Alt-Pop star Josie Man makes music with a message, she's here to build confidence through her honest and emotive music that have a groovy sonic twang. The young starlet hopes to spread the message of physical, emotional and mental wellness - all whilst making you dance in the process.
After releasing her debut single “Colours” at the end of 2019, Josie followed up with the incredible “Baby Pink & Blue”, before releasing her debut EP aLOVINGboothang in February 2020 . A hypnotic performer, with a voice as sweet as honey, Josie’s lyrical content is powerful, direct and important. Josie wants to bring her quest for kindness to the world and largely communicates this through the overarching notion of love; for both herself, and those around her. Today she introduces us to the sentimental and romantic pop anthem “Cuts & Bruises''.
Josie Man - Cuts and Bruises
“Cuts and Bruises” discusses the safety and comfort Josie is able to find within her partner, as the track goes on to carefully detail this endearing and remedy-like quality possessed by said spouse, which is able to heal her from the grazes attributed to life’s trials and tribulations. Remarks and subtle references to both her recognition and appreciation of this attribute are made throughout the track, but none are more prominent than within the pre-chorus where she states “You heal my cuts and bruises with your love and energy”.
The track’s instrumental makes great use of upbeat synths and pop infused piano progressions. The themes of introspection and gratitude evident within the lyricism are also flawlessly depicted sonically, through the juxtaposition seen to be present between the melodies in the chorus and those that lie outside of it.
With support from the likes of BBC Radio One, Annie Mac, BBC Introducing, NME, Marie Claire, Wonderland, Clash, LOVE, Line of Best Fit, Dazed Beauty, and more, Josie is on a rapid trajectory to make 2021 even more successful than her amazing 2020.
How has lockdown impacted your creative process
It's tough because I feel like I continuously have to be doing things so then I have to kind of remind myself that I can't do everything and it's okay if i don't as well. I’ve been able to write but it's kind of from a different aspect, It's kind of been sadder which is a good thing because I never really wrote about that so it kinda really shows my more vulnerable side which i'm not mad about at all, I quite like it *laugh*
What instruments do you play and how did you get into them
Erm so I play the guitar and the piano and I started off with the guitar when I was about 14 I just kinda learnt by myself ,and then its not that I got bored of the guitar I just wanted a different sound so I learnt the keys and I love the keys I think they're so emotive the keys. But I'm not like really good I can kinda play bits.
Where did your EP title come from
My instagram is “agroovyboothang” to me that word kinda looks like a picture in my brain so I was thinking like what could my EP be and then it clicked “aLOVINGboothang” and when we wrote it out it was kinda hard to make out what it said, putting A and then loving in capital letters then boothang kind of helped people understand it more and be able to see it as like what the word is as it can kinda be read as alovingboothang or like a bit confusing but I just love how it links to my IG name and how it looks like a picture in my brain
Did that name influence the album cover too
I just kinda wanted it to be like a look inside my world, my cousin actually did the artwork for it, she's a really good graphic designer, she doesn't know how good she is ,she's so good, before there was an animated version of me but we changed that quite late on to a picture of me.
Did you include more pop driven and upbeat elements on purpose to reflect the key themes of the album
Definitely I think it reflects me as a person because I like to be really open about things and they can seem sad but I would never want it to be a downer, its kinda like we can talk about these kind of things but we can do it in an uplifting way, I love being able to be open about things but it not bringing someone down, I think that's what I want music to do, I want it to be a form of release in like the most positive way but not in like a toxic positive way like “you’re the best blablablabla” like being real and being like things get really bad sometimes and it's like you’re okay and it's going to be okay.
What was your favourite song to write
I think it was 4 in a row just because its about my family and I just love them a lot and without them I just wouldn't be me it sounds kinda like a straightforward way of thinking but just the way they are has really shaped me and just kind of like forced me to be okay with who I am and I think that's such an important thing, to have people around you that support you in your natural state and however you want to be; so that song to me is very very important. I love that one.
Talk to us about the inspiration behind the track “Colours”
So I was with these two people called Josh and Hanna and it was the first time we met and we were kind of just like talking about who we are and like what we do and what we could write about and then Hanna was like do you want to write a little diary entry about what you're feeling today and recently then I’d been going out, I found people staring at me in an uncomfortable way and just like making me feel uncomfortable and it got to the point where I was like why am I letting these people that I don't know affect the way I think about myself and I was kinda getting to a stage in life where I felt I was becoming less worried about what people thought of me.
