At age 19, South Surrey singer-songwriter Josh Bogert may seem young to be hitting Spotify playlists alongside the likes of Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes and Ariana Grande.
But as he’s quick to point out, he’s spent the last seven years in intensive study of the business of writing, mixing and mastering his music.
He’s done all that – and even created the computer-animated artwork – for his latest EP, Perspectives, released today (March 6) on Spotify and through his own website.
Before heading to Toronto for a release concert at the Velvet Underground on Saturday, he took time to discuss his burgeoning – and largely DIY – career with Peace Arch News.
“Some of the songs on Perspectives are co-written,” he clarified. “But all of the production is myself, in my home.
“Obviously, when I do it myself, it’s my time – I’m not paying a producer,” he added. “But the real advantage is that I can really develop my own sound the way I want it to be; to create a sound that is really unique and identifiable for me.
“A lot of artists will find a producer who will stay with them and it will work well – but I also have a real passion for it. I really enjoy the process. I’ve been teaching myself to produce for years, and now I can take a song from start to finish, to a professional quality.”
Bogert’s signature sound has been described in his press releases as “a unique blend of melodic dubstep and pop.”
“Pop-electronic is probably the easiest way to describe it,” he said, noting that his sound has evolved, away from the typical singer-songwriter path as he has become more influenced by electronic music and production techniques.
“But if a song is really well-written, it can be produced in any way. I’m concentrating on making a really good song and stylistically putting my own spin on it.”
Time always seems to be at a premium for the former White Rock Children’s Choir member and Elgin Park Secondary student, who finished out his high school career with online courses through SurreyConnect due to an incredibly busy performing schedule – which also includes film and television acting.
His debut principal role as Miles Lennox on the hit Family Channel show Backstage, filmed in 2016 and 2017 can still be seen on the Family Channel and Disney as well as US Netflix.
“I feel really grateful to have had the experiences with acting that I’ve had,” he said. “I’m still auditioning and going out for roles – it’s still on the list, even though I’m focused on the music thing.
“Both help each other, they’re both really just an expression of the human condition.
“If you know how to write a song and perform a song then you’ll probably have no trouble interpreting a script.”
His most recent single, Misfits is a deep-dive into the tricky business of making friends and having doubts about finding one’s place in the world.
“Everybody’s felt that way and one point or another – even the most popular high school kid,” Bogert said.
He said he likes to write songs that, while derived from his own experiences, are relatable – offering different perspectives on universal problems.
“I know music has helped me – it’s always been something I could fall back on and help me gain different perspectives on my own life,” he said.
Impressive figures show Bogert’s music is making a connection, with growing popularity both in Canada and in the US.
He’s gathered well over 34,000 subscribers – and more than 1.3 million views – to his YouTube channel.
And Bogert is not planning to slow down any time soon on his schedule of writing and producing new music.
He’s already released four singles so far in 2020, and has already racked up 75,000 streams on Spotify with some 15,000 monthly listeners.
Total streams of his work to date fall just short of 900,000, and his music has appeared on such hit playlists as New Music Friday Canada, It’s a Bop, Discover Weekly, and Release Radar.
For more information on Perspectives and Bogert’s other projects, visit www.joshbogert.com or his YouTube channel.