Interviews

Artist Watch: Josh Xantus Readies New Single, Talks Stevie Wonder Love, Addictions, More

Rising R&B singer-songwriter-pianist Josh Xantus's broad worldview of music was the building block to forming a career that has no bounds. Growing up in Brooklyn and Queens (New York City), classical music was ingrained in him from being raised by a single mother who played the violin, and made sure Josh and his siblings played a musical instrument. The piano was the instrument of choice at age six with Beethoven, Bach, and Mozart in his repertoire, but he soon fell in love with the soul of R&B at age ten thanks to Brian McKnight’s “Anytime.” He attended the notable Julliard School and performing arts institution Five Towns College, and now the 26-year-old is on his next project, The Antidote, which follows up 2012’s Everybody Hates Josh X, (a title spawned by shade thrown at the musician over where he was placed on a Singersroom “top” list.)

Josh isn’t slowing down; with multiple projects lined up, the musician took time out for a quick Q&A with Singersroom to dish on musicality, being backed by the greats, addictions to things other than music, exclusive scoop on future projects, and more.

1.) Do you think being a classically trained pianist boosts a musician’s musicality?

Being a classical trained pianist definitely boosts my knowledge and skills as a musician. I am truly blessed to have this as a background. I hear music differently than most people especially in terms of harmonies and rhythms.

2.) You got the thumbs up from many music vets, including Stevie Wonder. How has his support motivated you?

Getting support from many music vets gives me a boost in my confidence and in my art. It lets me know that I'm on the path to greatness. Music is how I express myself and how I communicate. Every song I write, every track I compose is how I feel music. People should feel encouraged and motivated when they hear music. When the legendary Stevie Wonder told me that my music does exactly that and my song " Mommy I Love You " is a song for the world and started telling me about his mother and her passing and got so deep with his words I knew for sure that I'm doing something great. It motivated me to step it up and as a mandate from Stevie Wonder he told me continue doing just that and I will.

3.) Your latest mixtape, The Antidote, is relatable in that you effectively show both the pain and beauty in relationships. Where does your inspiration for songwriting concepts come from?

My concepts come from real life situations. I can honestly say 80 percent of the songs I write are based off personal experiences. I also pull stories from my family and friends. I try my best to write songs that way.

4.) Is it easier to write a song when you’re in a positive mood or bad mood?

I write better songs when I'm in a bad mood. Growing up in a household with a lot of brothers and sisters we would fight a lot. For me, music was always my escape when big fights went down. I would end up going to my piano and writing about it. That's been my writing process for a long time.

5.) When you’re not in the music lab, what does Josh Xantus like to do?

I literally live in the studio. I believe great artists are constantly creating ideas in the studio. Whenever I'm not in the studio, I check in on the latest cars and sneakers. I need rehab because I'm addicted to those worlds.

6.) You’re prepping for an upcoming tour and EP. What’s the word on these projects?

I'm really excited for touring and promoting my new single that drops this Spring and my EP coming this Summer. Singersroom has always supported me since Day 1 so I want to give you the title of my new single first. The single is called Smokin & Drinkin.

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