Every Monday we will be bringing you interviews with unsigned UK or Ireland artists for Independent Music Monday. Recently we caught up with unsigned Manchester artist Josh Epithet to find out more…
Where are you from and how did you first get into music?
I'm Joshua Epithet, I prefer Josh Epithet but it really doesn’t bother me, it used to be “hueo” for heritage reasons, but white people couldn't pronounce it, so I changed it, an epithet can be anything people want it to mean, so I went with it. I’m from Manchester, I started writing and making beats when I was fourteen, my dad bought me a laptop for Christmas as like a surprise present and that, like a month after I started writing, with no one knowing about it, it was almost like that was supposed to happen and I chose to act on it yanno.
Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
My dad loves George Michael, The Courteeners, Bruce Springsteen, his wide taste is definitely where I got my love for rap though, he used to play “Stankonia” in the car when I was little so I was a big Outkast fan when I was younger, knew every word, Jay-Z, Kanye, college dropout Kanye especially. Michael Jackson too of course, Rock With You is my Dad’s favourite, it’s the hardest shit of all time. My Mum is more Whitney Houston, The Smiths, The Stone Roses and Prince, especially Purple Rain, I’m used to being woken up by that song being blasted throughout the house at like nine in the morning on a Sunday. My biggest influence is Childish Gambino/Donald Glover, a hundred percent, the guy does everything, turns it to gold and repeat, when I first listened to “Royalty”, I was hooked honestly, stayed up past midnight on a school night to listen to “Because The Internet” when I was eleven, worth it though. Tyler, The Creator is a big one, Kevin Abstract is amazing, Joji, Frank Ocean, Stan Lee, Dave Chapelle, Spike Lee, Andy Samberg, Kanye West, Stefani Robinson, Earl Sweatshirt, Tierra Whack, Taika Waititi, Edgar Wright, Jordan Peele; to name a couple.
How would you describe your sound?
I honestly have no idea, one of my friends called it “bedroom music”, which I love, I like the aesthetic of people knowing I made the shit I do right now, in my room yanno? It’s authentic, no artificial flavours. I really don’t want to be known as a “rapper”, I’m an artist like I don’t just rap you know what I mean? It took Kanye so long to be allowed to do anything else because companies and that saw him as a rapper and a rapper only, that shit is terrifying to me.
What is your latest release called and what was the influence behind it?
Hollywood Hope, it’s an upbeat song, with incredibly depressing lyrics when you actually look at it in depth, the song is about the desire of fame, something I am unfortunately cursed with, and what it can do to a person, morals changing and that, kids they don’t talk to, scary, melancholy stuff.
What’s your local music scene like?
Incredibly band heavy, Manchester’s known for that, there are very few rappers here to my knowledge, especially the more American style that I show, Bugzy and Aitch are the only people I can think of who have “made it” at the moment, that could easily change though of course.
What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
I really have a problem with doing live shows, I want to strengthen my music catalog before doing anything like that really. An album? Most likely, I have a LOT of ideas, it’s insane, my brain never stops, a curse and a blessing at the same time truly, I was on holiday the other week and I honestly couldn’t get my brain to switch off, thinking about like chord progressions and concepts for films it’s exhausting haha.
Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
Obviously Donald Glover, under any circumstance, that’s a BIG reach though due to him most likely retiring soon, Kevin, Tyler or Joji though would be amazing.
What is the one thing that you want readers to know about you?
My best interest is to make things for them to love, it’s my career basically, for better or for worse.