With his infectious new single, Nashville-based singer-songwriter Jos finds himself way ahead of the curve. After releasing a string of songs and covers independently, “Ahead” serves as his first official single with his new label partner Acrophase Records. With its perfectly toned guitars, crisp drums, and smooth vocals, “Ahead” is an exciting introduction to this immensely talented young artist.
Originally hailing from Virginia, but currently based in Nashville, Jos is the moniker of Josef Kuhn, a multi-instrumentalist, producer, and songwriter already with more talents than most musicians hope to attain within a lifetime. Whether through his guitar, drums, voice, or pen, Jos has quickly proven his multifaceted abilities both with his solo music as well as his involvement with multiple bands including, Legit Smitty, Dr. So, and Twin Films.
It’s clear to us that Jos is an artist to keep our eyes on as his musical career is primed to launch into the atmosphere. We were eager to get to know more about him and he was gracious enough to answer our questions about his new music, creative process, inspirations, and more. Here’s what he had to say:
“Ahead” is such crisp, bright, and ultra-infectious song. Can you tell us the inspiration behind “Ahead” and how you brought it to life?
So when I began writing this song, I just cashed on the Black Friday sale of Soundtoys plugins. I got a huge plugin bundle with presents, effects, equalizers, etc., and began messing around with guitar sounds. The beginning of “Ahead” features a finger-picked guitar part with the EffectRack preset “Crystallizer” on it. After I got that beginning rhythm and harmony for the guitar part down, the rest of the song just came within a day, and I had the first demo done by the end of the afternoon. Getting inspiration from effects and plugins is a big tool for me to create something that is unique to my own sound because I will hear a certain timbre and then be like “oh that’s what I want this song to sound like throughout”.
As a multi-instrumentalist, do you mostly handle all the writing and production of your solo music yourself or do you work with other collaborators?
With Jos, I write, produce, and record every instrument that you hear on my songs (minus my friend Billy who plays a panned guitar part on the chorus of my song “Mix”). However, I am super open to collaboration. It’s a greatly satisfying and meaningful aspect of music to share with others. I have been working with friends on music through co-writing and producing too; in the near future I’m planning to co-produce a Jos EP/project with my friend and producer, Noah Nockels.
In addition to your solo artistry, it looks like you’re also involved in other music projects as well. Can you tell us a bit about them and also how the local Nashville music community has helped you develop as an artist / musician?
Besides Jos, I play in my best friends’ bands as well. In Nashville, I play drums for Legit Smitty and rhythm guitar for my friends in Dr. So from time to time. Back home in Richmond, Virginia, I play drums for a local band called Twin Films, with my friends Ben Slone and Gabe Parker. All of these guys have helped inspire me with their own music and really nudged me out of my comfort zone to begin releasing my own, since their artistry had already been established pre-college. Nashville has really pushed my boundaries and motivated me in my music creation, especially being surrounded by incredible artists like Annie DiRusso, Grumpy, Daniel Nunnelee, Secondhand Sound, Ralphie Kent, Huron John, Luke Prost, Claire Ernst, and countless more. There is never a time when I am ever uninspired from these artists and friends.
Who are some of your favorite artists who have inspired you and influenced your sound and style?
My favorite artists and influences at the moment who have helped sculpt my own sound range all over the place. I am a huge fan of Mk.gee, Dayglow, and Zach Villere, as well as polar opposites like Phoebe Bridgers, Car Seat Headrest, Chon, Pinegrove, Hippo Campus, and The 1975. I try to pull from each genre I love and incorporate it into my own music. Each day I never know if I’m going to write an acoustic singer-songwriter ballad, a dark pop song, or an indie-rock song. I blend influences from jazz, folk, indie pop, and alternative rock into my own songs, and try to keep listeners, and myself, on their toes.
Can fans expect to hear more music from you this year?
Yeah! I have two more single re-releases through Acrophase Records on the way. “Alright” comes out on May 6th, and “Mix” finishes the three-song drop on May 20th. This summer I’m also working on finishing up the first Jos EP, expecting a release sometime in the fall of 2020. I’ll keep you guys updated! I’m really excited to see where this leads to next.
FOLLOW JOS ONLINE AT:
INSTAGRAM | YOUTUBE | SPOTIFY | BANDCAMP | SOUNDCLOUD
Image credits: Tyler Krippaehne