Sound Off: Josh Levi
Jul 1, 2020
From his first performance on X-Factor to his most recent music video “IF THE WORLD,” Josh Levi impressed us with his talent and eye for creativity.
“IF THE WORLD” was written in response to the current state of the world, and it’s part of his debut EP DISC ONE that is out TODAY. The video shot entirely on his iPhone is just one of many songs released during the age of quarantine in response to isolation conveying the emotional toll that has been felt globally.
Josh started his music career as a child and has performed as both an actor and singer. Before pursuing his solo career, Josh was also a member of an Island Records-backed group but became infamous for his covers on YouTube, which include songs of Billie Eilish, Sam Smith, Normani, and Justin Bieber, who was so impressed with his talent and that he personally reached out to the singer.
His newly released EP is just the first of many for this artist (at least we hope so). The EP speaks to a more mature sound in the realm of the R&B age, allowing the artist to use his music to exude a deeper level of emotions that most of his listeners can and will relate to.
In our talk with the artist, we discuss his past, present, and hopes for the feature.
1. Let’s flashback to 2013 – You stole the hearts of Demi Lovato, Kelly Rowland, and Simon Cowell during your X Factor audition. What was going through your head performing in front of these renowned judges?
Oh gosh, I have no idea how, but I was fearless. I just knew at that moment that if I was my best self that I could really change things. I was just focused on being the best Josh I could be on that stage despite all the charades of everything.
2. Any particular reason behind your choice to sing a rendition of Come & Get It by Selena Gomez? (Which was incredible, by the way!)
Singing that song for some reason made me feel comfortable. I felt like it was an unorthodox choice or maybe not what you expected me to sing after I walked on that stage, but changing it and making it my own felt like I had superpowers and made me feel like an artist.
3. How did it feel receiving THE Simon Cowell seal-of-approval?
I think as a 15-year-old, it was so validating. I was still figuring out who I was, so to have someone as successful as Simon approve of a version of myself that was so incomplete in hindsight, is a huge blessing.
4. You’re originally from Houston (WOO!). What do you miss most about Texas?
My grandma, sitting on her couch and watching “Wheel of Fortune” with her while she catches me up on what’s been going on in her world. Aside from that, the food is unmatched. I just feel free in Houston. The culture and energy there is so powerful.
5. What was it like moving to Los Angeles to pursue music at the young age of 14?
It felt like when you first walk into a theme park and there are so many attractions to choose from that will make you feel different things. I was mesmerized by the city. I was naive of course, but also so blessed to have a mom that would drop everything based on her belief in me, and my belief in myself.
6. Your YouTube channel features incredible song covers of artists like Billie Eilish and The Weeknd. Which is your favorite cover that you’ve sung?
First off, thank you! Billie is just a special, special person so singing her song is just different. Also, Justin (Bieber) found me from my cover of his song “Yummy,” so that was unexpected and cool!
7. Describe the songwriting process behind your powerful new single, ‘IF THE WORLD.’
The day I wrote this song, the other writer asked me what was going on in my head and I answered by jokingly saying I felt like the world was burning. There was so much going on in my head that day and I didn’t even want to be there, to be honest, so I answered honestly and was able to flip that into something beautiful.
8. The music video is beautifully simplistic. What inspired the idea to film in your room?
Thank you so much! Quarantine was the creative direction for this video *laughs*. I was blessed to have my sister and mom quarantining with me in Los Angeles. My sister is the brains behind what everyone thinks is cool, and so she came up with the idea and the rest is history.
9. A decorative poster collage of pop culture icons appears in the video. Say you could keep only ONE – Which poster would you choose?
This question is so unfair, wow. It would be between Michael Jordan, NWA, or Michael Jackson. They give me the most energy every day in passing.
10. We’re all anticipating your new music. Describe your upcoming EP in three words.
Breaking. The. Rules.
11. What message do you hope fans take away from your work?
I hope my fans feel like they know me better after hearing my EP; I hope they are inspired to create their own blueprint, even if they haven’t seen it before.
12. Name an artist you would most like to collaborate with?
Beyoncé, Travis Scott, Rihanna, Billie Eilish, Chloe x Halle, so many.
13. Which music venue do you dream of performing at one day?
Selling out the Staples Center is on my manifestation list and of course Madison Square Garden is monumental.
14. You’re the definition of a triple threat. Have you mastered any other hobbies since being under quarantine?
Thank you! I’ve mastered making scrambled eggs at the PERFECT texture, I’m on Season 5 of binging “Shameless” (it’s a part of my everyday schedule), and I just started doing pushups again :)
15. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
“Follow God;” the best thing I’ve ever heard.
16. How do you envision yourself five years from now?
I want to believe that in 5 years I will be able to look back at this question and say that I’ve helped a lot of things change in the world we live in, maybe won a few Grammys, and was the soundtrack to a lot of people’s lives, experiences, and healing.
Well, now that you have reasons enough to fall in love with Josh like us, go watch “IF THE WORLD” and listen to DISC ONE.
Oh, and obviously, don’t forget to follow Josh on social media: Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube.