Josie Man on 'Identity Pop'
Josie Man is the songstress that you need to know about in 2020. Hailing from South London, Josie has burst onto the music scene in glitter and style, bringing her own sound to the game in the form of 'Identity Pop'. Not one to shy away from creativity Josie not only writes her music but has taken a leap in writing the treatment for music video 'Colours'. Refusing to conform, she is here to build confidence through her honest and emotive music, groovy sonic and undeniable ability to dominate the world of alt-POP. We caught up with the chanteuse in London's Sketch to discuss all things Gucci, music, and glitter related.
You grew up in Orpington with both British and Chinese roots, what was that like for you, and do you feel it has influenced your music?
As a child growing up until my early teens I used to get shy about the fact that I was Chinese because you’d get the odd bully calling you names and making you feel different to the rest. But as I got older, I learned that it’s a big part of me and I became proud to be Chinese. I wouldn’t say being half and half has any influence on my music vocal-wise because I sing in English, but definitely sonically because I love Chinese sound bells and different production effects.
You call your music ‘Identity Pop’ can you explain this?
I call it this because I think my music represents my personality. I want my songs to sound the way I look, almost. Also, with every song you learn a little bit more about me, and a lot of the time I sing about it being okay to be yourself and to be comfortable within your identity, whatever that may be.
Your music video ‘Colours’ is the first single and has caught some attention, what is it about?
Colours is about not being afraid to be who you are and that it’s absolutely okay to express yourself in any way that you want to. Growing up in the South East area, people are very quick to judge me and point and laugh (just because I dress differently to them) and this song is to all the people that do that. I want people to be kinder and more open-minded.
Do you think it’s hard in the 21st century to be both a vegan and not drink alcohol; particularly in this industry?
For me, it’s really really easy. I love making delicious food at home and there are way more vegan options now than there was when I first became vegan!! I don’t like the way drinking makes me feel or the taste of alcohol so I’m very happy with my water, it doesn’t bother me at all!
What are your New Year’s Resolutions for 2020?
My New Years' resolutions are to be more confident in my work, to keep my mind healthy, and to be more brave!
You have an amazing sense of style what is the one item in your wardrobe that is your power dress?
HAS to be my Gucci Dress. I feel like a little dolly in it.
What inspires your songwriting and music?
I think the feeling of love inspires my music. My lyrics come straight from my heart, I’m sensitive but I’m such a dreamer and it works as a good combination. I love writing about love because I LOVE LOVE. There’s so much love around me that it’s the thing that inspires me the most.
Who are your musical influences?
There are so many! I love Bill Withers for his raw storytelling and songwriting and I love Jhene Aiko for her magical energy I get from her songs. I don’t think I’m genre-specific but I love listening to anyone who can make me feel something with their music.
It’s Veganuary at the moment, do you have any advice for those of us not used to a Vegan diet?
The thing I love about being vegan is that you just feel so healthy and clean so if you want to do it to feel refreshed then this is the perfect way to do it. Also vegan food these days is way more than just salad leaves, if you love cooking then you can make almost any meal vegan. There are sooo many options. It might be hard to go full vegan at once because it is a big change, I was a pescatarian before I decided to go all-out, so the change wasn’t as extreme, so my advice would be to take it one step at a time.
What are you most excited about for the year ahead, and what can we expect to hear musically?
I’m excited for people to hear my whole EP and to start doing live shows. It was so fun making it and being able to meet all the amazing songwriters and producers. The EP is very special to me, all the songs are about people that I love.
What advice would you give to your future self (for the year ahead)?
Everything will happen when it’s supposed to happen so just do your best, be kind and loving and enjoy life.
Photography by Eddie Wailes
Styling by Jheanelle Feanny
Location Sketch, 9 Conduit St, Mayfair, London W1S 2XG
Artwork and tea set by David Shrigley for Sketch