Look out for emerging singer/songwriter soul musician Josué Vilches. No stranger to Sydney’s local live music scene, Josué has the ability to look you straight in the eye and make you believe in his convictions through his soulful music.
The first time I had seen him perform was at the White Horse in Sydney a couple of years ago to a handful of audience members not interested in the jam session about to ensue. But that did not deter Josué from putting on a performance as if the world was watching. I certainly paid attention.
This multi-instrumentalist oozes a certain type of soulful inflection only seasoned performers possess. Some have compared him to Justin Timberlake – our Aussie version. I’ve heard that before and it’s no wonder when you hear him sing. Upon first glance, you wouldn’t believe such a silky tone could come from a young man like him.
I caught up with Josué rattling off a few short questions for you to get to know him a little bit better.
1. For those who need to be acquainted with you, who is Josué and how do you pronounce your name?
I’m a singer-songwriter specialising in the art of soul. Josué pronounced Hose-way.
2. What’s your background (ethnicity) and in what way do you think your background has shaped the way you make music?
Both my parents are from Chile, South America. I think that the way that has influenced me is the older Latin musicians that I had met through my parents.
3. Tell us a little bit about your background in music – are you a self-taught musician?
I grew up playing music in church. My parents were singers, my sister is also a singer, my younger brother is a drummer, my older brother plays guitar, bass and piano. Being around all this music I naturally learned how to play these instruments.
4. [I’m] Excited about your debut EP “Bad News” dropping in July with a new single out already from the EP called ‘Summertime’. It’s an exquisite track where you’ve perfectly captured the summer vibes. How did that song come about? Were you out on the beach with your girl, dreaming about Summer time, in Summer time?
Haha. The song actually came about during a conversation with a friend. We discussed how much better Summer is than Winter. I’ve actually always felt that way. I always love the Summer vibes.
5. Speaking of songs, what’s your method to writing a song?
I usually come up with the music before the lyrics. I play around with chord progressions on a guitar or piano a whole lot. Sometimes songs are written by playing a certain rhythm on the drums. It could be from something I’ve heard or something I’ve seen. The lyrics come when the music is right. The music determines the lyrics. The lyrics come from my experiences.
6. Stevie Wonder believes a great song (one of) is when you can do various interpretations of a song. What makes a great song to you?
Stevie Wonder summed it up pretty well. I believe a great song is one that touches the very core of your heart.
7. What can we expect from your debut EP “Bad News”?
New music with old school vibes. The tracks differ a lot. I really wanted to make new music while paying tribute to the old grand masters. I think I captured that.
8. What can we expect from your live show at The Vanguard for your EP Launch?
I have this thing when writing music. It means nothing unless it really pops off live. So the EP launch is going to be really popping off! The only way I can describe it is [a] really large sound.
9. Name your top 3 artists (dead or alive) who you channeled as a young child?
Curtis Mayfield, D’Angelo, and Donny Hathaway.
10. Do you remember the first record/Cd you purchased? What was it?
“Sleep Through the Static” by Jack Johnson.
11. You’ve been a part of our local (Sydney) music scene, gigging places around town for a while now… What’s your take on our local soul music community? How can we improve it?
There is so much talent here in Sydney. So many great singers and musicians. The shame is that here in Australia, a small percentage of people love soul music. It’s getting better, however most people don’t know what type of talent there is here in terms of soul music.
12. The biggest lesson I learned from a random old man when I was sixteen at a bus stop was to ‘Find love, settle down, and have children. No-one can survive in this world alone. Money or a job is not worth being alone.’ That stuck with me; but I didn’t really understand what he meant until now. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt so far in life?
Most of my life lessons, I have learnt from my eldest brother. He once said to me, “Life is about perceptions. People will always believe the first thing they see.”
13. If you could speak to your 12 year-old-self, what would you tell him knowing what you know about your life now, and all your experiences?
I would say that no matter what people say, stick to your guns and stay focused on the goal!
Josué Vilches’ debut EP “Bad News” will be officially released on July 9th with an EP Launch happening at The Vanguard, 9th of July. Tickets available through www.thevanguard.com.au