After all these times pop music being dominated by the feisty divas and pop princess, we saw the raising reign of the prominent male soloists and singer-songwriters, geared with soulful vocal and crooning ballads. Names like James Blake, Sam Smith, Mikky Ekko, Gotye already has their place in music industry, and now its time for Josef Salvat to claim his. Hailing from Sydney and based in London, this 26 year old singer-songwriter getting noticed after releasing early singles like “This Life” and “Hustler”, showcasing his haunting vocal, killer piano , and overall promising career ahead. I talk about him via email regarding his music and the upcoming release.
Hello Josef, how are you? Where are you right now and what were you doing before answering this email?
I’m well thank you. I’m currently sitting on my own in a cafe in central London waiting for my lunch. Before coming here I was around the corner at a screening of a friend’s short film that is part of the Raindance Film festival.
Please tell me a bit about your background and what really prompted you to make music?
I was born and raised in Australia. I loved singing as a kid and we had a piano in the house but I never had the patience to learn it properly so I started making my own things up on it. Quickly it become my way of processing things I couldn’t talk about. I went and studied law after school because I was worried I couldn’t make a living with the music I made. But it became clear towards the end of my degree that if I wanted to be happy it wasn’t really a choice. So here I am.
The early press articles describe you as the mix between Morrissey & Lana Del Rey, how do you feel about that? Who were your musical influences that really shapes your music right now?
It’s very flattering – they’re both wonderful artists. My influences range from Bjork, Nina Simone, Eurythmics, Art of Noise, Nirvana – so my parents record collection and teenage discoveries – to Drake, Nas, Katy Perry/Dr Luke, Florence and the Machine, Amy Winehouse etc.
How would you describe your own music?
I generally don’t, but if pushed I usually just say it’s ‘pop’. Self-categorization and creative freedom aren’t often friends in my experience.
After your early singles “This Life” & “Hustler” last year, you seems to take your time and not rushing to release anything until now, tell us what were you busy doing during that period?
I got signed and then started making an album. I spent some thinking/writing time in Spain and couple of months in LA and then came back to London and went into the studio to record everything.
Its seems like we’re kinda have the rise of soulful male vocalists, how do you see yourself in the music industry nowadays?
Ah. The sands are always shifting.
Tell me about your latest single, “Shoot & Run”, I always feel slightly dark tones on your songs but this single is actually darker, so what is the song tell about lyrically and musically?
Lyrically it’s about that realization you have when you see the world for what it is. When you realize no one really knows what they’re doing, that there is no ‘grand narrative’. A lot of my friends went through a very nihilistic and self-destructive phase whilst they were coming to terms with this. But they were joyful in their recklessness. Musically I wanted to create a type of dystopia that was beautiful and full of color but kind of cold and empty at the same time.
Would you mind to talk about the upcoming In Your Prime EP? How many songs on this EP will be? Are you still working with Rich Cooper for the new materials?
I’ve done everything with Rich yeah. We’ve worked together for 3 years now and it’s a beautiful relationship. There are 4 tracks on the EP, one of which is a cover of “Diamonds” by Rihanna. It’s the first time I’ve shown the other side of the music I write, the more hopeful side. It’s a small proposal of how I experience the world; there is contrast.
What is your plan for the full album?
It’s actually almost done and will be coming some time next year. Apart from that I’m not really sure.
What else you did enjoy beside music?
People mainly. But also I try to read books, travel when I can and recently I’ve started bouldering (climbing, but without ropes), which is brilliant.
What’s the next plan for you?
The next plans on the horizon are shooting the video for “Open Season” and a few live shows.