Josh Levi might be a fresh name in music, with his debut EP, Disc One dropping today, but he’s certainly no stranger to the entertainment industry. Having been involved in entertainment from a young age, Levi launched his career at age 11 on the Emmy-winning series Friday Night Lights alongside Michael B. Jordan, then went on to gain greater widespread attention when he showcased his impressive vocal ability on The X-Factor. Now, at 21, Levi is revealing a new side of himself to his fans in the form of Disc One.
Although the short release is only eight songs in length, Disc One isn’t lacking by any means. Throughout the EP, Levi seamlessly fuses pop, R&B and rock over a bed of dramatic, electro beats for a result that perfectly encompasses his extensive love of music. With the EP out today, Josh Levi is eager to introduce himself to fans in a way they’ve never seen or heard before, and we can’t wait to see where he goes next. Listen to the EP in its entirety and read more about it below.
Prelude Press: You’re no stranger to the music and entertainment industry and have been involved in one way or another since you were young. What are some lessons you’ve learned over the years that have helped to shape the music you’re currently writing today or how you operate as an artist now?
Josh Levi: I think one of the most important things I’ve learned is to go for it even if it’s scary. I’ve surprised myself too many times by going against the grain, or not waiting until someone gives me permission to go for something. I’ve realized that you have everything you need and the things that you perceive you lack, you don’t need.
You just dropped your debut project, Disc One! What are you excited for fans to hear on it?
I think what gives me the most excitement/anxiousness/butterflies is introducing myself in a way I never have through this music. I’ve learned that you can explain and write essays on who you are but no one will ever get it until you just show them. Disc One is me showing everyone who I am and my point of view; it feels like a birth.
It being your first full-length album, was there anything in particular you really wanted to accomplish with Disc One?
It’s actually just an EP, but it’s still a complete body of work so what was most important was creating a world that was undeniably me, but also something I felt like other people could relate to. I also really wanted to do my best to showcase all the different ranges of who I am and my sound which is one of my favorite things about this project.
It’s so corny, but following your heart really is a thing. From every single sound, lyric, format, ad lib, it all came from my heart, not my mind. I was obnoxiously detail-oriented while creating this project. In my case, I discover something special when I’m not chasing anything superficial while creating. I also learned to be open-minded while making this project. There were a few artistic choices I wouldn’t usually make, but I was open and ended up discovering some crazy, cool things while making Disc One.
Leading up to Disc One, you also recently released your single, “If The World.” Can you tell us a little bit about the track? What inspired it?
“If The World” was inspired by a numbness I was feeling. I remember being in the studio and being asked, “So what’s going on in Josh’s world, what are we writing about?” and I answered by saying I felt like the world was burning. I honest to God didn’t want to go to the studio that day, but I’m so glad I did. I ended up transforming this ugly feeling into something hopeful, and that’s always my favorite way of coping and processing my emotions. Now I have something to show for what I was feeling.
You also released a music video for the song that was shot during quarantine. What was that process like? What made you decide to go the DIY route for the video?
I really didn’t have a choice [laughs]. I’m a visual artist, so I had my hands tied by quarantine and COVID, but I still wanted to create something cool and with energy to give this song what it deserves. Thankfully, my sister has been quarantining with me in Los Angeles away from New York, so I was fortunate to have her genius behind that video as well as this era.
2020 has obviously been a really challenging year in the music industry with the pandemic putting everything on hold. How did you need to shift gears or change plans this year to adapt?
I think I was mentally affected by the pandemic. Postponing/rewriting my whole year outline was difficult, but nothing was more traumatic and trying than the racism and black murders that started to plague the air. It was the up rise of those disgusting realities that did the most damage to my plans because of the emotional toll it took on me. I remember just wanting to quit everything but I’m blessed to have fought my way back up to be here, release my art, use my voice, and be my best black self.
Have you had the chance to work on new music or other projects while quarantined at home?
I’ve already started my next project 🙂 but I’ve mainly been focusing on giving Disc One as cool of a release as I can. That’s kept me busier than I ever have been, actually. This week alone I may have gotten 3 hours of sleep each day and watching way less “Shameless” than I would like.
What are you looking forward to once things slowly begin to return to normal?
I’m mostly looking forward to getting on stage and pouring my heart out to real people, in person, safely and comfortably. My favorite part about all this is performing, so I can’t wait to do that again whenever that may be. I’ll probably be nervous *laughs*.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
STREAM DISC ONE OUT EVERYWHERE!!!
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