By BRUCE DENNILL
Josh Middleton recently released his single Caught Up, ahead of the release of new album A Mild Case of Insomnia, to be released later this year.
Middleton wrote and produced Caught Up with producer Crighton Goodwill of Good Noise Productions.
“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?
It took me a while to find my sound, but I would say that Whitney Houston, John Legend and Sam Smith had that R&B/pop twist that inspired me to start creating music of my own.
Has that changed over the years? If so, how and why, and what are you currently exploring?
I’ve been influenced by artists such as Tove Stryke, Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys and Christina Aguilera, all of whom have left fingerprints on my songwriting. I tend to listen to artists with powerful vocals and unique songs.
Name one song you wish you’d written (or, if you’re not a writer, one you’d like to be known as the definitive interpreter of). What makes that song so important?
John Legend – Conversations In The Dark. That song hits different. It’s the feeling you get when a song means more than the lyrics on paper. It has a deeper meaning behind it that I can’t explain.
In production and arrangement terms, what are facets of your music and the music you love most by others that you feel are crucially important in terms of creating the mood you’re after or supporting the message of your song?
Simplicity. You need to be able to hear and appreciate every part of a song. Whether it be piano and strings or a thousand other extras, everything needs to be necessary and have a specific purpose. That’s something my producer and I strive to get right in each track.
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?
Although everything needs to work together, I would say a song’s melody determines its success. Most of the time it’s the first thing we hear when we’re writing.
What’s your favourite piece of gear?
A grand piano – although I don’t own one yet. Perhaps once the world goes back to normal I’ll pick myself up a Steinway for at home.
What is the story behind Caught Up – the genesis of the song, the people involved, the muse behind its creation?
I went up to the studio one morning and started playing piano, and within 10 minutes the song was practically finished and I knew the story I needed to tell. I find that juggling a music career, studying business and having a social life can be really tough, especially when you’re in a relationship. Sometimes you just get caught up, whether you’re in studio or on tour, it’s hard to keep everyone happy. Sometimes you just let that relationship slip. I remember sending my producer a voice note that morning. He got a guitarist in and we put everything down that week.