Josh Gauton: A Birmingham-based songsmith with the "Wild Love" radio hit

Tuesday 30th July 2019

Tony Cummings spoke at length to the singer/songwriter JOSH GAUTON whose 'O, Peace' album is receiving accolades

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Josh: "I think so. There's a great couple that lead that team called Luke and Anna Hellebronth. They're great guys. They're very committed to that team and have built something great where there's a high value on being part of that team, and a high care for people within it: standards of excellence musically, but people are cared for. They've done a brilliant job. It's a good team to be in, a great team to aspire to be on."

Tony: You started by recording an independent EP.

Josh: "The very first things I did, years and years ago, that not many people will get to hear - the first thing I would consider part of my career. In 2015 I released a song called 'Masks'. It was written with a few friends. It was the first point I got to when I was like, 'I'm really proud of this song. I feel like it represents me.' So I put that out independently, followed it up a year later with an EP, 'As The Waters Rise', which was crowdfunded. That was a great experience getting people who knew me that believed in the potential. I hadn't done much recording to that point, but people for whatever reason believed in me enough to back me and finance that project, which was awesome. I then released another single - 2017, I think it was. From mid-August last year I was releasing singles and songs, building up to 'O, Peace'."

Tony: And 'O, Peace' was released through a brand new record company.

Josh: "Yes, Running Club. It's run by a guy I knew a lot of. We hadn't connected tons before, but in April 2018 we started having a conversation, and he told me he was doing this thing. By that point I had mostly finished recording the 'O, Peace' album. We were thinking, 'Is there a way we can work together?' Fortunately it all worked out to release the album with those guys, Running Club. Chris Lawson Jones runs that - he's an awesome dude. He has a great heart for connecting people who, like myself, have been part of the church scene for a while. The music that comes from the church scene isn't necessarily something that we'd jam with, but we make music that serves those needs of people exploring faith. We're wanting to do that in a way that feels authentic to the music we like and listen to. He's been a real supporter."

Tony: Who produced 'O, Peace'?

Josh: "A guy called Jonny Bird, who is brilliant. He produced my EP as well, so he's a long-time collaborator, and a genius. As you know, he's done a lot of work with Martin Smith.

Tony: Did you make regular trips to Brighton when you were recording?

Josh: "Yeah, we did. We recorded in Brighton, and there's a great place in Chichester we recorded some drums. We did it in a couple of stints - worked quite fast. Jonny works fast; I prefer to work slow, but it's good to follow your producer's lead. I probably wouldn't get anything done otherwise. We did it pretty much all in Brighton and Chichester."

Tony: Did you have any input on the mixing? That can be a thorny subject.

Josh: "I'm a bit of a perfectionist, so I wanted to be involved in all those processes. How it worked in the end is Jonny produced it then co-mixed it with another guy. The most natural way was for me to be involved so I could sound off to Jonny that kind of stuff you need. If the artist is not involved, the producer is there to sound off the mixer. You always need that person to bat things off. That was a great process."

Tony: What has changed in your life now that the album is out?

Josh: "We've done a bunch more stuff based on that. We've got a tour next week across England, which has been cool to prep for. We played Big Church Day Out a few weeks back. That's been fun. I've gathered that the audience we're appealing to is quite spread out, and the best way to connect with people is online, working hard on a digital community. There's a lot of people keen for what we're doing, but there's not a big concentration in a particular place. There's a lot of guys in the States who want to listen to this stuff. Brazil. It's very spread out. We've put a lot of effort into that, which is why we made a whole bunch of visuals to reach people across that digital network - videos and stuff, which we've been really proud of and loved the process of making. We are doing some live stuff, and I think a lot of the best conversations have come out of utilising the online community."

Tony: It seems increasingly in worship that a series of lyric videos is crucial to getting the music out to the public.

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