Josh Bogert is more than just a voice. At 19 years old, Josh has mastered his career as a vocalist, producer and sound engineer. To get a closer look into his early days and what he’s up to now, guest contributor Marla Milano, founder of Chicago-based music discovery platform, Upswing, played a game of 15 questions with Bogert.
Check out what he has to say below!
15 Tell me a little about your background. What was it like for you growing up, and what made you want to become a musician?
My parents always had a love for music, so they put my older brother and I in classical violin lessons when I was 4 years old. Music has just been a part of my life forever and I gradually picked up more and more instruments throughout my childhood along with singing, songwriting, and music production. I tried all sorts of other activities including sports and dance but I obviously was drawn to music. My parents were incredibly supportive of my musical journey as I grew up, and still are to this day.
14 If you could be featured in any artist’s song, who’s would it be and why?
It’s so hard to pick one artist, as I have so many influences and my favorite songs are constantly changing. Recently, I’ve been really amazed by SHY Martin; her songs are incredible and I’d love to collaborate with her. I’ve always wanted to feature on an Illenium track, I think his production has the highest quality in the melodic dance music industry today.
13 What is your idea of success as a musician?
I believe success is synonymous with happiness. I have some big goals, but I think the journey to those goals is where I find joy. I feel as long as I’m happy working away and making music, that’s what success looks like to me.
12 How have you been keeping busy with social distancing? Do you feel you’ve had more time to interact with your fans?
I’ve definitely had more time on the internet interacting through social media. Mostly, I’ve been in the studio focused on writing new songs and producing the next round of releases.
11 Can you talk about the creative process for your latest album?
Most of these songs were written across several writing trips to Toronto, as I have friends there who I love to co-write with. Once I had the songs, I took them home to my studio in Vancouver and recorded, produced, mixed, and mastered them on my own. Once the song is structured out, it’s really just spending hours and days going over the songs with a critical ear, making little adjustments until they all add up to make the song sound finished.
10 What would you say was your biggest lesson from when you first started making music? How has that lesson influenced your creative process today?
Story is the most important thing. I learned very young that good songs have a purpose for every word and every note. I keep this in mind when I’m writing, as well as my production. Every element of the song has to be motivated. If an instrument is just there for the sake of adding something, it becomes distracting, so every layer serves an actual purpose that has been thought out.
9 What’s one of the funniest things that’s ever happened to you while touring?
On a Canadian tour in 2016, we had travelled by plane to all our western venues, but once we got to the eastern provinces we began travelling in a tour bus. I was sleep deprived from late shows and early flights, so the first night on the bus I slept for 13 hours straight. I woke up at 1pm, no one else on the bus, and the driver was about to leave the venue to take the bus for maintenance. I panicked and grabbed all my stuff and rushed into the venue! It was a good thing my soundcheck didn’t start until 3:00.
8 What is the biggest takeaway you want your fans to gain from your music?
One of the things I love most about music is that everyone can relate to a song in a different way, depending on the situations in their lives and their perspective. My hope is that a person will gain some more understanding of a situation in his/her life through one of my songs.
7 You sing, act, produce and so much more. That’s a lot. Do you have trouble unplugging? What do you do to wind down?
Absolutely. One of the best ways I’ve found to help me unplug is CrossFit. I’ve been going to a CrossFit gym for about 4 years now, and I love it. If I feel stressed or overwhelmed, all I need is to lift some heavy weights and I feel so much better.
6 It’s been said how you do one thing is how you do everything. How would you say what you do outside of making music plays into what your work ethic when you are?
I definitely find the areas of my life outside of music contribute greatly to my motivation and creativity. It’s been difficult with the gym closed, and not being able to go out and socialize because of COVID 19, to keep my motivation up. That being said, I’ve been writing and working on some new songs during these times that I’m really excited about.
5 You’ve done a great job at blending genres, which is a lot harder than it looks. What has that process been like for you, and what are your thoughts about the trend of the lines continuing to blur between genres as a whole?
Electronic Dance Music has been a great example for genre blending for years. The one thing I find EDM misses is the focus on writing a good song that stands on its own before the production. Being a singer/songwriter as well as a producer has allowed me to focus on blending the high quality songwriting of pop and songwriter music, with the intricate production techniques of melodic bass and dance music. I think blurring the line between genres is how artists stand out in today’s industry, and it eventually leads to entirely new genres being created.
4 What advice would you give to someone who wants to start making music and is just starting out?
Practice is the most important part, so get started right away and put in the time to learn as much as you can about the aspects of music that you’re interested in.
3 What are some of your favorite things to do in Vancouver?
I just really love being in the city! Whether it’s shopping, dining, or just hanging out downtown with friends, I’ve always felt Vancouver is a great place to be. I also love hiking, and the mountains up in Squamish and Whistler have some incredible hiking trails!
2 Where do you see your music going from here?
My intention is to keep improving. I’m really proud of what I accomplished with this most recent release, and I intend to keep learning and growing as an artist. I’m definitely expanding to more collaborations in the near future, and I have releases coming up with some incredible artists, so that’s something to keep an eye out for!
1 What are some of your long-term goals?
Some of my long-term goals are a headlining a tour of my own, and/or opening for a bigger artist on his/her tour, as well as continuing to develop my own sound and collaborating with other artists. Music is my passion, so I know this is going to be a long journey for me, and I’m excited to see where it takes me!
A Chicago-based music discovery platform, Upswing connects live music fans to their new favorite artists. Whether you’re looking for a local show in your own city or traveling somewhere new, our website allows you to discover and review artists by genre as well as show you where they’re playing.