With an incredibly strong debut EP entitled ?My Life on the Radio? under his belt, Josey Greenwell has managed to impress and capture the interest of critics and fans alike with genuine lyrics and a soulful voice that has become his signature.
The country singer songwriter and model has become an internet sensation reaching over 71.295 friends on MySpace and more than 3.6 million plays already collectively on his Myspace, Facebook, and YouTube channels.
His videos covering popular artists? songs are intimate and brilliant performances that fascinate people around the world. He’s on the verge of breaking out and has all the tools to do so.
In this exclusive interview he talks about the process and the inspiration behind writing his debut album ?My Life on the Radio?, how he makes it a priority to stay in touch with his fans and he even confesses his current relationship status.
What was the path that led you to become a musician?
It kind of came out of no where to be honest. When I was in high school I always sang and joked around in the hallways and people were noticing I was pretty good. So I entered a contest and ended up winning to open for the country singer Steve Holy in my hometown. One thing led to another and before you know it the path took a full stride and it was all I wanted to do! So I taught myself how to play guitar and started writing…
How’s the reception been for your album ?My Life on the Radio??
It’s been great! I don’t think a lot of people realize that its very rare for an artist in the industry to single- handedly write every single track on an album, so as that’s been exposed I’ve really gotten a lot of great feedback from writers and people commending me for that. For everything that happened being dropped from my label and all, “My Life On the Radio” album really holds a special place with me because its my first, and my toughest piece of work so far. I was going through a lot emotionally at the time after the label drop so I really had to dig deep to make sure every song wasn’t this sad depressing ballad haha. Honing in on different parts of my life was fun to do, and that album was the outcome 🙂
What was the inspiration behind the album?
There was a lot of drive behind it. I wanted to prove to myself I could create a piece of work that people would enjoy and that was different than what anyone had heard before and would appeal to gay, straight, young or old….anybody! I wanted to put out something that I knew would represent me and hopefully people would like it, contrary to what my prior label had said. A lot of my high school days and early college is inspired behind the album. It’s funny because looking back on writing that album and writing for my upcoming album (Which I CANT WAIT FOR YOU ALL TO HEAR!!!!!) it’s so different in a sense of age and mature level goes.
Do you write your lyrics to the music or the music to the lyrics?
It’s an amazing moment when they come together, but not often does that happen haha. I usually am stuck on an idea and build the music around lyrics. I like for the lyrics and the melody to stand out, and then put music to that. Sometime the simplest chord structures are the catchiest songs. It’s just really a cool thing to do and I’m lucky I’ve been given the opportunity to do it.
Which song off the album ?My life on the radio? do you feel most connected to?
There a song called “Just Fine” that really holds a place with me. It’s unlike anything I’ve written to this day and came at such a needed moment when writing it. It was the last song written for the album and I spent forever trying to put the final song in place, but just didn’t have a good fit that completed the whole project. So I wrote all kinds of songs trying to get one I was comfortable with and really was just freaking out at that point because I wanted to make my deadline haha. So I just needed to step back and relax from it all and write freely. It’s hard to remove that “priority to write” stamp out of your mind and really just focus on what you want to say. So I went to bed one night and woke up the next day literally singing this song. I walked over to my guitar and played it out one time through lyrics and all. It was like unbelievable haha. So hearing “Just Fine” as a listener you would think I’m talking to someone else I love or care about in a certain situation, but the whole song is really based around and narrated as if God is talking to me. “As long as you’ve got me to hold you tight, your gonna be just fine” Listen to it again 😉
Has your cultural background had any impact on the type of music you produce?
It very much has, especially in this upcoming project. I think a lot of people who have followed me before will really enjoy this next piece of work as for its a very much more universal sound. I’m excited. You can almost physically hear me breaking out of my shell in the songs haha.
Your acoustic cover videos have been a sensation on the web. What motivates you to create these videos?
