PROGRESSION: Talented singer Josh Osho is making Giant strides in the music industry
SO THERE I was lying on the sofa, stuffing my face with carbs, while sluggishly flicking through TV channels, when I spotted something amazing.
On my screen was British singer Josh Osho in the throes of a duet with music legend Tom Jones. I don’t know if it was that fact that the south London native was singing with the Sex Bomb star or that he was performing on Later…with Jools Holland – one of the most respected music shows in the UK - but I was in awe.
My mind instantly flashed back to when I first saw the 20-year-old perform at a gig in Shoreditch, north London, last year. Even back then I had a gut feeling that he was going to be a star and watching him work the crowd on one of the most famous stages - in remarkable style, I might add - proved my theory correct.
He tells me that the ‘random’ collaboration came about after he had met Jones backstage when performing on the BBC talent show, The Voice (of which Jones is a judge.)
“We had this like impromptu busking session where we started singing a blues song we both knew. Then the next thing I know, I got a call saying that I have been invited to perform with him in Hammersmith,” he says.
“I don’t usually get nervous before performances, but I think that was the first time my heart was actually in my throat.”
He continued: “The producer of Later…with Jools Holland was in the audience and he thought it was amazing, so he put the show together and asked me to be a part of it.”
But even with luck on his side, it would be wrong to put down all of Josh’s recent successes to chance. In fact, he started singing at the tender age of 14, after becoming ‘curious’ about a career in music.
He says: “Music has always been about self-discovery for me. It is about curiosity, expression and experimenting. Tomorrow I might just pack everything up and be curious about something else, but thus far in my life I have stayed curious about music.”
Little did Josh know, but before our interview, I had made a discovery of my own. US rapper Childish Gambino, who featured on the singer’s smash hit Giants, got his name from a Wu-Tang Clan-themed name generator, which randomly selects a customised ‘rap name’, just in case you decide that a hip-hop career is for you.
After entering Josh’s name, the website christened him ‘Johnny ShoGun.’ A second attempt conjured up the hilarious ‘Lazy-assed Ambassador,’ news that I could not wait to share, of course.
Following a fit of laughter he composes himself enough to tell me that he has already tried out the name generator and was given the name ‘The Asthmatic Enemy of God’.
“I think that name is bad-mind! Not only does God hate me. He hates me because I have asthma!”
Josh has now promised to stick with ‘Johnny ShoGun’, I’ll make sure to call him that at any future meets! However, you’d be lucky to catch a glimpse of him these days as in just one summer he has shot to new levels of stardom.
“The summer I pretty much did all the festivals and I have been on four tours. I had to pick a highlight I would say it is joint between the Tom Jones show and selling out the Jazz Café.”
“It is one thing hearing your music on the radio or online and stuff but when I started singing all I wanted to do was connect with people. When you see it manifest in real life it is crazy, because people go out and buy tickets, they line up to come and see you. It is really humbling and amazing.”
Despite confessing that he ‘never looks’ at his calendar, Josh confirms that he has more shows booked for later this year, alongside a mix-tape entitled The First Term coming out in December. He also has a few more gifts for the fans that he says he owes ‘everything’ to.
He says: “I feel like my fans are just as important to this whole journey as I am. I just want to say thank you to them and let them know that I am humbled. The more love and energy I get, the more of it I can give back.”
Giants will be released on October 8 through Island Records