Joshua Kuhr Lee is a 21 year old producer/artist hailing from Nashville, Tennessee. Growing up in Fairfax, Virginia, Joshua began learning classical music at the age of 9. He was playing the cello in many orchestras throughout my K-12 years. He then started to get into producing and writing hip-hop and indie pop in his high school days. Moving to Nashville assisted Kuhr in fine tuning his style into a more gentle approach, thus creating more of a Lofi-chill vibe with many different elements of indie, alternative, hip hop, and ambient. He doesn’t bother with describing himself as one genre, but rather creates what comes to his mind.
Kuhr’s brand new album “Spam & Eggs” is a pleasantly lofi blend of hip-hop, indie-chill and R&B. The 5-track project transcends genres and truly highlight Kuhr’s tone and style as a well-rounded artist. The EP has every bit of character and identity you might hope for when seeking out unique, creatively free music.
From the offset, “Superior” pours a number of striking elements into the room around you. The title intrigues, the mood of the music accompanies this well, and the artist’s leading voice and lyrics work hard to further draw your attention as well as keeping a certain air of mystery alive.
“Brighter Days” showcases the purely instrumental side of the artist’s work with a fitting soundscape that makes a lot of sense and sticks to the musical threads that were created in the opener. It’s a simple, even minimalist piece, spacious and hypnotic, gradually increasing in intensity but only so much so as to give the track a sense of movement. The mood remains constant throughout.
“Spam” draws you in with its authentic twang initially. The leading voice is placed fairly distantly within the mix, snippets of instrumentation light up the outer edges like a quiet siren. The song pours lyrics through in a sort of stream-of-consciousness manner. The verses feel like a diary reading as the song is incredibly personal and honest. This song offers a moment of personal connection that’s well-received at this point within the project.
“&” offers a beautiful ambiance with melodic instrumentation. The music has a feeling of rising intensity about it, the leading vocal floats alongside of this in a fairly calm and steady way. The lyrics again seem very revealing and deeply considerate, there’s something robotic and electronic about the music but there’s undoubtedly something very human about the lyrical side of things; that contrast adds further to the intrigue of the project.
“Eggs” brings the album to a close in familiar yet rather melancholy way. By this point, the quirky or characterful sound of the music is overtaken by this overwhelming sense that a lot of deep thought and heart has gone into the making of this project. The reverb, the muffled audio, the hip-hop beats, everything is mellow and points in the direction of story-telling, but a single listen is far from enough to really take on those stories. It’s worth listening in depth to consider who is behind all of this. Adding authenticity to art in this way is always appealing and always holds a level of value. This final song is something of a highlight but it works the best when experienced at the peak of the whole EP.
I highly recommend you check out “Spam & Eggs” here and read more with Kuhr below!
Hey Kuhr! Welcome to BuzzMusic and congrats on the release of “Spam & Eggs”! What does this album mean to you?
Thank you so much. I wrote this album when I moved into my first apartment, looking back on my old self and where I was at the moment. Time really does fly by and you're changing all the while, but it doesn't have to be a scary thing. I had a new perspective on my individuality, living by myself. The title Spam & Eggs is a reference to a common breakfast my parents made for me as a kid, and now as a young adult on my own, its a kind of comfort food that not only I make for myself, but for someone I love. This I kind of used as a representation of me growing up and appreciating the little things that I might have taken for granted before.
What do you hope your listeners take away from it?
Growing up is a process and you have to be patient with yourself. Sometimes when it feels like the choices you make are the most difficult for you, they're actually better off for you in the long run. Appreciate every day even if its something small for you to look forward to.
Who are your musical influences? How do they inspire your sound?
My songs on this EP were definitely more structured than most of my past songs and growing up on John Mayer really helped with my understanding of song structure. Chance The Rapper and Smino have helped me find a distinction in my voice and not be afraid to use a wide vocabulary. Listening to Billie Eilish's 'Don't Smile At Me' helped majorly with where I wanted to take it with production - from the soothing ukulele to the bouncy bass. Clairo's lo-fi bedroom pop sound helped with my style for creating melodies as well as the simplicity of drums. Finally, Saib and Jazzinuf are two different producers that have helped me with refining my lo-fi sound. They don't just make lo-fi beats but also full-on instrumentals that have beautiful depth. I think out of all my musical influences, these two producers inspired me most during the making of this EP.
How did you come to create “Spam & Eggs”?
"Spam" was the first one I worked on. I started with my ukulele trying to find a catchy chord progression. I don't remember how long it took to find it, but when I did, I was writing lyrics to it right away. I referenced Spam & Eggs in the song 'Spam' before I even knew I was going to create an EP, much less the name of the EP. I almost wanted to call it 'Big Red Heart' but once I started working on more of the songs of the EP, I wanted the name to be more cohesive with the theme. I tested 'Spam' out by posting a little video of me singing on Instagram, and it did pretty well. I wanted to make something that was out of my comfort zone, not my usual style of R&B and Hip Hop, and I feel this EP is the first project that I've made that I am truly proud to be behind.
What would you say is the most distinctive characteristic or trait of this new music?
I think the most distinctive part of my music is my voice. I captured a mellow, but haunting effect with how I sang it, as well the way I mixed it. There was no use of any auto-tune or any pitch correction because I felt that would only take away the rawness in my voice, and I enjoy a more organic sound. Mixing my vocals took the longest, however. It's the one thing I really want to perfect because I think in my music it takes most importance. I had fun experimenting with the vocals throughout the EP, with effects and reverb, and I am happy with how it turned out. Though it was hard work, I enjoyed every aspect in the making of 'Spam & Eggs.
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