Josh Wheatley | Interview

We constantly feature new & notable indie artists that drive innovation in all aspects of songwriting, production & performance. Meet this week’s featured artist in an exclusive interview. Introducing You To Your Next Favorite Artist: Josh Wheatley

Josh Wheatley may only be 21, but his angelic pop indie folk voice is one such phenomenon. Having already caught the attention of Janice Long at Radio 2 and a host of producers lining up to work with Josh, this dark and brooding songwriter from Nottingham is writing about matters of the heart and soul with a knowing empathy rarely found in someone so young.

Comments from the Curating-Editor

Josh Wheatley creates soothing alternative-pop that is both vulnerable and visionary. With brit-folk tendencies influencing a very refined pop aesthetic, his single Runaway is a perfect example of Josh’s effortless yet contemplative songwriting. There’s something aching in the synth ornamentation that playfully juxtaposes the calming affect of the vocals, making for a song that you’ll be thinking about throughout the day and won’t runaway from.

What are your top 3 favorite albums that inspired you to get into music?

Ben Howard – Every Kingdom; Ryan Adams – Ryan Adams; Dry The River – Shallow Bed

What are your fondest musical memories, as an artist and as a listener?

I think for both it’s the same moment; the first show I went to see when I was 16 was Dry The River. I had spent the last few months listening to their album religiously. I turned up to the show, and that’s where I discovered D.I.D (formerly known as Dog is Dead). They were playing under a different name so no one would immediately know it was them. It just opened my eyes to playing live music, and the magical thing venues can provide gig-goers.

Lately what musical periods or styles do you find yourself most drawn to as a listener?

A lot of East Coast American Indie Rock. I’m a massive fan of Death Cab For Cutie.

What is your creative process like? How do you approach the writing process? Is there a particular message or theme central to your creative works?

My writing process usually starts with a line or something I’ve had running around my head for a day or so. That could be a melody or even a few words. That usually tends to force me to sit down and write something.

We’re a firm believer that the cities that artists are based in helps craft their sound. How would you describe your city’s music scene? How has it inspired you into crafting your sound?

I completely agree. The surrounding of an artist can help craft their sound. Maybe it’s why some musicians move about so frequently, as touring can be great for creativity depending on the individual.

Nottingham has certainly helped craft my sound. When I started I was in a folk heavy lane, but over the years with my music tastes widening to have thrown my head into indie pop and electronic music.

Runaway Album CoverHow would you describe your visual aesthetic, in terms of album artwork, music videos, and artistry? How does the music you create contribute to your visuals? Does this extend to your live show experience?

I try to have as much input in my own creative output as possible. I also design all my own record artwork. I’ve also been working with a very talented friend of mine called Ryan Peck, who’s filming and taking lots of photos.

As for the current live set-up, I’m just slumming it on my own at the moment just to see what happens. I’m quite content playing solo for now, but there are plans to pull a band together.

As an indie artist in the digital age, social media and streaming are essential tools for marketing and promotion. What do you think about online music sharing, both as a music fan and as a musician? How do you think social media/music streaming services impacts the rising musician?

As a consumer I absolutely love streaming, but as a creator I feel like there’s a part of me that should loathe it. It’s a double-edged sword.

Social media and music streaming tend to impact musicians so heavily in this day and age. 10 years ago an artist wouldn’t have to worry about anything like that, but it’s just a fresh challenge to overcome.

What is your dream collaboration and why?

Ryan Adams. Even if I could just sit in the corner of his office and just watch him write a song.

Which songs are you currently obsessed with? What new acts do you recommend to our listeners? What bands do you believe are your best kept secret in the indie community?

I’m currently obsessed with Flyte’s new tune ‘Victoria Falls’. Absolutely beautiful song.

Petrichor – Tall Ships; My Girl Drinks Coffee – Sam Brookes; Something – Julien Baker; Cold Hands – Nathan Ball; Alaska – Maggie Rogers; The Meetings of the Waters – Fionn Regan; Tired As Fuck – The Staves

Without a doubt I’d recommend Tall Ships. They’ve got a new album out next month I’m looking forward to listening to. Some insane tunes.

Best kept secret is a difficult one…bands don’t stay secret for very long. A friend of mine called Daudi Matsiko should definitely be much bigger. He’s been supporting Keaton Henson in the last year, well worth checking out. Listen to Daudi Matsiko – Take Me Old

What are you currently working on? Any new projects?

Just more releases under my own name. We’ve been working away from Nottingham up in Liverpool on a few new things. We’ve also got some awesome remixes out for my first single ‘Runaway’.

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