Music Interview: Josh Wantie – Throwing Out A Lifeline, Or Loving What Is Lost

April 8, 2020

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Durban-born, London-based artist Josh Wantie released the single Young in 2019 and the EP Lifeline in January this year.


“Influence” is a loaded, often misunderstood concept. An artist may sound similar to another but have no knowledge of them, or be a super-fan of someone whose output is completely different to their own. Who or what was the artist, album, song, era or scene that initially mapped out the road to you becoming a musician?

I think that the artists that influenced me were  different from what I sound like now. Initially, I grew up listening to all sorts around the house as my dad was always playing music on the hi-fi and in the car. AC/DC, Blues, Johnny Clegg, Enya and trance music – very mixed.


Has that changed over the years? If so, how and why, and what are you currently exploring?

It’s changed in that I only really listen to stuff that will have an influence on me now. There is so much out there it’s crazy, so I have to streamline what I listen to. Currently, Twenty One Pilots, The 1975 and some Eighties stuff for some reason.


Name one song you wish you’d written. What makes that song so important?

Someone You Loved by Lewis Capaldi. I wish I had written this because I would never have to work again – haha!


Which aspects of your music do you prioritise? For you, would you rather have that your lyrics, your melodies, or your vocals or instrumental work are the are the most memorable parts of your songs? 

I have recently started with a chorus and worked backwards. I usually have quite a heavy production before I start writing lyrics and melody.


The music industry is no longer a single-narrative operation. For you, what is the best way to get your music from your head to potential listeners? Please comment on digital means (from social media to full streaming and download distribution), playing live (how often; where; to whom), being a cottage industry (eg selling CDs from a box in your car) and any other creative channels you’ve explored. 

I think that, nowadays, streaming and social media are the only media really worth giving time and attention to. Playing live is obviously important, but I think in terms of reach and maximizing the amount of listeners, and then social and streaming are important. Spotify, Apple Music and the rest, paired with advertising and engaging online – those are the best ways to get to potential listeners.


In terms of the above, is there a gap between what you envisioned and what you are experiencing now? Does it matter, and if so, how do you close that gap? 

Yes, it’s always a challenge because these lanes are so heavily congested. It does matter and I think the only way to close that gap is to try and grow an audience with unique and engaging content and then doing this consistently.


What is the story behind Young – the genesis of the song, the people involved, the muse behind its creation? 

Young is all about fighting the inevitability of growing old and forgetting all the things that made you feel alive when you were young. It’s a love story of the past, really. Sometimes in the industry, being an artist, we can get so caught up in the future that we forget to look back at the past. Young is about looking back and loving what you see.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][us_single_image image=”7966″ onclick=”custom_link” link=”|||”][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”default_sidebar”][/vc_column][/vc_row]