Regional Artist Profile: JOSHUA

Regional Artist Profile: JOSHUA

Jasmine Eales

“I think it’s really cool that when you write about your feelings and put them out there, you realise that there are people who will listen to your work and relate to what you’re feeling.”

JOSHUA, a mononym of singer/songwriter and producer Joshua Brew, debuted his EP ‘Albany’ in April, featuring a collection of songs inspired by his time living and working in the Great Southern. Combining honest song writing with an infectious dark pop sound, his music explores complex emotions and personal experiences with mental health, love (or the lack thereof), toxic relationships and masculinity.

JOSHUA. Photo by Territory Creative courtesy of JOSHUA.

Working as a secondary school arts teacher, JOSHUA has found there is work to be done when addressing negative gender stereotypes. Despite efforts being made to change perceptions, kids will still pick up on certain harmful stereotypes and turn to violence to deal with their problems.

Addressing perceptions of masculinity, JOSHUA wants others to understand it’s ok to show emotion and ask for help. Men do not have to be strong and self-reliant, and they don’t have to overpower others to solve their disputes. Everyone is different and toxic masculinity is harmful.

JOSHUA. Photo by Territory Creative courtesy of JOSHUA.

Growing up with the “epic sounds” of Queen, Dolly Parton, AC/DC and Shania Twain, JOSHUA fell in love with music at an early age but was never able to fully immerse himself in the world of music. Already a competitive ballroom dancer, commitments to dance made it difficult to commit to music. It wasn’t until he was about 19 years old that the opportunity to start vocal lessons came after a friend invited him to a youth group band.

Writing and producing music became a way for JOSHUA to process his own mental health struggles. Inspired by the likes of Flume, CXLOE and Lorde, he got himself a little home-set up and started writing music from his house in Mandurah.

Making the move from Mandurah to Albany, JOSHUA was working at a local high school when the first COVID-19 lockdowns hit the country. Turning to music to cope with the isolation, for four months he did nothing but sit at home, write songs, and make music.

Photo of camera LCD screen showing a still of JOSHUA in a green field. Shooting the Never Been in Love music video. Photo by Rhys Rogers courtesy of JOSHUA.

Hearing about the mental health struggles of others, and those who had lost their battles, JOSHUA felt he never wanted to get to the same point himself. Having had his own experiences with mental health difficulties, writing became a cathartic way of getting his emotions out and releasing the pressure inside his brain.

After successfully applying for Regional Arts WA’s Regional Arts Resilience grant, JOSHUA took advantage of online sessions at production studios to polish his songs off and release them as an EP. When listening to it, you will find relatable experiences resonate throughout the lyrics of his songs. From accidentally emotional dumping on strangers to ending toxic friendships.

One experience JOSHUA describes is wanting to be a pop artist and sing about relationships, but having never had a real one to sing about. His song, ‘Never Been in Love’ is what he calls his “Sara Bareilles moment” – a love song about not being in love. While ‘Jump’ describes the emotions around choosing to make the leap into music, regardless of the inherent risk it involved at the time.

Photo of camera LCD screen showing a still of JOSHUA in a green field. Albany EP Cover. Photo by Territory Creative courtesy of JOSHUA.

Making the EP proved challenging as in-person communication became impossible and domestic travel was halted. Meetings were instead held through Zoom and email. New to production, JOSHUA embraced the difficulties and enjoyed the process.

Living regionally, it has been hard to find people to work with and JOSHUA found he was forced to do and learn a lot of things on his own. Despite his initial inexperience, the EP was released to positive feedback with media coverage from The Music, Auspop, AAA Backstage and Buzz Magazine.

Whilst pop music is often looked down on, JOSHUA wants people to know, “you can write good pop songs without it being cheesy or anything like that.”

JOSHUA. Photo by Territory Creative courtesy of JOSHUA.

JOSHUA has plans to head to Sydney to continue recording and is looking forward to re-invigorating his passion for drawing. After years of teaching, he’s ready to find time to focus on his own needs and desires.

Now he understands how much work goes into getting six songs on an EP, he plans to take that experience and concentrate it into putting out single releases as he polishes his new music. That way, there is always something new ready to be devoured by his audience.

Building a larger audience means achieving bigger and better things and actualising the big pictures he has in his head. With a couple strong contenders for his next release, it won’t be long until we get to hear more of JOSHUA.


For more information on JOSHUA, visit his website. Or follow his social media – Instagram and Facebook. To listen to his EP, head to Spotify or Apple Music. To contact JOSHUA, email theartist@itsjoshuamusic.com.

If the topics in this article have raised concerns for you or or someone you know, support is available:
Lifeline 13 11 14
Beyond Blue 1800 650 890
MensLine Australia 1300 789 978
or access the Support Act Wellbeing Helpline

The Regional Arts Resilience Grants program is funded through the State Government’s Regional Arts and Cultural Investment Program.

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