Josh Stevens is an American singer, songwriter, producer, engineer and CEO of his music company Stadium Music Enterprise. Stevens has worked with various major artists such as Warren G, Snoop Dogg,LMFAO, Pitbull, Steve Aoki, Jennifer Lopez and The Game.
In 2015, the Los Angeles-based artist released his debut EP “Story of Summer”, which included the single “Hill Top” (Ft. Spencer Ludwig).
Stevens will be revealing his new project in 2018.
How did you get started in the music industry?
I started when I was a kid. My friends and I started our first little band when we were 15 or 16. I then started writing raps. I was doing hip-hop records and I would do freestyle battles, conscious hip-hop, positive hip-hop etc. That’s when we started a band with my two brothers.
How did you like these first experiences and what these experiences teach you?
It taught me a lot. It put us in a lot of recording studios when I was really young. We would do tour dates with the local clubs. We got to open for a few acts, and we got our own local success which was great. We were together for like 4 or 5 years. We still do music on a different level. It taught me a lot about wanting to get back in the studio and learn more about what’s going on in music, the music business, and not just being an artist.
How did you get into engineering?
I was in recording studios the whole time so I had to figure out what they were doing in the studio because most of the time you just show up and leave and you didn’t know what was going on. So I went to music school in junior college, I majored in music and jazz, and then I went to engineering school and I studied the technical stuff and the music business. I went for a music business degree and then engineering. That’s what lead me to a lot of different places.
Are you still engineering?
I did it for so long. I don’t do it as much. I still do it for certain companies like Universal and some other bigger companies and major artists but I’m not particularly in the studio engineering somebody everyday anymore. It takes some time. Long hours, late nights. So I usually hire engineers and because I was an engineer, I know what makes a good engineer.
What makes a good engineer?
Patience. Understanding the vision of the person you’re working with because you could be an engineer where you have your vision and think “this is what I think is right” or you can think “let me see what this person wants to do of their career and their art and let me enhance it and not put my signature on it per say”. So engineers have to detach themselves from the art which is weird because it is art and science in one. It’s the only thing in music where it’s both. You have to know the science of the technologies and how audio and frequencies work. But you still have to understand the art of what the person is trying to portray and how you need to enhance that. It takes a lot of brain.
Could you tell me about your company Stadium Music Enterprise?
We started it four years ago. It has always been an idea we had but we didn’t develop the company until about 4 years ago. We’re not a record company, we’re more of a consulting company for brands. We more or less want to give artists a platform to develop their ideas, like what makes a good record, what’s going to radio, what’s going to develop their message because record labels don’t have that anymore. Record labels expect the artist to fully have a fan base, fully have their message, and their music fully developed before they even talk to them. A lot of artists don’t know what to do. They’re either great musicians, great singers or great writers. But they never really know that making a record, making a brand and making a hit record starts from the very beginning of writing records. You don’t stumble across hits. That’s what we help artists with, on a consulting base. I would produce and feature in some of the artists records and be apart of their brand while some of them just want to do their own thing and they just need that structure that understands where the music is at, where the music industry is at and I will achieve what they’re trying to do and show them the levels of what their next move could go. Everything now is micro markets. There are only like 8 or maybe 10 artists that can do worldwide premieres and that’s why we have the same artists on top of the charts all the time like Bieber, Ed Sheeran, Beyoncé, …. There are only a few. So everybody else has to do with the micro markets which is your friends, your family, your whole environment, your music culture. And that’s what we help with. Artists usually don’t know how to reach those people. So that’s what we’re trying to do. And that’s what this company is based on, helping artists find their purpose.
How many artists do you have?
We have about 10 artists.
The artists pick us and we go through a consulting. Some artists don’t need the full development, some of them do. Each case is very unique. It’s all individual.
Are you working on your own projects right now?
I am. Red bull has been kind enough to want to work with me. So as an artist, I’ve been over at Red Bull Studios with their in-house producer Zoux who was my music director actually. He ended up with them and showed them what we were doing for the new music and Red bull got me behind it. It’s definitely different from the first EP that I did. We’re gonna see if it’s going to be an album or an EP, I don’t know yet. The music is kind of like Billy Joel. It’s all organic, it’s all live. Big instrumentation, piano, drums. More traditional songwriting. We feel pretty good about it at Red bull so far. We have like four songs done and I think we have the singles done too which is kinda crazy.
When are you going to release your new music?
I think the first single will come out in October. Or maybe end of summer. Not sure yet. We’re just deciding what we’re gonna do with the visuals.
What lessons did you learn along the way?
What I’ve learnt is that you always have to be kind to everybody because who you step on on the way up are going to be the same people you’ll see on the way down. Even though, in my opinion, there’s no music industry anymore but more like individual companies, there are people that will rise, there are people that will fall. You always have to be kind to everyone around you. Everybody has dreams, everybody has a passion. And for those people who don’t really see your vision, that’s ok. I think that’s what most people and artists get upset about, and they’ll say: “Oh they don’t believe in my idea, I’m gonna be the next great person. They don’t believe in me.” I don’t think that’s the greatest approach. Just because they don’t see your vision doesn’t mean they can’t eventually be on the same team as yours and maybe you’re the one that sees the vision wrong.
What’s your purpose?
My purpose is to continuously show a path. I was kind of an underdog in the music industry. Everyone would pass me over. Same old story. No one believed in the vision, no one followed me. They loved using my talents but they never wanted to join me. So I think as an artist, a big part of what I continuously do is show people that they can break down the walls. If I can do it for myself, someone else can do it for themselves. That’s what I continuously do in music and as an artist. I like bringing messages that break barriers.
Great songs still matter the most. You can do all the cool stuff, you can have all the campaigns, the gimmicks and all that stuff but real songs like traditional good songs still flow. They still last. That’s what I’m trying to do. And of course, I have to be apart of that new era in music so I have to understand social media, branding and marketing but ultimately, great songs last and that’s what people get attached to because it speaks to them. I feel like it’s my purpose. It’s to continuously break down barriers and setting a path. Hopefully someday as an artist, someone will hear my stuff and I will inspire them to make an impact in the world. Somebody may change the entire globe from something that I do, or even change their own life and their own perspective.
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