a really big country artist, and the other person in the room, who was literally just sitting there, told me we should half the writing credit. I refused, and the record never got placed. All my money went to Ubers while trying to make meetings and events to network with people who didn’t seem to care. Then I met someone who was really interested in managing me. He had a solid track record(by his words). One night while staying at his house after recording some music, he went into my belongings and spent $3500 on my credit card. I woke up surprised and freaked out. He denied it and tried to use my belief in God to tell me that it was the Devil working against us. At that point, I felt like I was in over my head. My career was already at a place that I was okay with, it wasn’t worth my sanity.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

I was fortunate to work with one of my favorite directors R3x Wonders. He is extremely talented and a wizard with post effects. We had a Zoom chat, discussed all the ideas, and then set a date for me to fly out and shoot in LA! Irony. The concept of the song really related to R3x as he was born and raised in LA. We shot everything on a green screen in his home, which is just amazing once you see the final product.

How was the recording and writing process?

I produced the beat a long time before I wrote the song. I record everything at my house in Oklahoma. I was listening to beats on my flight home from LA and that one stood out to me. The first line I thought of was the hook “Hollywood Hoax, one month in LA, that’s Hollywood Broke.” I actually wanted to get a feature from an LA artist for the second verse, but I didn’t think I had said all I wanted to say. So a few months later, I wrote the second verse.

What role does LA play in your music?

Frank Ocean, Kendrick, all of TDE, Anderson Paak. Dr. Dre’s production. Of all major musical influences, LA has produced some of my favorites. As far as the city itself, I’m not sure the role it’s played. I am from Oklahoma and have spent the last decade being a full-time artist here. I love this place and the people and the opportunity it has given me, and I think that has played a huge role in my life.

Does the new single and video mean we can expect some new material – how’s that coming along?

This is the first single off my album, “Flamingo,” due later this year. I plan to drop a few singles leading up to the album. It is mainly self-produced but also features production from my best friend, Blev. It features a slew of artists: K.A.A.N, Hugh Glass, Taylor Robinson, and Cassie Jo Craig. All dear friends and people I am inspired by. The album is a reflection on my career and the moment I was considering walking away from music altogether. I felt I was stuck in an artist purgatory of sorts. It’s emotional and raw but also uplifting and driven by the passion to create. 

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

Hopefully by May!

What else is happening next in Josh Sallee’s world?

The album will come out under my record label that I just started in 2021. It will be the label’s first release, followed by our second artist, Hugh Glass, and his album, “The Duke”. Starting a label has been a trying process and major challenge, but has taught me so much about the industry and handling others. I’m still learning, and we still have so much growth to do, but my hopes are to have another couple of artists signed and set to release music by fall 2022. I’d also like to develop a program for artist to manage their mental health. Entertainers as a whole are hardly considered people, let alone their emotions. We give all our emotion for others’ benefit. Tireless hours, lonely nights, no’s upon no’s, touring for breadcrumbs, it is a really hard lifestyle. And I think there should be a free outlet for artists to find therapy and others means to battle the mental struggles of it all.

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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