Joshua Grant left ESMS in summer 2019 and went to New York for an internship. He has released several singles already with his last single reaching top of the charts. We caught up with him last week for a chat ahead of his new single launching on 27 November.
How did you get into music? What led to you releasing your first single, Transparent, in 2019? What help did you have to produce this?
I’d always loved music, whether it be musicals; playing guitar; doing house rock at school or listening through whole albums. The music staff at school will know I was never the best at singing… but I’ve worked on it over the past few years by playing guitar more, until the point I started writing my own songs. My Mum kindly got me some recording gear for Christmas and I recorded my first single ‘Transparent’ myself in my bedroom in January of 2019. The track got released in May of that year and all my friends were supportive of it that I decided I’d keep going!
What inspired your writing of Edinburgh, your most popular single to date? How did you go about recording this during lockdown in the UK? Was it easy to work remotely?
Back at the beginning of this year I had the chance to intern at the New York Times in New York. I stayed in Manhattan when I was there and the first thing I did was buy myself a guitar at Times Sq and go to Central Park to play. I would sit for hours in my free time and play songs and people would drop some dollars in my case and stop by and chat. I had my Scotland Flag with me so I got a lot of Scots stopping as well. It made me miss home so I got the idea to write a song about home when I was on that bench in Central Park. After the Virus forced me to come home I started writing and came up with the song ‘Edinburgh’ shortly after. The track is a love letter to the place I grew up and all the friends I grew up with. It’s hoping that, although all my mates are scattered across the country doing different things, when we’re all back in Edinburgh together it’ll be like we never left.
Scott Maxwell, another former ESMS student, is an incredibly talented music producer. So I would record the vocals and guitar in my room during lockdown and email the recordings to him. He would work his magic and send different versions back to me. We spent weeks finding the best mix and I think we got there in the end. Scott is a very hard and very efficient worker so working remotely with him was great fun.
What have you been up to since Edinburgh launched? Have you been working on more music? Are you at University now?
Releasing Edinburgh opened some really cool doors for me. I was asked to perform the track on TV for BBC Scotland as an alternative to ‘The Fringe’ which was an amazing experience. One of my good friends also set up a charity live stream night in memory of his brother. He asked myself to do a set and even got Lewis Capaldi on board. He ended up raising over £14,000 for Teenage Cancer Trust so it was incredibly special to be involved in that.
As for University, I’m studying Economics and Philosophy at Glasgow and really enjoying myself. If my Mum is reading this I promise I’m working hard…
I’ve made some great friends and managed to find a band so I can start writing more complicated music.
How is life at University? Are you staying in halls? How do you think this your experience has been affected by the restrictions?
I’m staying in Murano Halls up in the West End of Glasgow. It’s definitely been a different experience and it seems like we’re getting restriction after restriction but I’ve been enjoying myself nonetheless and it looks like next semester could be better if this vaccine works out.
Tell us about your new single, what was your inspiration? Who have you worked with to produce this?
My new single ‘Lay Me Down’ will come out on the 27th November. With the last track reaching #1 in the Scottish Charts and #34 in the UK Sales Charts I’m hoping we can beat that this time round. ‘Lay Me Down’ is very different to the other tracks sonically but I’m really enjoying this new direction. It’s a build up to the chorus at first but as soon as it hits the song is full of energy. I wanted to write a song that people could dance to and one that would be fun to play at gigs. I worked with Scott again for this track. We actually made this one together in his bedroom studio he has set up. I’m ready to throw everything I have at the release and see what we can make happen!
We understand you’ve had some videos done by Lucy Badger, fellow ESMS FP. How did that partnership come about?
Lucy has been one of my best mates for years now. I can remember she was always incredibly talented at art in school so was glad to hear she got into St Martins in London, the best art school in the country. She’s now studying film in London. She has the most amazing creative ideas and has helped me with the ‘Edinburgh’ Music video and a really cool animated video for ‘Lay Me Down’.
How can readers support the new song?
For ‘Lay Me Down’ to make the charts I need all the support possible. You’ll be able to find the song on all streaming platforms by searching ‘Joshua Grant’. But the best way to help is buying the song. I know, why would anyone buy music anymore? But one sale counts for 1500 streams so it helps massively! I’m on Facebook at ‘Joshua Grant Music’. Any support is really appreciated and I hope everyone at ESMS has a great holiday when it comes around!