Josie Proto

Emerging Britpop star Josie Proto has taken the internet (and TikTok) by storm with her latest release, PUB SONGS: Volume 1. With some tongue-in-cheek lyrics and a wide-ranging musical style, Josie is certainly one to watch over the next few years. She took a moment to answer some questions about the new EP, how she’s changed over the years, and what her For You Page looks like on TikTok.

Q: CONGRATS ON THE DEBUT EP! WHAT WERE YOUR GOALS WHEN YOU WERE CREATING THE EP?

A: Thank you so much, it has been a bonkers few months! The EP is made up of songs that I wrote when I was a lot younger, and also songs written just a few months before release. It wanted to release an EP that sounded like a summation of me as a songwriter up until the point of release. Sort of like catching the listeners up to where I am now!

Q: HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE EP TO A POTENTIAL LISTENER?

A: PUB SONGS: Volume 1 is a collection of angsty teenage pop songs in essence. Some of the songs were written when I was about 16 and others were written recently, but all of them will remind you of alcopops and crushes! I like to think that the songs in PUB SONGS really are a summation of my teen years and also of my personality. There are songs about escapism and wanting to run away and there are songs about hating the words ‘I Love You’, some are happy, and some are angry and some are just plain moany! I think they feel like reading a bit of a diary that I used to keep or maybe a collation of phone conversations with best friends.

Q: ‘SLICED BREAD’ WAS WRITTEN WHEN YOU WERE 16. HOW HAVE YOU CHANGED SINCE THEN?

A: In some ways, I have changed massively, but in a lot of ways I am very similar. I still stand by pretty much everything I wrote in that song, but I think I have grown up quite a lot in the past few years. I think those that knew me when I was 16 would definitely say I have changed.

Q: IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY ARTIST COVER ONE OF THE TRACKS ON THE EP, WHO WOULD IT BE, AND WHICH TRACK WOULD THEY COVER?

A: I would LOVE to hear Thomas Headon sing Burner! I think he would suit it! It’s actually a really low song for me, so it’s probably in his range too! Plus I have a bit of a crush on him sooooo…

Q: YOUR SONGS HAVE TAKEN OFF ON TIKTOK, AND YOU’VE GOT QUITE A FOLLOWING ON YOUR ACCOUNT TOO. WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT THE PLATFORM?

A: I love the algorithm that TikTok uses. It promotes accounts that share good content, if your content isn’t good, no matter how many followers you have, it is unlikely to reach more people! It makes being a TikTok user competitive but mostly rewarding! It means a lot more when a TikTok video goes viral then when you receive a certain amount of likes on Instagram.

Q: WHAT DOES YOUR FOR YOU PAGE GENERALLY LOOK LIKE?

A: It’s usually people using really obscure sounds with some pretty dark humour. And musicals. Lots and lots of Musicals. I don’t know how I managed to get onto that side of TikTok but apparently it tracks your likes/favourites and most views and matches the hashtags or sounds used to recommend you thinks that they think you will like, so apparently, I favour dark humour!

Q: THERE’S BEEN QUITE A FEW COVERS OF YOUR SONGS POSTED ONLINE. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT?

A: That’s probably the best thing about TikTok! I love that I have access to people making videos of my songs, singing over my songs and just listening to them! It’s crazy to think that I have no connection to these people other than my music!

Q: IF YOU COULD PERFORM AT ANY VENUE IN THE WORLD, WHERE WOULD YOU CHOOSE?

A: I’ve seen a few bands perform at Concorde 2 in Brighton and I love the energy and vibe there! It's so cool!

Q: WHAT’S ON THE CARDS FOR YOU FOR THE REST OF 2020?

A: I’m absolutely dying to play live! It’s probably my favourite part about being an artist, and I am yet to play a gig ‘post-release’, so I haven’t yet had people come specifically because they have heard my songs on streaming platforms which is super super cool! I’m releasing more merchandise as soon as possible and I am hoping to sort some super cool designs out! I'm also working on much more music, which I also cannot wait to release! So in total, plenty more music, some cool garms and some live gigs as soon as it's safe to do so!


This interview first appeared on Square One Magazine. The full interview can be found here.