Genre-blending artist Joshua McNeal presents new music, as a way to end of his 2019 in the most appropriate way as an artist! With strong elements coming from either hip/hop, rap or R&B influences, Joshua McNeal makes sure that any synthesized sound tying in with his vocal delivery is pure and a reflection of him as an artist.
Joshua McNeal is bringing back his reviving sound with his release "Jigga With the Dreads". He aims to produce a lively track that can easily hype up any audience listening. For us, he reached this point in stimulating a powerful energized atmosphere. "Jigga With the Dreads" features a heavy R&B/Rap categorical influence, but with the dynamic shaping of Joshua McNeal, and what he characterizes his music to be. Joshua invests eclecticism into his music to gain a sense of authenticity to his music. With a cross-cultural upbringing, Joshua uses his experience and interpretations to curate that specific sounding that's exclusive to his music. Joshua McNeal knows his ambitions and what he's capable of artistically. Using this to his advantage, Joshua constructs his music intensely and vividly. If you're desiring a multi-categorical sound of heavy, dark yet charming and transcending rap stylings, Joshua and his track "Jigga With the Dreads" is the way to go!
Listen to Joshua McNeal here.
Welcome to BuzzMusic Joshua! We'd love to learn more about you and your music! Could you please tell our readers about yourself and how you started your career in music?
My life is literally a movie and a book. But ill give you a brief overview:
I was born in Germany. My parents were military. We traveled throughout Europe. I was a young African American kid seeing the Mona Lisa, the Coliseum, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa whilst listening to 50 Cent, Biggie Smalls, & Eminem growing up. Moving around we ended up in Oregon and I started making beats on an MPC 1000, sampling records. During that time I started rapping every day as well. Eventually, I moved to San Diego CA during my high school years and I joined a band the summer of my graduation. While everyone went to college, I was sleeping on couches and floors and playing shows from San Diego to Hollywood. We had connections to an established band called "Unwritten Law". They have #1 singles on Major Labels and were an influential punk band in the 90's and early 2000's. The lead singer Scott Russo said I could live at his home until I figured out my plan. That was the first time I got to see the everyday lifestyle of a successful Rockstar behind the scenes. My band would record demos with him and we would open up for him and hang out backstage at his sold-out shows. After a few years of grinding with the band, we got signed to an indie label named Pacific Records. They got us opportunities to open for Justin Bieber, Post Malone, The Who, Pit Bull & Enrique Iglesias. It was an incredible experience. However shortly after the band disbanded, I then decided to move to Hollywood and enroll in a trade school called the "Musician's Institute". Since then I've seen the ups downs of Hollywood from living on the streets to my car to sleeping at the gym to even sleeping inside the school. It was a struggle, but I wouldn't trade it for anyone else come up. I was homeless and I was busking at the time just to keep my spirits up and try to make a few bucks along the way. One day after playing on Hollywood Blvd, I met DJ Khaled in a parking lot at The Ralphs on Sunset. I played him a song on the guitar and rapped for him and he put me on his SnapChat. The next day, he called me on the phone and told me I was very talented and to keep going and to never give up. That day honestly propelled my belief system to another level. There is so much more to my whole story but we'll save it for the next interview. This is going to be a very arrogant statement but one day I know there's going to be a movie made about my life.
You've traveled across Europe and the United States. What was the experience like and did this make a big impact on the music you create?
This is one of the biggest influences in my DNA make up. Traveling throughout Europe and The States gave me so much perspective on people and different cultures. I learned how to respect the differences of so many walks of life as well as see the similarities we all have as people. It also helped alleviate my fears of change. It taught me how to adapt in any situation, no matter the circumstance. Before I moved to Los Angeles, I never lived anywhere longer than 3 years. Every 3 years, I was uprooted and moved to another country or state. I always had to join a new school and make new friends in a new environment. I feel like my upbringing has prepared me for the lifestyle that I'm headed towards. Most importantly it's going to help me make an impact on the world.
We love your new song "Jigga With the Dreads", can you dive into the meaning behind it?
A lot of my music is created either from inspiration and/or ambition. Some songs are like capturing lighting in a bottle, while other songs are like trying to build a house from scratch. This one was like building a house. I was trying to write what I thought was a really great record. I was pushing myself to make a banger that slaps hard and has cool consistent melodies and a giant hook. Almost like every popular Nirvana song, but just in hip-hop form. Some songs I create from a genuine artistic expression, and some songs I create because I'm just trying to push myself to make something undeniably dope as f*ck.
I came up with the hook from looking through my iPhone notes and I saw a phrase that said "I feel like Jigga with the dreads" which I wrote probably a few months before making the song as an ode to Jay-Z. He's arguably the greatest rapper to ever do it. He's married to one of the greatest singers to ever do it. He's got a beautiful family, the accolades, the wealth, the respect, the impact, and the success......and he's a black man with dreads. I feel like there's nothing more inspiring than that.
Your love for a wide range of genres reflects in your music and we love that! Are there any unexplored genres that you're thinking of fusing into your music in 2020?
To be honest, I have about 2 to 3 albums worth of acoustic folk-rock songs that I've written throughout the years. Mostly inspired by Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Beatles, & Bob Dylan. I've been tapping into almost every genre for the last 10 years. Even though I've tapped into them all, It hasn't been an easy road. I'm still learning how to sound better and improve my skills. From learning how to sing to studying Beatles songs all the way to playing the guitar and the piano. I feel like all the trees that I've planted and watered are starting to bare its first real signs of fruit. That's my goal for 2020. Its to share all facets of myself as an artist as much as I can and inspire others to do the same. To just live like an artist who's only got a short time left on earth. To put it all out and share it with the world. From the perfections to the imperfections. So many artists including myself are so afraid to share their music. Let alone try another genre. They're just holding themselves back and I think its a disservice to what they're capable. It's like they're hoarding it away for the perfect opportunity. But the best time I believe to do anything is always the time right now.
Thank you for talking with us Joshua! What releases can we anticipate in the New Year?
In 2020, I'm going to defy as many limitations in my mind as possible.
This year, I'm releasing one new song day a day for 365 days. No matter the genre. Right now I'm focusing on the current sound of melodic trap hip-hop. But give me few more months of that and I'll transition to Underground lyrical hip-hop to pop music to Acoustic Rock music and beyond. Its gonna be one helluva rollercoaster ride. I'm also filming music videos too as many of the songs as I can. As I said, I'm gonna push myself to do as much as I can. There is no box. This year is the year that I've finally found the courage to take the emergency breaks off and just GO! You can follow me on my website joshua365.com . Tell me your dreams and what problems you are having and I'd love to help motivate you to push past any limitations you feel you may have.
My main goal is I want to touch billions of people with my message and my music. I want to spark the young and the old and next generation to follow their dreams with a fiery passion. Thank you for the interview!