Here at 6/8 Music, we love to “stay weird”. Our favorite artists do too, and our #WCW this week is certainly no stranger to embracing the unconventional. Meet Josephine, a dark pop/R&B recording artist and songwriter who we absolutely love right now. Her latest single, “Friends”, is an underrated pop gem, perfect for any playlist. With a infectious, distinct sound, and plenty of ultra-cool vintage 90’s vibes, we were crushin’ from the start.
Without further adieu, here’s our chat with our #WCW, Josephine!
6/8: Your music is undeniably Pop. It’s a catchy, Top 40 sound with amazing production. What are some producers you’ve worked with, any favorites? Any Top 40 artists or producers you would love to collaborate with?
Josephine: I’m really blessed to work with great talents. Paul Water produced my debut project Love Trap and my sophomore album Chasing High coming out this summer. He’s been really influential in my process and helping me find my voice as an artist. Andrew Luce, Oscar Del Amor, I’m Llama are other producers I’m grateful to have in my circle and we’ll be releasing more stuff together throughout this year and next. As for dream collabs – The Weeknd, Drake, 40, Max Martin, Ben Billions and Rick Nowels are just a few. I’ll assume this is dead or alive so I’ll throw in Freddie Mercury and Janis, too.
6/8: How did you first get into music? Tell us your journey into the music world.
Josephine: I’ve always been a performer. At 5 years old my mom bought me a karaoke machine and I remember it was like winning the lottery. I would put on shows for my entire family, choreography, set lists, even make a food and drink menu–full service kind of stuff. I’ve never really had a problem with the attention. I’ve always kind of just been like, “well, here’s me.”
I was doing music before I was doing music. I was what some would call overly emotional as a child so my dad urged me to keep a diary to “let all the feelings out” and that’s where my writing started… at around 7 years old.
6/8: You recently released your new pop single, “Friends.” Love the way it fades in at the beginning of the song! Can you tell us more about the production and creation of this song? And who’s the guy in the picture?!
Josephine: Thank you! Paul had this beat called “Heat of The Moment” and he sent it to me to write to. I kept thinking, “heat of the moment, heat of the moment” and my mind started racing with thoughts of “getting in the heat of the moment” with my best friend… So yeah, you guessed it. I wrote it about my best friend – a guy – who I was in love with. It was inspired by real experiences we shared and when I finally played it for him he was like, “Wait, is this about me?” Let’s just say I’m not a good liar so he could guess that rest.
As for the guy in the picture… he’s a friend 😉
6/8: What is your favorite part of the music industry? Writing, Singing, Recording, Touring.. Other?
Josephine: That’s like asking which child I like more! I truly love all aspects and it really depends on my mood – each one inspires me in a different way. Writing best comes from spontaneous inspired moments (or experiences involving men), singing and recording are more about precision and pushes me to continuously challenge and improve myself. Touring is a completely different ball game – there’s nothing quite like the energy and connection between you and your fans when you’re on stage.
6/8: Where does your motto “Stay Weird” come from? We love it, and agree.
Josephine: Thanks 😉 Stay Weird is about staying truly and completely YOU- unabashedly, unapologetically. I’ve never quite felt like I fit into any one box or friend group or whatever it be. Growing up, I didn’t have many friends and I was always called weird. I got made fun of a lot for having really bushy eyebrows (now my trademark) and being too loud (now also quite helpful). I went through phases of trying to alter myself – tweezing all my eyebrows off, monitoring my behavior so I would be seen as quiet, nice and timid. Through these experiences, I just found myself depressed and lonelier than ever. It made me realize that there’s truly nothing better than staying true to yourself and just doing YOU. That may sound cliche or like common sense but it’s surprising how uncommon it really is. I believe that by letting your instinct and your true self rule your decisions, you become the most pure version of yourself. By “staying weird”, I believe that is how we get to the fundamental truth of who we are and living our best lives.
6/8: What’s your live performance set-up? Do you enjoy performing solo, or with a band?
Josephine: I do both! But I’m blessed with such a great band that I almost always perform with them. It’s a 4 piece band: keys (Randy McClure), electric/synth bass (Zach Andrews), guitar (Sergio Ramos), and drums (Jarvis Jeb Barnes). We love incorporating sounds from the production combined with the love element. Live instruments are unbeatable.
6/8: Give us 3 albums you’d take to Mars if the world exploded next week, and why.
Josephine: The Eminem Show by Eminem: Eminem is one of the first artists I ever remember listening to. His impeccable lyricism and eloquent imagery inspired me to read more and and strive for greatness as a writer.
Trilogy by The Weeknd: This was the beginning of my teenage revolution. I was 15 when I found this album and I felt like I just woke up. The Weeknd taught me that you can get away with a lot more when you say it softly.
Pearl by Janis Joplin: My girl Janis. She’s so unapologetic. She’s at the top because she just doesn’t care. She wails, cracks, it doesn’t matter. Pure emotion.
6/8: You’re performing in one of Los Angeles’ most prestigious venues: Hotel Cafe. How do you feel about that, and the legendary artists that have played before you?
Josephine: I’m so honored to be performing there. It’s my birthday show and a debut for Chasing High so I’m blessed to be doing that all in such a historic venue. Adele, John Mayer, Sara Bareilles… I’m just humbled.
6/8: This month is Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day. In your words, what does it mean to be a woman in music?
Josephine: Feels like being a woman in music 🙂
I’m grateful because there’s women around the world who dream to have the “rights” we do and so when I make music I make it for those who cannot.
The feminism movement in America is just not something I can say I am all too concerned about. Don’t get me wrong – I’m proud to be a woman, I LOVE BEING A WOMAN. But I am who I am, I happen to be a woman and I happen to make music. I don’t feel defined by my gender. I’m only humbled to be in a position to do what I love every day when not every woman or person can.
6/8: What’s next? Any full-length album in the works?
Josephine: My sophomore visual album Chasing High comes out this summer. It’s reminiscent of 90’s teen pop culture and embodies the lustful and impulsive behavior of high school combined with the modern millennial culture of instant gratification. It pays homage to high school and how most of us never break out of the boxes society places on us – just like in high school. We’re still consumed by what “they” think, the gossip etc. We never really leave high school.
I’m a 90’s baby and a hardcore lover of 90’s everything. I’ll still wear chokers – fuck it. I started singing because of 90’s artists: Britney, Backstreet, Nirvana, TLC etc., and because of films like Clueless, Never Been Kissed, Sixteen Candles. This project is inspired by all that.
More singles to come out after that this summer and Fall and a Winter EP!
6/8: Anything else you’d like to add?
Josephine: See you guys at Hotel Cafe on March 28th!
Stay weird friends. Xo
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