So it kind of just stemmed from there and then it kind of was like talking about how if someone was loving towards themselves they’d be able to spread love and that's what I want to do . I think it starts with you , if you want to attract love you need to feel love within yourself first, and it's kind of just about that.
How much creative freedom have you had with your videos?
With the music videos and stuff I make the treatments myself and put together like a powerpoint and everything *laughs* and I’ll send it on to the directors so they can put it all together. I really think it's really important for my music for the visual side to come from me because I want to make sure that it's right and not gone to waste and I really enjoy making treatments and stuff.
Could you dive into what your creative thought process was behind your interlude?
That was like the first song that I ever wrote , like a full song that I ever wrote, so I wrote that quite a few years ago and because the EP was about all different aspects of love I wanted to add the paranoid side of love and be like does this person love me , does that mean if they love me I can love myself and it was kind of like If i'm not ready and I can't give. So it was a bit like I need to focus on me before I can give myself to anyone else.
What are your overall perceptions of love and how did that change as you were writing?
I'm literally obsessed with love. I literally believe that love can heal our bodies like if we sent a positive and loving thought to a part of ourselves we could heal it. So I really think Love is more than just an emotion it's literally something that makes us do better and I literally just love love. I love the feeling that it brings you. I love the feeling of giving and receiving love it's such a special thing and I really think it motivates me to do things
Is there anything in the works that you’re able to tell us
I’ve got lots of songs coming in the next 6 months. I think I’ve got about 5 songs coming and I just feel like that they’re a grown version of my last EP and I’m really excited, there are some more vulnerable songs in there, also some like true ones , there's one called One of those days ,and it's just like you know when you’re having one of those days and you're just like this isn't a good day but it's okay because I think it's good to spread that you can have really good days, but you can also have bad days and that's also fine
Are you a big reader? Any favourites at the moment?
I'm into books that help like I'm reading a book called Letting Go at the minute by David Hawkins and it's about when you let go of things and reach peace. It talks about the different vibrational feelings that we get and about letting go to slowly get up to feeling at peace . It basically talks about the way our brains are programmed , we sit in a low vibration , and it's just talking about if you let go of those things you can get to a higher vibration and it's just really interesting.
Is there a change in sonic direction in the upcoming projects
It's less produced I’d say and more live instruments and even the vocals sound different now. So I feel like its a grown up version of my old EP, me growing and learning more and putting that into it, it's just like a journey of me
What do you see for yourself in terms of your future musical aspirations
I just want to carry on making music. I'm not too fussed about where I get. I think it's more about the impact that my music has on people. I just want to keep on creating music that helps people. Because that's what I think music is about, it's something that you can escape and listen to , to feel better for however long a song is.
You are also big on health and cooking ! Talk to us about that
I’ve been Vegan for like 5 years, and I started being vegan to clean out my body and I noticed that it actually made me feel better like my overall mood and everything so that's what keeps me going to be vegan even though I do fancy a burger sometimes. I think that when you feel your best you do your best , when I wasn't vegan I used to be down and it was quite difficult for me to get out of it and it just helps with my overall health. Im also gluten free as well *chuckles* and I don't eat soy. I just think because I’ve been reading this book called the Medical Medium where this guy basically talks about information about the body and when I think back it makes a lot of sense. I think it's more about being calm for me over everything , a vegan diet definitely makes me feel more calm inside and helps me feel good about myself
Are there anyways you practise external wellbeing
I like to meditate and even if it's just for 5 minutes it's just feeling that calm within my whole body like I love the feeling of feeling your breath move through your body. It's literally like the most peaceful feeling for me and also deep belly breathing is my equivalent of being high.
Favourite Artists ?
I've got so many. I love Ari Lennox , Jhene Aiko , I love Lava La Rue, there's loads of people …. Frank Ocean
What can you tell us about your new single “Cuts and Bruises”
This songs is about my boyf (again)! I write a lot about love, love makes me feel happy and safe. It’s touches on personal elements of our relationship