Singer, producer, pianist, and musician Josh X is the epitome of dedication, hard work, and commitment. He is eager to reinvigorate the game of young R&B. X is a skilled artist with a top hit on Billboard.com; he collaborated with reality star and rapper Cardi B on his latest single “Heaven On My Mind,” and it’s a smash on radio.
But before working with Cardi B, X already collaborated with some heavy hitters in the industry including Jadakiss, Lil Wayne, Jim Jones, and Swizz Beatz. Legendary R&B icon Stevie Wonder also respects and appreciates X’s artistry. Wonder’s exact words are “Josh continues to carry out the legacy of being a musician that represents real music.” Wonder became a fan of Josh X after listening to his song “First Time.”
The Queens native has big plans for 2017: he’s working on his debut album titled Black Excellence due out spring/summer 2017 and will continue to tour as well.
Singersroom.com spoke with the R&B crooner about his single “Heaven On My Mind,” Cardi B, being recognized by Stevie Wonder, and so much more.
Check out our interview!
Stage Name, Josh X: Power 105.1 and Hot 97 had a hard time pronouncing my last time when they were playing one of my songs on the radio. My last name is Xanthus. And DJ Envy was the one who suggested to me that I should change my stage name to Josh X.
New Single “Heaven on My Mind”: I wanted to record a song that big ups the ladies. Nowadays, there are not enough songs on the radio that highlight women in a positive way. And so I wanted to show my appreciation and upmost respect for women. It’s important for me since I was raised by a single mother. I wouldn’t want someone calling my mother or sister a thot; it’s disrespectful. I also wanted to let the fellas know there’s nothing writing a song where your looking for love from the right woman. I want dudes to know it’s not corny to treat a woman with respect and appreciate her worth. It’s not corny to treat your girl like a queen. It’s okay to be a good guy to a girl.
The “Right Woman” According to Josh X: For me, I pay attention to a woman’s heart before her physical. She has to love herself before she can have a relationship with me at all. I need someone with a big heart, a forgiving heart, supportive, unselfish, loveable, and just really down for me in the long run. Those are some of the things I’m looking for in a woman before I even look at her physical appearance.
Working with Reality Star and Rapper Cardi B: It’s quite funny. I was working with Cardi’s B manager who turned out to be my manager, so I already knew her before the record. I was one of the first people who did some previous records with her before “Heaven On My Mind.” But, Cardi is dope, for real. I like to describe her animated because she knows how to make you laugh. She’s a comedian, a jokester. But, Cardi is serious once she steps in the studio. Once she is in the booth, she is passionate about her work; it was rewarding for me to work with her again on the record because she is a jewel.
Debut Album Black Excellence: The album is a compilation of original songs based on my personal experiences. On this album, I am presenting my creativity which I value and the time I put into this album. It took me a good two years to work on my debut and timing is everything. I’ve faced a few ups and downs but overall, I believe my music can uplift people from any situation. I want people to know after listening to this album is keep pushing, keep striving, keep dreaming, and believe in yourself as a whole.
Define “Good Music”: Stevie Wonder told me a story that stuck with me after our conversation; I felt so inspired, and it increased my desire to make real music. He was rooting for me, but his words stuck with me and changed my outlook. He said, “A good artist tells a story with lyrics that will uplift, bring joy, happiness, pain, and passion. The artist is a storyteller. The artist should make music that would inspire everyone and make the world a better place. There’s a message in the story. It will help the listener grow from the artist. He said as long as you’re doing that, you’re making great music. I wrote a song, “Mom, I Love You,” and it’s for all the mothers out there is a song that anyone can listen to, and they can take something away from the song.
After listening to Stevie Wonder, I want to continue to make music that is relatable to people. I want to record music that would help people grow in their life. I think about the artists who came before me like Stevie, Marvin Gaye and how their music wasn’t degrading. Their music represents love, happiness, and realness all at the same time. I want to give something to the youth, and that is my music.
Recognized By Legends: It’s a blessing to receive respect from Stevie Wonder and others. It’s unrealistic, but I enjoy vibing with some of the artists I’ve worked with thus far, Brian Mcknight is my favorite singer, and I’ve idolized his work. So to be working with some of your idols like Swizz Beatz is a dream come true. Swizz is an incredible producer who has achieved a great level of success. It’s like I have to pinch myself, but it’s a humbling experience. I just have to thank God because He is powerful and just continues to work hard on my music.
Remaining Humble: I remind myself where I started and understood God is responsible for everything. I think about my childhood and how much my mom had to work to provide for my family and me. God blessed me with a gift, and when you don’t acknowledge Him, He can take it away from you right away. It’s a blessing to be where I am, and I don’t that for granted at all.
Upcoming Projects: I am working with an artist from Japan so look out for that real soon.I would continue to tour to promote the song and album in 2017. I just want people to know who I am as an artist and person. Let my voice be heard. I believe touring will help me branch out and cater to a wide range of people who appreciate good music.