Meet Josiah and the Bonnevilles

April 26, 2021

Meet April 2021's Artist Discovery: Josiah and the Bonnevilles

Introduction

Meet Josiah and the Bonnevilles and Motel Mayday, the sixth album by Tennessee multi-instrumentalist and songwriter. Josiah’s career has had many ups and downs – he started off at the age of 16 auditioning for American Idol in Atlanta, and though he didn’t make it past the first round, was the only contestant in the series’ history at the time to be signed without reaching the top 24. After recording a couple of EPs in London and going on a grueling tour of the world, he came to a personal crossroads, but continued writing. Motel Mayday was recorded in the mountains north of LA and speaks to his truths and experiences honestly. We’re so excited to be offering our members this gorgeous silver vinyl as the Artist Discovery pick of April 2021!

Josiah kindly answered some questions for us about his favorite music of the moment, what inspires him, and more. Check it out!

Q & A

What was the first album you ever owned on vinyl?

I believe it was a Vladimir Horowitz live somewhere, maybe in Germany. Amazing piano player. Kind of weird, but that was my first. I still have it, still listen to it.

What have you been listening to lately?

I flip between older country and some non-english language stuff right now, Chavela Vargas especially. Some Nusrat Fateh Ali Kahn. Stuff with a lot of emotion. And Leonard Cohen is my go to, especially his later albums, those never get old to me. He just got better and better as he got older.

Where is your favorite place in the world and why?

Gotta be Tel Aviv, hard to explain. It is just a feeling, an atmosphere. I was going once or twice a year until this past year, and it’s a place I miss very much and can’t wait to get back to. I ended up there by accident when my friend LP invited me out on her tour – just to hang, not to play or anything, and when we got to Tel Aviv, she said “Hey Josiah, wanna play tonight?” and it was just a night I’ll never forget, a trip I’ll never forget.  

What is the best live show you’ve seen, and why was it the best?

Speaking of Tel Aviv, Asaf Avidan a couple of years ago, in a theater there in Tel Aviv. Absolutely perfect performance. No tracks, band was amazing, I was just blown away. He’s awesome.

What are some things you have to have on the road with you?

Well, Josiah of a couple years ago and Josiah of today would give you very different answers. Used to be I didn’t need much, I’d head out by myself, a guitar, not much else, and really treated it like there was no tomorrow – But these days, I need friends or at least one person out with me. I’m to the point where it is not worth it for me to tour if I cannot have some people I know and love with me to keep me grounded and also to share the experience with. It’s very strange for me to hear myself say actually…

Who or what influences your music?

You know, this question could be answered a hundred ways, but lately I think my reason for making music is pretty simple – I want to be understood. I only write what I’ve lived, and it’s almost just like a musical archive of what I’ve been through. I’m bound to change and it can be hard to understand what inspired something I wrote, even sometimes months before, but at the time it was just something I had to make to try to make sense of what I was going through.

What album do you play on repeat, and what do you love about it?

The final Leonard Cohen album – pure magic. I feel like he’s lived my life or read my thoughts.

If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be and why?

Tough one, I’d go Frank Ocean, I think he’s an artist that prioritizes the music over the hype.

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