Nashville-based record label Average Joes Entertainment celebrated eight new RIAA certifications allocated to several singles in its catalog during their...
It’s only a matter of time before Josh Del is a household name.
We spoke to the triple threat about his music, his gritty voice and where he’s going from here…
Bridge: Tell the people who you are, Joshie…
JD: Haha, I like that we are going with my formal name, Joshie. Hello, my name is Josh Del, I’m a singer/songwriter/producer based out of Southern California. For now, at least.
Bridge: So, it is obvious after talking about Wild Woman in last week’s issue that I am in love with that song and in love with your voice. This isn’t a question, I’m just telling you…
JD: It was a pleasure to work with Bruno on this song and thank you so much for the compliment. I don’t think either of us knew how quickly that song would grow, but the guy makes killer tunes, so I get it.
Bridge: It was definitely a collaboration made in heaven. Real talk though, were you born with that gravel-y voice? Do you eat rocks for breakfast?
JD: I have been on a steady diet of gravel and Lucky Strike cigarettes since the age of four. Haha, but in all seriousness, I think naturally I talk low and kind of raspy so it’s just amplified when I start to sing.
Bridge:Sorry I was listening, I was just adding gravel and Lucky Strikes to my market list…
Aside from being a killer vocalist, you are also a producer, songwriter AND professional photographer. Do you enjoy any one of those hats more than the other?
JD: I’ve really been enjoying the producer hat lately, just because it’s so cool to help build on other people’s already great ideas. As I’m sure you know, being an independent musician or independent contractor is a lot of pressure and you are a one man band. With producing, it feels very collaborative and you are just bouncing ideas off of each other. Photographer was cool for a while, I got to work with a lot of dope people and companies like Ulta and Tori Kelly, along with a bunch of other great brands and artists.
Bridge: Dang. Tori Kelly and Ulta? That had to be amazing!
Your latest single ‘Friend’ with Olympic Gold Medalist, Laurie Hernandez, was a gem as well. It’s been on my playlist for weeks. Suffice to say, you’ve worked with some pretty amazing artists, do you have a favorite?
JD: I do have some favorites. None of them really being the bigger celebrities I’ve worked with. Not that there is anything wrong with being big and successful; but there is this entire generation of undiscovered songwriters who are truly phenomenal. I think there is a magic that occurs in the process of becoming who you are as an artist and the process of trying to achieve your dreams and that magic can sometimes get lost when you’ve finally “arrived.” It doesn’t have to, but more often than not, artists will turn their backs on the things that truly made them great to begin with.
Bridge: That’s what tells me all I need to know about you as an artist. It’s clear that you value the gritty, messy, authenticity of the process.
One of the things I love about you musically is how well you seem to fit in so many different genres. Do you have one that resonates with your soul more than the others?
JD: Well thank you, I don’t think you realize how big of a compliment that is to me, considering Rick Rubin is my hero. He’s great at that. Everything he touches turns to gold. Going from producing the Beastie Boys, to Slayer, to Johnny Cash, that’s a beautiful thing. I think when you can tap into an artist below the genre, into the soul of the artist, then you can implore them to express that inner-self where the art originates. It’s a total flow of energy thing. I think that’s why I like to take my time on songs I’m working on them, because I will start the idea and then walk away from it, sometimes at weeks at a time. I really just try to think about the song and meditate on it to see what I hear and where it can go.
Bridge: In that same vein, when songwriting, do you gravitate more towards the music or the lyrics?
JD: Well, I think everything is situational, sometimes it’s a hook or a lyric in my head, other times it’s a musical part. I have stopped trying to make sense of it all. When the idea comes I just let it happen now. I think our need to draw conclusions and make sense of things as humans can often stifle creativity. My advice is to let it flow first then ask questions later. Maybe you will find something in hindsight that you never knew existed before.
Bridge: I think you just gave me the advice I needed to get out of the creative slump that I have been in!
So, 2020 is behind us. What are your goals for 2021 (don’t say it too loud though)
JD: Haha, I am definitely not getting too high of hopes for anything, I learned my lesson the hard way this past year. However, I am excited I just signed a publishing deal with Wixen, my fellow collaborator Bruno Lewis is also signed to, so hopefully that means more songs from the two of us together in the future. I am hoping to have a lot more of collaborations in 2021, after my last one with Laurie Hernandez, it was such a positive experience, I want more of that. I just covered a song by this amazing artist down in Austin, Texas, named Jackie Venson. She’s the real deal, she writes and she plays guitar so effortlessly. I am hoping our camps can link together this year for some good ol’ fashion music making.
Bridge: Speaking of Texas, you should probably visit Dallas again. No reason in particular..Just saying…Alright, we know your goals for the year but is there anything you can share with us that we can absolutely expect soon?
JD: ‘Who Do You Love’ comes out everywhere January 15th. I am super excited about this song, it leans more into the Soul and Blues side of my sound and I really love being in that place. I recorded everything on it and produced it myself. My buddy Matt Salamone came in very clutch with the mastering of this track though. Other than that, I am hoping to release a few more songs and keep streaming. The streaming thing has been huge for me lately, so I want to ride that gravy train as long as it keeps on rolling. It’s funny a couple years ago when I started streaming on Twitch and Reddit, these tools were highly underutilized and now they are the new norm for live entertainment.
Bridge: I’m going to make myself sound a lot cooler than I am and tell everyone that you sent me the voice memo of that song still in idea form and I STILL have it on my computer. I don’t have to tell you how I feel about it, I think my incessant text messages have done that. So, yous guys need to keep an eye out for that one!
Alright, the end of the road. In a movie about Josh Del’s life what song would be the soundtrack?
JD: Hmm.. To sum one’s entire life up with a song. Probably Boredom by Tyler, The Creator, Rex Orange County and Anna of the North. It’s close with so many great songs though. I think boredom kind of describes depression because you stop enjoying everything you used to, or never really know what you enjoyed in the first place, making life seem completely boring. I mean that’s just my relation with the song and what it says describes to me below the surface of just being “bored”. That entire album is like an existential crisis and I am super internal when it comes to my thinking and processing, so I really appreciate the Flower Boy album an extra amount. It’s funny how we gravitate towards things we can relate to, I guess that just proves we all feel alone and want to draw near to something that tells us “you’re not alone.” I think that must be the problem with a lot of the songs that are basically algorithmically manufactured these days. I love pop music and I’m a sucker for catchy melodies, it all has it’s time and place, but I also think when music loses it’s humanness, we start to lose that gravitational pull of the relatable. Artists that can capture the relatable and inspire that “I’ve been there too” in listeners are going to be the ones remembered for more than just a catchy tune. What do I know though, haha.
If you want to be soothed into submission, then set a reminder, Josh’s new single “Who Do You Love” drops on January 15th on all digital media platforms.
And don’t forget to follow Josh on social media and Spotify below!