JonoJosh is a talented Canadian musician who is doing good things. This is what he had to say when he answered my questions.
1. How did you get into music?
That’s kinda a funny thing for me because the reason I was named JJ was that my mom felt before I was born that I was going to be jumping and joyful. Anyone that knows me knows that this is inherently true. Music and the arts have been something I’ve enjoyed since I was born.
2. How did the inspiration for the song Chances shape the song and the way it came out?
It’s a strange thing when you are writing about a true story because one hand you want to respect the person it was written about by letting it be their story to tell. And I struggled with this for some time with this song. I was lucky that I got to sing the song for the family affected by it and they received it very positively. And when I wrote it that was the entire purpose of the song… It was meant to be sung just for them. But then I kept coming back to it and I realized that maybe it was meant to have a larger life than that.
3. How does a song start for you?
I love writing music. Usually, I start by getting inspired by a phrase with a melody that I really like. I’ll repeat the same line for ages until I feel inspired to say something else. Sometimes this process goes for weeks before the song is completed and sometimes the entire piece will be finished in 15 minutes. Chance was one of those songs that wrote itself in about 15 mins. Every word of the song needed to be said so I had to keep it the way it was. Only one word ever changed over the years since that first writing and it was actually changed back for this recording.
4. Where do you get your inspiration from?
my live show is very inspired by the gospel singer Tye Tribbett, Tonex, and my brother Nathan Gerber. My songwriting, however, is very different. Becuase I write based on an idea and not a Genre I can’t actually say it’s inspired by any other artists… There are a lot of musicians that I really look up to and even some that people compare us to: Anderson Paak, Dangelo, Dina Washington, etc. But that’s always an after effect, not an initially planned idea.
5. Has your songwriting changed from when you were starting out?
I think it has absolutely. My songs are a bit straighter to the point now… I think my older songs that I wrote 10 years ago are so steeped in imagery that they bring a completely different color to the pieces. (and yes I really doubt you’ll find those anywhere).
6. What has been the best piece of advice you have given about your music career?
“Find the reason why you do what you do and that is what will bring fulfillment.”
7. Do you have set theme for your music or does it go with the flow and changes?
It does eb and flow but that being said I tend to go project to project. The current project is a very live feel which is a departure from the Outside Ep. However that being said we do plan on returning with some more electronic music next year, and after that, I’m hoping to do a full-length Motown themed album.
8. Were you happy with the response to your debut EP Outside?
I was! That EP had a life on it’s own that I couldn’t have ever guessed would happen. Some of the songs got used in Crux the Musical. I think the coolest thing was going out dancing and hearing Hypnotized come on! Outside was such a fun experience to have with the fly crew. Which is partially why this Ep is coming out. It’s basically the aftermath of the outside EP. I would almost go as far as saying this is Outside 2.0.
9. What do you like about the scene where you are from?
Toronto artists are so supportive of each other. We often write together, or we support each other at shows and on top of that, these artists are trendsetters: Monowhales, Andi, Moonhead. The quality of live music is truly elevated here.
10. What next for yourself?
The fly crew loves to do experiences. So we currently are planned to do an acoustic Experience on the 26’th in west Toronto. Check out the JonoJosh facebook page for more details as it will be very limited seating and on January 18’th we are going to be performing with Silverlinings and Tringa at the Supermarket. If people want to find me though I will be performing every day in Grease Toronto at the Wintergarden Theatre in Toronto which opens November 9’th.