When you think about Salt Lake City it’s easy to understand the city’s strong heritage of do-it-yourself-ness. Many people have an image of what life is like in Utah capital Salt Lake City, but it’s not what you think. Utah is the home of great music, fashion, art and amazing food, and a long-running "underground" scene. The Privy Clubs founder & creative director Vince Edwards sat down with fellow creative and native to SLC Joshy Soul to discuss music, fashion, his journey, and inspirations.
Vince: For anyone who isn’t already familiar, can you please introduce yourself?
Joshy: Yes. My name is Joshua Strauther, I’m also known as "Joshy Soul." I am a music recording artist, producer and creative director based in Salt Lake City, UT.
Vince: Music is a spiritual thing to most music makers; tell me about the first song you created that sent a chill through your body. What was it about in this song in particular that was particularly satisfying?
Joshy: I wrote a song called, "Darling, Darling." Which will be featured on my debut album (Untitled) and it will always have a special place in my heart. The song discusses the journey of meeting that special girl, the process of falling in love and the trip when one or both partner stops meeting the other’s needs, the negative behaviors, like selfish demands, disrespectful judgments and arguments, become a daily practice. Writing this song definitely gave me peace of mind and closure for sure.
Vince: How did your journey with music and fashion begin?
Joshy: I actually was made fun of because of how I dressed when I was younger; people used to tell me that I had zero fashion sense. (Laughs) I’ve always had the confidence in my ability to be stylish though, but in reality we just didn’t have any money to support my creative visions at the time. My style was a process! I remember I used to study fashion, anywhere I could find inspiration, magazines, blogs, and people on the streets, and “The Sartorial list" Andre 3000 was a huge inspiration, seeing him on he big stage is phenomenal. My inspiration also comes from high fashion, Oscar De La Renta, the man was as much an icon as some of the celebrities he dressed over the years, and in my opinion he will always be synonymous with glamour and style.
Joshy: I’ve always had the ability to just pick up on things quickly. When I was younger I was constantly around a guy named Aj Rafael who was huge on YouTube! Luckily he happened to be my neighbor. I had no idea how to play the piano, but I would go over there and watch him play for hours and compose videos. I remember the anticipation, and the excitement! I would go home and teach myself how to play music by watching videos on YouTube; my goal when I listened to the radio was to learn the song before it ended. I became a Christian a year later and became the keyboardist for the church; the talented members of the church have also had a big impact on my talents.
Vince: As a musician ‘on the rise’, do you think it helps to have a ‘big’ sound like that for people to remember you by?
Joshy: For sure, yeah me being a new artist I really wanted to bring the best and biggest sound I could create. (Laughs) people need to know you are coming out swinging and not just some garage band that just wants to play for a few bucks. I’m passionate about music. I want people to remember me by how good of a time they had with the little dude with the mustache! I do it for my fans, the feeling in indescribable.
Vince: Where do you see your role progressing in the coming months/years? Does the idea of fame appeal to you?
Joshy: I’m going to travel the world, performing of course. Aside from performing my second love is producing. There is something awesome about helping others dreams come to life. Fame doesn't appeal me, I am for the people, plus I tend to get anxiety with a lot of new people in my space. The way I see it, I’m just like anyone else, it's just hard to breath and have that much attention on me like I'm someone special. I think it’s important for music fans to understand that without them we wouldn’t have a voice, therefore we are all equal.
Vince: Who would you credit as your greatest inspirations, musically or otherwise? Any dream artists you’d love to work with?
Joshy: I love music! There’s a long list of my favorite artists that range from Brandon Boyd of Incubus to Stevie Wonder, John Legend, Raphael Saddiq, and Pharrell. I grew up listening to that Motown sound! I once saw Raphael Saddiq live at a music festival here in Salt Lake, I remember standing center; his set was nothing short of amazing, from start to finish Raphael gave full energy singing all of my favorites as well as songs from his new album. He can play the heck out of a guitar. Truth be told this performance influenced my sound today, timeless music!
Vince: Let’s talk about current artists now who inspire you every day? Which artist out right now are you watching very closely?
Joshy: Leon Bridges. He's killing the game and I met him a couple of times and I appreciate his dedication to putting out that classic soulful sound. Leon’s got great style too, Jidenna is doing his thing, I admire how he understands branding, he actually happens to be a real down to earth cat too. I’ve always admired artists who truly live their artistry.
Vince: I once heard that style is in the eye of the beholder. It shouldn’t be dictated by what society tells us to look like or what trend is ‘on trend’ for the moment. What are your thoughts on this?
Joshy: I feel like society typically wants to do what is cool, follow trends, instead of giving credit to creative, especially those who show individualism. I love the timeless style, in other words I don’t follow trends, when I make a purchase I go for quality, heirloom pieces you know. What’s funny is most follow trends because they are respected by certain people; it is far too common for folks to fear being left out.
Vince: Who and what would you say most influenced your style?
Joshy: That depends if I want to mix gentlemen style with a more street wear look it is, definitely Art Comes First. If I want to have color and it's a dapper feeling day, Andre 3000.
Vince: What does men’s fashion mean to you? Is there a theme for each outfit?
Joshy: Men’s fashion gives us the ability to speak without opening our mouths. Of course man makes the clothes, not the other way around, it doesn't matter what others think at the end of the day as long as your garments meet your own personal needs and wants. Yes. I love doing a new theme every day. Sometimes I see myself dressed as an old southern man wearing suspenders and other days it’s all about combining styles; I can incorporate a gentleman/ street wear look wearing a snap-back with a suit on and no tie. Sometimes I might even throw on a leather jacket pair it with a wide-brim hat and wingtips. It just depends on how I’m feeling.
For more up to date news follow Joshy on his journey at www.instagram.com/joshysoul