Sunday, April 6, 2014

Josiah James Interview

Josiah's latest EP. Coming to you soon!
            For those that have read any of my previous blog posts know how big of a proponent I am of people following after their dreams.  Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing Northern California, indie artists +Josiah James. Josiah exhibits doing what it takes to go after the dream that’s in your heart. As a freshman in college Josiah decided that instead of attempting to juggle the responsibilities of college along with song writing, recording, and touring that he would hold off on school, and pursue music full time. As other great luminaries before him that left college early to pursue their passions, such as +Steve Jobs, the gamble paid off.  Since that time Josiah has done numerous tours, over 500 shows, and has released three albums, and he is currently readying the release of his new EP, Identity.
            On the journey to our dreams, especially as independent artists, we often learn as we go when it comes to the business end of things. I asked Josiah about some of the stories he’s experienced with his business dealings and working with other, artists, bands, and musicians. When it came to touring Josiah often worked out mutually beneficial arrangements with those that he toured with. He would often work out deals with the other bands. Deals along the line of if it was their tour maybe they’d get the guarantee at the door, but he would get to ride with them on the tour, wouldn’t have to pay for gas, and he would make money from album and merch sales. 
Unfortunately there are times when individuals in the industry use dirty tactics or tricks in their dealings, and we learn very quickly that we need to protect ourselves in this business. Josiah recalled a time with a certain band. They were in a hotel room. While they were in their hotel room Josiah was working on a potential new song, with the other band in the room. He didn’t see a reason to not trust these guys, but they ended up trying to steal the song, and claim as there own. It took a lot of backtracking, going through voice memos and such to prove that the song was his work. For a while Josiah didn’t think that he would get to release this new song to the public, but eventually he was able to prove the song was his. That’s just one of the dirty tactics that independent and major label artists might have to face in this industry. 
As an independent artist there are times when there just isn’t a lot of money to bargain with. Sometimes you have to just find musicians that are just down to help you, and can work with what you can afford. That’s the case for Josiah. He has a set amount that he can work with. Sometimes he can do a little bit more than that, but if there’s a musician that just wants more and more money he has no qualms with not using them. In fact there are times where he’s worked not using a band into his live show. During a live show Josiah will create a full song right in front of his audience. Using his acoustic guitar and a live looping technique, Josiah will layer guitar parts, percussion, and his voice and create a whole song live in front of the crowd. I’ve never seen it, but it sounds pretty amazing to me, and it’s easy for me to understand why there were so many people in my circle raving about this guy before I ever met him.
Josiah James epitomizes the new school independent artist. He does it on his own when he has to, and he has expertly engaged his audience using social media. Over the years he has amassed thousands of fans that have supported his music, and he has exemplified living the dream!
For more on Josiah James you can check him out on his website, and on social media outlets everywhere:

Instagram: @josiahjames