the anti-social network



Nov 2, 2020

King Leer aka Joshua Perna, is looking to present a new wave of indie music crafted from the fibers of his DNA with a unique mix of the opposing Blue Ridge Mountains and New York City.

In his latest work ‘indiana’, the uses the smooth picking of an acoustic held together by the airy chimes that bring the song to life.

Having worked on a number of projects before emerging as King Leer, Joshua has amassed tens of millions of career streams throughout different genres. Ahead of the premiere, he talked to us about the inspiration behind his latest premiere and his musical background.


1. Do you remember the moment the inspiration came to you for ‘indiana’?

I do, and it sounds almost too picturesque to be real. We were in our second or third month of quarantine, when the world was starting to thaw out, and it was our first couple of weeks where we were able to get out into the sun. I took my guitar out into one of the fields near my house and started strumming out that rhythm in the sunshine.


2. How does this track define where you are as an artist right now? 

I’m aware that, being this early into my catalogue, every song will really say a lot as to what King Leer is going to be. I have the first two records or so written, so I have the luxury of picking the order in which things come out, and I really did want “indiana (unplugged)” to define where I’m at; embarking on a new journey, wistfully optimistic. Hopefully it’s a bright spot before the dark, winter songs come along.


3. As you work on your debut record, what are some issues that you were facing? Is there a specific story or message that you were aiming for fans to take away?

I’m learning to find balance, in a lot of aspects: my personal life, my creative process, and in the record itself. As a songwriter and producer, I write a lot of different types of music; so if there isn’t a very specific vision for a project, it’s easy for it to lose focus. It can end up sounding like too many different things, and ultimately nothing. So I’ve wanted to make sure I get this first record right so fans can understand what this project is going to be.


4. As a songwriter and producer, do you tend to listen to music through the ears of a fan or a producer?

That’s an interesting question, and the answer is tough to describe. When you first start writing and producing, you often overanalyze and deconstruct music; you can only hear what music is made up of, and it makes it difficult to hear it for what it actually sounds like. The farther along you get, though, you learn to take bigger and bigger steps back in order to hear it for how a fan will ultimately hear it. An awful lot of work to return to the perspective you had before you ever started. 


5. Give us a glimpse into your musical upbringing. Who or what initially influenced your passion for music?

I grew up completely immersed in music; my family was part of a tight-knit, rural Evangelical community. So from a time before I can remember, I spent countless nights of my childhood in religious revivals, surrounded by hours and hours of live, unending music.



6. What part of being an artist came natural to you?

It almost feels like I didn’t have a choice but to get music inside of my bones, it’s always felt completely natural to me to be on stage, playing with and in front of people.


7. Do the stories in your songs always draw from personal experience or are you also inspired by outside influences?

I think my coy answer is that every outside influence becomes a personal experience once it’s filtered through you. A lot of my songs are led by an impression and a feeling more than specific, literal events. That means that I can get a strong essence of a song just from a story I’ve heard, things I’ve read, ideas gleaned from friends and strangers. Once I process them, they become mine. But when you think of it, no personal experience isn’t influenced by outside forces, so I’m sticking with “a little of both.”



8. What is a question you wish you got asked more?

I think the best thing you can ask anyone is “what are you excited about right now?” That applies to interviews but also to every day interactions; it’s the one thing every person really wants to talk about: the thing about which they’re most excited. Luckily for us, I’m most excited about being King Leer, right now.



Keep up with King Leer on Instagram and listen to more from the artist below!