How many of you remember your "first" time? For what its worth I only hope it was a special occasion & of course with that special someone. Baller Alert recently caught up with the guy behind the title track "First Time" & we discussed some things that just might tickle your fancy. Josh Xantus of M.U.S.A. Entertainment byway of EMI is not your typical R&B type of cat. Having completed college to chase his dream in which is now his reality, he'll soon join in the ranks of the elite.
Check out our interview below:
BA: Hey Josh, nice to meet you. How are you?
JX: I'm good, chillin.
BA: Now that you have your deal, how does it feel to be Josh X?
JX: Feels great, taking it in. A dream come true. My songs are on the radio, I'm watching myself on tv. I feel like I'm on top of the world.
BA: Explain the trials & tribulations you went through to get to this point?
JX: I was going through a lot of things with the process of getting my deal. I was in college at the time & I was in my last semester of which I was to graduate, which was hard because I was on scholarship. I couldn't mess that up, my grades had to be on point. From there I got up with some family problems, where my mom had just gotten diagnosed with having heart disease. Then I was like wow, what do I do? Do I drop out of school, do I pursue my career or cater to my mom? While remaining focused on the matter at hand, things worked themselves out & immediately after college I got signed.
BA: Congratulations, not too many people at your age are presented with these kinds of opportunities.
JX: Thank you very much!
BA: Now with your single, "Let's Ride" how were you able to land Jadakiss as the feature?
JX: Pretty much my boy, DJ Killatouch, Dj's for Jada & at the time when I was recording the record, he brought to my attention that we needed a feature & he was like lets try & get Jada, I took his advice went with it. We went to the studio, played it for 'Kiss, he liked it & jumped on. Then after that it was all good.
BA: Yea, Jadakiss is hot right now considering his latest release. Glad that you two worked it out.
JX: Yea, he's doing his thing.
BA: Now, your album is entitled, "Can I Live" you state its a novel set to music, explain what you mean by that.
JX: Pretty much, the album is about the trials & tribulations that I went through as I stated earlier. I came up with the title you know Can I Live is about making choices. Whether or not they're right or wrong, at the end of the day Can you live with it. Having been presented with finishing college, my mom getting sick or shopping for a deal, you know the choice that I made whether it was right or wrong could I live with it. My album kinda explains it all from start to finish, from before I got my deal to after.
BA: Now that you got your deal how does your mom/family feel?
JX: My family is really happy. I'm a momma's boy, so my mom is my inspiration. Now that I have the deal she's happy. She's able to hear me on the radio. She's seen me on MTV. You know its just a proud parent feeling. Its crazy because my mom didn't actually want me to get into the R&B world. She actually brought me up playing classical music, so when I got to the point where classical music was kinda boring to the ladies in school. I don't know, do you listen to classical?
BA: Its an acquired listen for your ears. I mean if I want to relax, I'll listen. But it definitely is an acquired listen.
JX: (laughs) exaccccccccctly. That's why I made the switch. I'm like in junior high school dropping a Mozart & Beethoven piece & the girls are like what is this? So I was like, its not going to work, I have to get into the r&b world. So she said when I got to college, I could make the switch. Which kinda brings me back to my point, she's happy because she can actually see that I'm pursuing my dream, although she really wanted me to be a classical pianist. You know dressed in a tuxedo playing with a big orchestra. Its funny now because we talk about it, but had she not brought me up in classical I never would have realized to make that switch.
BA: You mentioned you made the switch for us ladies, speaking of which, what type of lady are you into?
JX: (laughs) Exactly, I wrote the song for you Melanie, I wrote it for you.
BA: (laughs) Cute!
JX: Well I'm into a smart woman, one who understands what I do for a living. Because its hard trying to be with someone with this type of career. But I love all girls. All types.
BA: Well that's good. Have you experienced dealing with groupies yet?
JX: Here & there. I've dealt with some groupie situations & I've handled them professionally. However, I know more will come. I try to not to let it get to that point. I try to surround myself with people who will try & keep me away from that. But some have tried to kiss me, etc., but thank God it hasn't really totally gotten out of control.
BA: Well what has been the craziest thing one has done to get next to you?
JX: (laughs) I was at a club in CT, but I wont mention any names, but I was chilling with this person in VIP & this one chic tried to get into the section & she succeeded, & a DJ from CT, his girl was there & she(groupie) got upset because I assume she thought the girl was talking to me & she just started fighting. I'm like what are you doing, and she responds, You're my Man" & I laugh because I don't even know this girl, I'm not your man. I mean it was crazy.
BA: I can only imagine the atmosphere.
JX: Yea, it was crazy Melanie. Have you ever been in any situations like that?
BA: I can't say that I have, I'm very low-key.
JX: How long have you been doing this? It sounds like you've been at this for years.
BA: Well I've been writing pretty much my whole life, but doing it for the music scene, I'm a year into it. I'm still fresh in the game. I guess I was born to do this. Just like you were.
JX: Oh, but of course.
BA: Now with your album, when should we expect a release?
JX: We're shooting for a fall release. I'm out here now promoting my current single First Time, its on the radio, the video should be hitting the television soon. I'm looking to hop on tour with Ginuwine. After the promotion & stuff goes down, we'll be pushing for a fall release.
BA: You're currently in the studio, & you already have Jada as a feature, are there any others we should look for?
JX: I have the remix with Let's Ride with Busta Rhymes. I'm currently in the studio with Swizz Beats working on a record & we're looking to get some features, but until it happens, I got to keep it a secret.
BA: What type of vibe will the consumer get from you debut release, "Can I Live"?
JX: They will appreciate real music. Being young in the game at 22, I feel with what I went through to get to this point, it'll be encouraging. Especially those in college. People will be able to relate to it.
BA: Now I've asked you about your album & what it will sound like, I'd like to know who do you listen to? Who are some of your musical influences?
JX: Right now I listen to Lauryn Hill, Brian Mcknight( I actually met & went on his radio show & he's actually one of the reasons why I got into r&b because of his love for the piano). I was just with Stevie Wonder last week & he had some encouraging words for me. But um artists like Cold Play, the late Michael Jackson.
BA: I see you have an eclectic ear as well. There's no need to box yourself. When you box yourself, you limit yourself.
JX: Yea, I see we have a lot in common. That's what this album is all about. Being different. That's why I didn't want to sign to a major label. Motown & J records were trying to sign me. Like they wanted to box me in & say I was going to be like this person, that person. I decided to go independent so I could creatively express what I'm feeling.
BA: Funny you say that, I believe most artists' should go independent vs being a major labels puppet, where they direct you in the path they see for you vs your own direction. So I definitely feel your reason for going independent.
JX: Exactly, when you're out there doing shows, being interviewed, you might as well speak from 1st hand experience. I don't want to sing about someone else' experience or perspective. I want my fans to really know who Josh is, as the person as the artist. Someone they're able to connect with.
BA: Its been real Josh & if there's anything we can do(Baller Alert) on our end to help further promote your single just let us know, & we'll make it happen. We definitely wish you much continued success & we'll be checking for your album in the fall.