Josh Savage is a prime example that determination and courage go a long way when pursuing a dream. Supported only by a love for his craft, the singer/songwriter tours the world, recruiting supporters one living room at a time. You see, this 26 year old tours on request, booking private shows in people’s homes and performing for intimate crowds. This, according to the singer, “allows artists to find their feet and to get an idea of how the industry works before being influenced by someone that’s already in the industry. You can actually be yourself.” (sofarsounds.com)
So, in honor of his new single, ‘Ghosts’, coming out a while back — we asked him a few questions.
Can you tell me a little bit about your background, or major musical influences?
I was raised in Paris and had a classical musical education on piano and trumpet, but I became passionate about music when I was recruited to join the choir ‘l’Académie Vocale de Paris’. When I moved to Winchester (England) at 12, I was headhunted to be treble soloist for the ‘National Children’s Choir of Great Britain’ and we toured Australia and New Zealand. That’s one of my fondest musical memories.
However, England’s Britpop culture, with bands like ‘Snow Patrol’, ‘Razorlight’ and ‘Coldplay’ eventually pulled me away from classical music. The first song I learnt to play was ‘The Scientist’ by Coldplay, and I started writing my own at 15.
What was the first song you wrote about?
A really cringe-worthy song about a girl I fancied in English class, when I was 15. Unfortunately, my friends still haunt me with it.
What inspires you to write music? How does the songwriting process go for you?
I’m a reserved person, so I write songs to get things off my chest that I can’t express in words. Music and melodies come first, and I let them stew in my head until lyrics come to mind.
You travel a lot; do you notice a difference between the audiences in different countries?
Germany and Poland tend to be shy, yet appreciative. I think the music comes second in America, they mainly just want to hear the (British) accent. UK is toughest of all, probably because we are desensitized by so many good bands. I know I’ve done a great show if I get a British crowd going.
Do you prefer smaller, more intimate crowds?
When I’m playing in a new city, I prefer the intimate, attentive audiences, but it’s always good to play a sold out homecoming show. Touring on your own can get lonely, but my living room hosts are very welcoming; they make me feel at home, like part of their family– I’m so grateful for that. You don’t get that touring venues.
It’s very brave for you to pursue music on the road, guided only by a love for music. If you’re comfortable sharing it, what’s the lowest point you’ve encountered on the road? And the best, happiest one?
Having my car broken into early on in Amsterdam on a 44 date European tour wasn’t fun. However, my living room show host saved the day by translating for me and directing me to the closest place where I could fix the car window quickly.
It’s tough picking my best moment on the road, there are so many!
SXSW festival in Austin, Texas was insane and it was surreal bumping into artists I’m inspired by on the street. There was a living room show at a mansion in Breckenridge, Colorado where I got to ski in the day and chill in their hot tub at night when the snow was falling around me. Those two are definitely up there!
I can’t afford accommodation on the road and there have often been times where it looked like I would need to sleep on the streets. Somehow though, a floor or sofa becomes available last minute and I’ve got by thanks to the kindness of strangers.
As an artist who’s gone to music school, do you feel a certain jealousy or ever think it’s unfair that people like Shawn Mendes/Justin Bieber just downloaded an app, posted some videos and then sold out Madison Square Garden a few years after?
No! They’ve made it look easy, but I’m sure they’ve had to work hard and overcome many drawbacks to get to where they are today. Luck is an important factor, no one gets by by luck alone. The video route just isn’t the path I chose, I prefer to have real life experiences.
What’s the strangest thing a fan has ever said to you? (I assume that performing in people’s living rooms, there are going to be some funny/creepy anecdotes)
Yeah, there are a fair few. I think the winner is when a fan throttled me and told me off for the show running late. It was probably a joke but it’s a bit much when it’s the first thing you do to someone when you meet them for the first time.
What’s your favourite song to perform? And your favourite lyric you’ve written?
The newest ones, so ‘Ghosts’ is my favourite song right now. My favourite lyric I’ve written is “If there’s time to think, don’t think of time” from ‘Lost in Paris.’
What’s your favourite lyric of all time?
I can’t pick, but my favourite poetry line is “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” by Samuel Beckett.
Do you see yourself selling out arena tours in a few years? What’s the number one place you’d like to visit/perform in?
I don’t like to set long-term goals. I take everything one step at a time. My dream is to perform at the Royal Albert Hall with an orchestra and on Later with Jools Holland.
If you had to do it all over again, would you still choose music?
Every time. I get to see the world and do what I love.
What makes you different to every artist out there?
I sell raw honey at gigs. If you want to know why, watch my music video ‘Lost in Paris’
What’s next for you?
A Central America living room tour in September followed by a two month Europe tour with singer/songwriter Tom James. I’m still booking living rooms, so get in touch if you’d like to host a show!
I don’t know about you, but I love everything about this guy’s brand. Unbridled love for music, a beautiful voice and a guitar. That’s all he needs!
If you would like to host a living room show on Josh’s upcoming tours in Central America and Europe, give him a shout by emailing email@example.com.
You can find out more about the concept from his past adventures on this documentary ‘The Living Room Tour:’
(All photos received either from the artist’s Instagram, linked in article, or various promotional shoots. NOT our own)