Give us a little bio about you.
Hiya! My name is Josie Proto, I am a singer-songwriter from the south of England in the middle of nowhere. I’ve been writing songs since I was about 13 and I have just released my debut EP ‘PUB SONGS: Volume 1’. I’m a very typical British teenager, so I usually write about very typical British teenager topics.
You released your EP ‘Pub Songs: Volume 1’ – how did you decide on the title?
‘Your songs will only ever be played in pubs’ was one of the many comments that inspired BTEC Lily Allen. The titles changed last minute because I came up with this while having a conversation with my mother about how ironic it was that BTEC would now be played in pubs and everywhere else! I guess it was just another middle finger to those that thought I couldn’t do it.
Describe each track in two words.
This is tricky!
BTEC Lily Allen: Middle Finger
Sliced Bread: Cheating scum
Wales: Warm Adventure
Burner: I’m Done
3 Words: love hater
Who did you work with on the EP?
I co-wrote ‘Burner’ with Ben Matravers and ‘Wales’ with Max Cooke. Both are incredible writers and producers. Aside from ‘Burner’ all the songs were produced and mix by Paul Whalley who I have been working with for over a year and a half. Paul has been incredible, he was one of the first producers I worked with on producing my original songs, so it was important that I could express myself freely and learn alongside the process and Paul massively facilitated that for me.
Where do you see yourself in 5 Years?
I would love to be writing for other people, producing my own music and touring. If I can write, release and gig enough that I am fully living off of making music I would be more than happy. I also have so much travelling I want to do, so maybe in another country!
Where in your hometown is a must-see visit?
Pretty much the only amenities in my little village are the Pub or the Church so that’s down to personal preference. I know where I would rather be for sure!
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
I have very recently bought a van that I’m hoping to convert into a travelling van, so currently you will find me spending all my time, money and energy into that! If not you’ll find me jamming to musical theatre songs in the car with my little sister or eating ice cream.
Is there a song you listened to most that influenced you to pursue music?
‘Without a Believer’ by Sara Bareilles was one of the songs that I heard when I had just started working on my music full time. When I heard that song I knew that there was no other job that I wanted to do. It’s pure craftsmanship and has such a beautiful message. The lyrics are stunning, the recording is completely honest and raw and the melodies are so complicated but incredibly calming. It’s a piece of art.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
‘Bacon goes with everything’. It’s true.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians purely about being an artist?
I often see artists giving advice like ‘be yourself, be unique, have motivation’ but I think practical advice is often more useful to artists starting out. I’d say, get your songs as hard copies as soon as possible, even if they don’t sound exactly how you would want them to sound. Then get them on BBC Introducing because it is such an incredible platform and has really catapulted my career. Another tip is to do your research on labels that you want to be involved in, who have they singed before, how did they find them, who works in the A&R department? etc. The final thing I always say is, you have to be the person that gives up everything for your career because if you don’t then someone else will, and you may be more talented, but hard work always trumps talent.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
‘Bacon goes with everything’. It really will change your life when you say this to yourself every time you open the fridge
What else can we expect in 2020?
SO MUCH! I am so excited for all the amazing things that I have in store! I have so many more songs that are ready to go and so many cool ideas for videos. I’m working on the merch side of things, and as soon as it is safe to do so, I will be gigging!
Follow Josie Proto here