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Rising Stars: Meet Josh Robert

Today we’d like to introduce you to Josh Robert.  

Hi Josh, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I got started playing music with a pop-punk band in High School called “The Carsons.” We had pretty significant success at a young age and I fell in love with performing. I pretty much exclusively sang in High School but picked up the guitar in college. I really fell in love with a lot of folk musicians like Ray Lamontagne, Amos Lee, and Joshua James. I loved how full they could make a simple acoustic guitar and vocals sound. 

I moved to Nashville in 2015 and learned the business side of things simply from putting myself out there. Networking became a daily thing in my life, but I could not afford to do that daily and play music full time. I ended up having to work small part-time jobs to make ends meet, and I found myself straying from what I moved there for in the first place. I eventually found a small market in the suburbs of Cleveland and would come home every other week to make money and go back to Nashville to try and “make it.” 

If there is ever a sellout story, I did it. I realized that if I moved back home to Cleveland, I could hustle and make more money than I ever had in my life. I could make a legitimate career out of it. I came up with a genuine plan of attack and I think it’s gone pretty well. 

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Of course it has had a ton of challenges. 

I have had equipment fail, guitars break, double bookings, etc. Pretty standard when you start doing something that all falls on you. I’ve learned to have backups of everything. I’ve learned to keep a strict and thorough calendar. (Multiple calendars). 

Another challenge was simply overusing my voice. I have friends and have seen so many singers get burnt out and need different surgeries. I had to relearn how to sing and find little tricks that could save my voice. Maybe not belting every night to impress, but keep a smooth low vocal to sustain. 

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I play acoustic guitar, sing, and, most recently, DJ. I generally play out at local bars and venues, but I play a ton of weddings every year. 

I would say in the wedding industry, I’m most known for that duality of live music and DJing. I provide something for fans of both at weddings and I honestly feel pretty cool doing it. There’s something about getting the dance floor going with a guitar on my back and a wireless mic in my hand. It’s also fun to bust out some “I Want it That Way” in the middle of wedding reception and hear everyone sings it back to me. 

I’m definitely proud of my ability to overcome anxiety and panic attacks. Most people wouldn’t know it if they saw me, but I pretty much struggle with it daily. I would say for the first 3 or 4 songs on any given night, I have to sort of settle in. It was a really bad problem a few years back. I remember playing and djing at a wedding about a week after my first panic attack and I honestly don’t know how I got through it. Now, I almost thrive on overcoming that. It’s a good feeling. 

In terms of your work and the industry, what are some of the changes you are expecting to see over the next five to ten years?
I think live music will always have its place. I could see what I do possibly shifting. Maybe playing less often, but playing bigger shows. Maybe getting a band together. Maybe a loop pedal. I honestly don’t see a huge shift in the live music industry though. 

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