“Continue to carry out the legacy of being a musician that represents real music,” is what the iconic Stevie Wonder told up and coming singer-songwriter Josh Xantus (Josh X). Catching the pitch-perfect ear of Stevie Wonder is unheard of for a new artist.
Josh’s musical roots have a unique start. Born to Haitian parents in Brooklyn, New York, Josh and his four siblings moved to Queens after his mother and father separated. His mother, a violinist, had a passion for music; however, like many single mothers, her aspirations were put on hold to raise her children. But, she never forgot the music. “My mother wanted her kids to play an instrument so she gave us pianos. She couldn’t pursue music like she wanted to — in her mind, it was a self-fulfillment for us to play an instrument.” Little did his mother know, she was cultivating the beginnings of a superstar. At only 26, Josh Xantus, which means golden in Greek, has already caught the likes of Swizz Beatz, Jerry “Wonder” Duplessis and Birdman from Cash Money. A fusion of sharp musicality with infectious party anthems, his sound is accentuated by the discipline of a Julliard-trained pianist and the swag of a pop-R&B prince.
Josh started playing classical piano at the age of six, quickly mastering Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven. But it was Brian McKnight’s 1997 hit, “Anytime,” that would change the trajectory of Josh’s music. “That was the first song that really made me want to write a song,” recalls Josh. “I was just a kid, but I was with this girl and the song made me want to ask her these questions. ‘Do I ever cross your mind? Do you think of me?’ It was the first song I made a connection with.”Josh was ready to abandon classical music for the soul of R&B, but his mother insisted that he not disregard his skills on the piano. Soon after, Josh was accepted to the prestigious Juilliard School. After completing Julliard, Josh attended the legendary Five Towns College, which includes the alums Chrisette Michele, Nicole from Nina Sky and Adam Levine, the lead singer of Maroon 5. On his days at Julliard, Josh reflects, “I’m happy my mom pushed the classical music — it’s why I am where I am at now. At the end of the day, you’re either meant to do it or you’re just trying.” Josh X is certainly meant to do it and you can’t fight soul music when it’s calling.
As a new artist, he performed as the opening act for Fabolous, Busta Rhymes and Ne-Yo. Josh exercised his business skills by landing an administration deal with Downtown Publishing. In 2017, Josh is reinventing his sound. R&B is in his roots, but he is defying the rigid confines of labels to explore new horizons, which is apparent in the upcoming I am JOSH X. “The project is more about finding out what you really are, who you really are and what you really want out of life,” Josh enthusiastically explains. Songs like “All for Love”, “Real Chick” and “I wanna Know ” are destined to rule radio with its urban rhythms and pop appeal. He is organically broadening his base, reaching the masses with a sound that cannot be categorized. Quite simply, Josh is a pop star. I am JOSH X, which will be released in 2017, includes production from Music Man Ty, Los Da Mystro and Swizz Beatz. Plus, there is more to come in 2017: a nationwide tour, an EP and collaborations. “If you’re putting your music out there, I think fans should know who you really are. I’m going to give them a show!” While Josh has taken the time to learn his craft, earned a blessing from Stevie Wonder and worked with veterans in the industry, his musical destiny has yet to be seen. By being a truly gifted musician and a driven entrepreneur, he has accomplished unprecedented success for an artist that has no major label backing. With I am JOSH X, a nationwide tour, and a revamped sound, 2017 will be the year of Josh X.