We are back and just in time for CMA Fest down here in Nashville. They call Nashville Music City for a reason and artists like Josh Ross coming up through the ranks are the reason this town is so successful and vibrant. I sat down with Josh Ross and we talked about his single "First Taste of Gone", his experience moving to Nashville and how, when his sports career ended, he took a shot pursuing music and found his groove.
Get To Know Josh
"Music for me started really late in my life. I did all the sports stuff, played hockey, football and raced motocross for 12 years. Then I played college football for three years in London, Ontario, Canada. I had surgery in my first and last year. In my 4th year, I started phasing out of college and began learning guitar. I learned 2 or 3 songs, then paired up with a buddy of mine who was really good at guitar. We did kinda a duo thing, put a song out which did really well on the iTunes charts. He was getting drafted for the CFL and had to focus on that so I started pursuing music on my own. I entered a few competitions and surprised myself. I played on a Thursday in front of 50 people at a coffee shop and then on Friday played in front of like 7,000 at a festival. It was weird. I was, by far, the least experienced person in this competition. There were people with 10 plus years of experience and I had only been singing for 6 months. Looking back, I probably wasn't great, but it kicked me into gear quickly and helped me to meet some people. I met another Canadian artist Aaron Goodvin who told me to write some music instead of just playing cover songs. From there, I started taking trips down to Nashville to write and cut an EP. I decided to move in 2020 - the day of the tornado. Because of that, I ended up going back home for about 6 months and then returned. I've been here for around 2 years now."
GOLLY can the man sing! Josh Ross has come on quick and is making waves in Nashville, in part due to his authentic songwriting and pure vocals that will give anyone chills. What is so enticing about Josh Ross and why his talent is at the top of the list of up and comers in town, is his ability to release top quality Pop Country songs that are fitting the mold right now. Josh is doing so from a genuine place; not just pushing cookie cutter songs that please big names in Nashville. Excited to see the future unfold for Josh Ross.
Inspiration Behind "First Taste of Gone"
Written By: Josh Ross & Mason Thornley, Produced By: Matt Geroux
"I wrote this song with Mason Thornley. We had this title in the spring time and it was kind of random how it came to be. Mason and I tried to write it but the song never turned into something we liked. We were supposed to go into the studio on a Tuesday to record a different song, but the producer got Covid so we pushed it until Thursday. We looked at titles and "First Taste of Gone" came up again. It made sense to me, with what was going on in my life, and about past relationships. The lyrics are about that moment in a relationship where both people are spiraling and going in circles until someone breaks the spiral. She was the biggest inspiration behind it and I know Mason has been through some stuff as well. It was weird - at that point, it took 45 minutes to write the song. On the Monday night before we wrote it, Mason came over and was playing the melody and I just thought it was so cool. We wrote it quickly, which doesn't seem to happen often for me."
Q & A With Josh Ross
Q: What was that "light bulb" moment you knew you wanted to pursue music?
A: "The moment was when I was in college. I had always loved music and would do karaoke and stuff like that, but the "light bulb" for me would be in the shower, with music blasting, I would belt out songs and get noise complaints. I thought to myself, "I enjoy this so much, why have I not tried to pursue this?" This was during my 4th year of school and I was still playing sports so I never took it seriously."
Q: What was it like moving from Canada to Nashville …. some similarities and differences?
A: : "For me it was an easier transition than for most people. I grew up going to Nascar races and was very much into motorsports. I kind of had that “southern culture” ingrained in me. Most of my family - aunts, uncles, cousins - live on the west coast in LA, and there were some on the east coast in Maine. Because of that I was used to visiting the states. The experience of moving was pretty good. I like the food better; I'm a huge BBQ guy and Mexican food is everywhere in Nashville. The music of Nashville is for me. I’ve always believed my music and songwriting was suited for Country Music and Nashville versus other genres.
Canada has a similar vibe to me like Texas when it comes to Country Music. There are artists that will stay in Canada and play that market and can make a great living doing it. They may still play some shows in the US, but it's a little different."
Q: What's been one of your biggest failures that you look back on and are thankful for?
A: "I would say sports ending for me. I wouldn't say I failed at athletics, but I knew it was time to get out. Honestly it was a blessing for me. The work ethic I gained from playing sports - having to wake up early to go to practice, work out every day, pound the pavement - goes a long way in this industry. There was another situation that I am now thankful for. At the end of 2019 I put out my first song. I did a Canadian radio tour, putting my own money into it. At the time, I had a friend down in Nashville who worked at River House. I called him to say that the song wasn't doing well on Canadian radio and I didn't know what to do. He told me to move down here. If it wasn't for that song doing poorly, I probably would have stayed in Canada a little longer. The biggest positive of moving to Nashville was being able to work on and improve my craft of writing."
Q: Who was that first person that introduced you to Country Music?
A: "I have an uncle, it's actually my dad's best man. He introduced me to Steve Earle when I was 4 years old. I was hooked on "Copperhead Road" and "Guitar Town" even though I didn't know what these songs meant or who Steve Earle was. For some reason though I was hooked on his music. Growing up, I started listening to more Rap and Rock, but would continue to listen to Steve Earle. Then I had someone else reintroduce me to Country Music. I was a kid in 9th grade listening to Country Music before it was probably the “cool” thing to do. By the time I graduated everyone was listening to Country Music."