Joshua Seller

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Joshua Seller

20 Questions With Joshua Seller

JOSHUA on the early musical influence of his mother, church and commercial radio growing up in the agricultural community of Brigden, Ont. (near Sarnia): “My mother convinced me through her voice how powerful music could be. So, I guess she was the one who influenced me originally. I would sing in front of people at church every week and I grew up listening to gospel and the radio. I also knew every word to every top-40 hit.”

JOSHUA on...the inspiration to write his first song. The 24-year-old, who now lives in Toronto, wrote or co-wrote 10 of the 11 songs that appear on his debut CD “Starving For Attention” (in stores Tues., Nov. 22, 2005 via Maplenationwide). “The song “We Can Win” was penned by writing partner Andrew Ang: “I grew up in a musical family but credit the first song I wrote to a broken heart. At the time, I wrote it to try and win the girl back. Later, when I saw how cool somebody looks on stage with a guitar in their hand, I decided to do music for all the girls, not just one. Just kidding. Really, I’m kidding.”

JOSHUA on...being a rabid music fan himself and his current musical influences (Coldplay, Robbie Williams, U2, and Switchfoot are a few favorites): “I have a lot of mixed CDs (obtained legally) because I’m a fan of great songs. I love searching for new music and finding that perfect mixture of voice/sound where once it gets in your head you can’t get it out. Personally, I listen to all styles of music but love to chill out to Robbie Williams or Coldplay. Both artists have very original sounds and amazing live shows. For me, I need to know that an artist is as good live as they are on record.”

JOSHUA on...his debut single "Time": “’Time” tells the story of a man who looks back on memories. He holds tight to emotion and truth and realizes just how far he’s come. He understands that what’s made him stronger are the very lies he’s tried to avoid. I wrote “Time” when the girl that I loved told me her love had run out and no matter what I did to try and make her love me again, she couldn’t. Looking back, I now see how that love wasn’t meant to be because I would have missed out on something far greater.”

JOSHUA on...the impromptu audition for Canadian Idol that ultimately culminated in a top-10 finish in 2004: “Originally, I just took a friend to Toronto for the audition as a favor and in the end it worked out better for me than him. At the time, I was working part-time at two jobs, dreaming about music and not doing anything about it. Idol gave me the determination to stop wishing a career in music would happen and to go out and make it happen.”

JOSHUA on...what he took away from the Canadian Idol experience: “My time on Idol, apart from the show itself, was quite stressful. I wasn’t only battling who I was as a person, but also who I was as an artist. When you wear your heart on your sleeve in front of millions of people each week, you learn who you are very quickly. I was forced to look within and that helped me write many of the songs on my album.”

JOSHUA on...comparing the challenges of performing on national tv to writing, singing and playing (he’s self-taught on guitar) on his own CD: “Making the album was by far the hardest. When I was on TV, I had people telling me how great they thought I was every week. It was as if I could do no wrong. But when I locked myself in a studio for four months with my band and there wasn’t anybody around but myself in a room with a mic, I wondered if anyone outside of those walls would ever hear what we were doing. Communicating and translating how I heard the songs in my head to the way I wanted them played was hard but my band rocks and they nailed it.”

JOSHUA on...his determination to establish career longevity: “In this industry you are priceless one day and gone the next. However, true artists persevere. I believe the public can tell what’s fabricated and what’s not. I think great song writing and great stage presence are both extremely important. If you can hold tight to those while carrying your bag of character, integrity, honesty and a true love for the music, then you don’t need anything else.”

JOSHUA on...the song he’s most proud of as a writer: “The one that I hold tight to is ‘Sing Over Me’. It represents the final resting place for the guilt I felt when I saw the same girl everyday on the street who looked like she came from nothing and had nothing. Inside, I knew something was wrong but never took the time to say anything or offer any help. A few months later I noticed an ambulance leaving a run down apartment with a body bag and heard that same girl had committed suicide. Death as a result of loneliness is a common theme, whether it’s a last literal breath or just plain numb to pain. So now as she sings down over me, I lift that song up to her and all the others who needed someone when there wasn’t anybody.”

JOSHUA on...the overall style of music found on his debut CD and in his live show: “The music is a combination of past and present influences rolled into a blanket of emotion and truth. If you had to put a label on it, I guess you’d have to classify my CD as mainstream pop rock, but my live show is much more raw. Even though I write all the songs, on stage I’m more of an entertainer than an artist.”

JOSHUA on...his favorite songs on “Starving For Attention”: “’Could’ is a favorite of mine. It’s a song for everyone who doubted me and told me I wouldn’t amount to anything -- an anthem for the brave and determined to succeed despite potential failure. I love the way ‘Till You’ turned out too, it’s a raw love song stripped bare with very little production.”

JOSHUA on...assembling his band and his band mates: “Andy Powell (bass), Franky Bechard (drummer) and Dave Puzak (lead guitar) were all playing in another band when I approached them about playing with me. Andrew Sherlock (rhythm guitar) was already playing with me and we’ve known each other since we were kids. Matthew Tishler (keyboards) co-wrote a lot of the songs on the record with me and he’s agreed to take his talent on the road with us.”

JOSHUA on...communicating and connecting with his fans/audiences. “If at some point during a performance I look out and see my songs being sung back to me or when I get an email or letter telling me how my music helped someone make it through a difficult time, it makes all of this worthwhile. I’m very comfortable scribbling my heart onto paper and letting people know that I am or I’ve been to the same places as them. I want my music to touch all people and inspire or encourage them to make a change and stay changed.”

JOSHUA on...what he hopes to achieve, beyond attention, with his debut CD: “Another album and a long tour.”