An unfortunate part of the entertainment industry is that we rarely get to see the people behind the scenes. We forget that the term “artists’ does not just mean singers and songwriters. Artists are also producers, directors, audio engineers, photographers, social media managers, and many more. Without these artists, the industry simply does not exist. No records, no concerts, no album covers, nothing.
Josh Norris is one of those artists.
Hailing from the birthplace of Rock & Roll, Memphis, Tennessee, Norris has spent 13 years working in the music industry for a diverse range of entertainers such as Alanis Morissette, Luke Bryan, Playboi Carti, Alan Jackson, Randy Houser, and many more. Josh holds a billboard #1 plaque and album credits for his creative work in “All Things Video.”
Josh was given his start after applying for a job at Elite Multimedia. Owner Jeremy Byrd asked Norris for a resume to which he responded, “I don’t have one, it would be easier for me to tell you what I can’t do than what I can do.” Jeremy hired Josh on the spot and thus began his whirlwind career.
We sat down with Josh to talk about his incredible journey in the music industry and some highlights along the way.
Bridge: What first inspired you to get into the music industry?
Josh: Entering the music industry was a total God thing. I got a phone call one day from my friend Jeremy Byrd. He asked if I wanted to go on a tour. I replied with “Yes but what’s a tour?” A few days later I was on a tour bus heading out with Luke Bryan.
Bridge: You have worked with so many amazing artists in different genres, we have to ask, do you have a favorite genre?
Josh: I’ve been so blessed in that regard. I don’t necessarily have a favorite genre. I can generally find something I enjoy in every piece of music. If I had to choose, I would say country music. I’m from the south and my redneck roots are quite thick so it only makes sense.
Bridge: Which artist have you enjoyed working with the most?
Josh: Each artist on my resume has touched my heart uniquely in some way. This is a tough one here. It’s a toss-up between Alanis and Luke. Both of them are such beacons of light and a pleasure to be around. With Luke you get ridiculous humor 24/7; with Alanis you get your soul refreshed.
Bridge: Do you find it difficult being a believer in such a volatile industry?
Josh: This industry is, without question, not the easiest on believers. I used to keep my beliefs and faith relatively to myself. Once I started opening up about it I was in awe at how many believers were and had been working with me. Random story but, one year on one of Luke’s tours we actually started a prayer time, several of us did a fast, and we also spent countless hours fellowshipping while on the road.
Bridge: What are you some big lessons you’ve learned navigating the industry?
Josh: Woof. Great question. The industry taught me so much. Money and fame isn’t all that. It’s okay to jump around roles until you find your “home.” The music industry is physically, emotionally, and spiritually draining… if you have down time —sleep.
Bridge: You’re now directing for Alanis Morissette, what drew you to work with her?
Josh: Her heart. This was another God thing. I got a phone call one day with the job offer. I didn’t accept it right away. I spent a few days diving into her music, reading lyrics, and learning all I could about her. I have to know that I can “feel” the music otherwise I won’t be able to deliver a good show for the audience or artist. Needless to say it didn’t take me long before I accepted the offer.
Bridge: What have you gleaned from her live show experience?
Josh: She gives it 110% each show. She truly cares about her fans, music, band, and crew. I get to hear talkback all night(the microphone that only the band and a few of us can hear). She says a lot of kind things during the show. She is also genuinely having a blast… that rubs off on the band and me. Speaking of band…. Her live band is out of this world.
Bridge: What are some career goals/dreams that you are still working towards and waiting on?
Josh: One of my dreams is to sit in and play guitar live with John Mayer. I have to get over my stage fright first. This dream leads me to my next career goal which is to become a full time musician. But that whole stage fright thing. I’ll get over it eventually. I’m currently praying over this transition since it’s a very real possibility. I’m grateful for my Director role but my heart just wants to play music.
Bridge: If the Lord wills, what will 2023 look like for you?
Josh: The Lord has taken me on such a journey, a wonderful one if I may add. Lord willing, 2023 is going to be my year. I intended to propose to my girlfriend, play that show with John Mayer, and write a song. And of course direct a lot of Alanis shows.
Follow Josh on social media to keep up with the latest on his life and career.