To be honest the first one I did was in about 5 minutes after I came back from the gym and to this day has been the most successful and viral video of all of them. It was Britney Spear’s “I Wanna Go” and I had just bought her album and was listening to that song over and over at the gym because I kept trying to figure out if the whistling part was real by a human whistling or digitally generated. I used to whistle literally all the time and it was my mama’s way of saying I kept myself happy by whistling. So anyway one of my friend’s JC really liked the song to, so I made a video after I got home from the gym one night and put it up on his FaceBook wall to be funny. The next morning it had about 8000 views, so that was the beginning. I now continue to do them because I just really see how people connect with artists and songs they sing or cover. It’s unbelievable the power internet has and can spread just like that…hopefully for good. The best part about it for me is the feedback. My fans will tell me exactly what they like and what they don’t like, what you could do better or just what you need to flat out stop doing haha. It’s amazing and really helps to hear this because as I’ve been writing for my next project these videos have helped me to really edit a lot and change a lot that I think my fan base will fit with better. Almost like we are creating this universal sound together, and that’s exactly what I hope for it to be 🙂
Aside from being a singer- songwriter you are also a successful fashion and fitness model. Is it difficult to balance both careers?
I think they come hand in hand. I’ve gotten a lot of modeling opportunities because of my music and also a lot of music opportunities because of modeling and the fact that I am a singer/songwriter. So I’m taking both avenues really. It’s something different for a mainstream artist to emerge and thrive in both arenas so it’s definitely something I want to continue. After all I’m not too worried about being “different” anymore!
What has been the most rewarding aspect of your music career so far?
I would say just recently when I was able to have a feature article in the international DNA Magazine issue #137. I reached out to them my story and they have been nothing but amazing to me ever since. That was a very rewarding experience for me just because it allowed me to get my story and my music out there to a mass audience.
Is there anyone you would really like to collaborate or perform with?
The first thing that comes to my mind is producers. I have a select few set of producers I want to collaborate with and really help me to push this project more mainstream like if I ever got the opportunity to work with David Guetta, Max Martin, Dr. Luke, Benny Blanco, or RedOne I would love it. I’ve always loved John Mayer’s writing style, so I think a writing session with him would just be insane. I wrote a song literally for Rihanna to sing with me, so let’s see how that goes….;)
Being an only openly gay singer, are you under a lot of pressure to be a role model? Do you feel any obligation to write positive gay lyrics and uplifting gay messages?
You know I feel like a lot of exposure has come basically because of the fact that I’m just who I am. I don’t necessarily feel obligated to do anything, but I do keep in mind who I’m personally writing about and how it will relate to other people. I actually think because of the fact I’m gay it puts a more interesting twist on who my songs are about or who they are directed to. Suspicioun is always very enticing to the human mind, but like I said it’s just interesting. Who I write my songs about is just an interesting factor about the making of it, not a make or break key factor to the listener. People I hope will take my songs and apply it to their own personal lives, whether they like boys or girls. Most of the time though they are about relationships I have with people, certain situations I’ve been in with them, or different wants and desires I have.
What’s your current relationship status? Single? Dating? Off the market?
Has anyone ever said all of the above? haha that would be nuts. But my official relationship status is single- ish…..haha ok ok I’m single.
You have a loyal fan-base that follows you on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. How important is for you to constantly interact with them?
It’s not just important, but its a priority. I feel like we are all doing this together so it’s extremely important to me to stay in contact and listen to what people have to say.
What are your plans and aspirations for the future?
Breaking Out! Getting myself out their to the world. You can get so wrapped up in a bubble here in Nashville and that’s why I’ve been wanting to and in fact have taken a step out on this next project with my sound. I think my beginning sound was great for me at first, and it really helped me to be able to add true depth to my songs, but I’m now using what I’ve learned and moving everything towards a more mainstream sound with my writing style. Its actually pretty great so far and I want a product that the whole world can listen to! Something unheard of while keeping that real element and truth to it all. I’m definitely going to keep my online presence strong because after all that’s what is pushing me today. I love seeing all the comments and answering all the messages and different things on my YouTube videos and its fun to let everyone in on different things happening. I definitely am going to be filming everything…so stayed tuned in to JoseyTV! I have a lot going on on my own and definitely feel I’m ready to team up with some different producers, a booking agent who can help me start performing in various places hopefully all over the world, or a record label to start getting everything out there to people even more. So if you know of one or want to contact me, holler at me! haha [email protected] or get at my New Facebook Page.
You can listen to Josey Greenwell?s unique and beautiful voice on his debut album available on ITunes.
The Edge of Glory – Lady Gaga (Josey Greenwell cover)
Be sure to visit his website http://www.joseygreenwell.com/, to get more information and check out his tour dates.
Check out Josey?s portfolio in MODEL MAYHEM