Josh Xantus – Bling Bling
ABOUT JOSH XANTUS
“Continue to carry out the legacy of being a musician that represents real music,” is what the iconic Stevie Wonder told up and coming singer-songwriter Josh Xantus. Catching the pitch-perfect ear of Stevie Wonder is unheard of for a new artist. However, after one listen to Josh’s fresh sound, whether it is 2011’s Can I Live? or his upcoming mixtape The Antidote, it’s no shocker the entertainment industry is taking notice.
At only 26, Josh Xantus, which means golden in Greek, has already caught the likes of Swizz Beatz, Ne-Yo, Jerry “Wonder” Duplessis and Birdman from Cash Money. A fusion of sharp musicality with infectious party anthems, his sound is accentuated by the discipline of a Julliard trained pianist and the swag of a pop-R&B prince.
Josh’s musical roots have a unique start. Born to Haitian parents in Brooklyn, New York, Josh and his four siblings moved to Queens after his mother and father separated. His mother, a violinist, had a passion for music; however, like many single mothers, her aspirations were put on hold to raise her children. But, she never forgot the music. “My mother wanted her kids to play an instrument so she gave us pianos. She couldn’t pursue music like she wanted to — in her mind, it was a self-fulfillment for us to play an instrument.” Little did his mother know, she was cultivating the beginnings of a superstar.
Josh started playing classical piano at the age of six, quickly mastering Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven. But it was Brian McKnight’s 1997 hit, “Anytime,” that would change the trajectory of Josh’s music. “That was the first song that really made me want to write a song,” recalls Josh. “I was just a kid, but I was with this girl and the song made me want to ask her these questions. ‘Do I ever cross your mind? Do you think of me?’ It was the first song I made a connection with.”
Josh was ready to abandon classical music for the soul of R&B, but his mother insisted that he not disregard his skills on the piano. Soon after, Josh was accepted to the prestigious Juilliard School.
After completing Julliard, Josh attended the legendary Five Towns College, which includes the alums Chrisette Michele, Nicole from Nina Sky and Adam Levine, the lead singer of Maroon 5. On his days at Julliard, Josh reflects, “I’m happy my mom pushed the classical music — it’s why I am where I am at now. At the end of the day, you’re either meant to do it or you’re just trying.”
Josh Xantus is certainly meant to do it and you can’t fight soul music when it’s calling. Josh was the first artist signed to M USA Entertainment in 2011. As a new artist, he performed as the opening act for Fabolous, Busta Rhymes and Ne-Yo. In addition, he garnered critical acclaim for last year’s indie smash Can I Live?, which was compared to Usher’s Confessions
In 2012, Josh exercised his business skills by landing an administration deal with Downtown Publishing. Via Swagga Boyz Productions with his partner Claude “Qou” Forbes, who is known for his work with Trey Songz and the late, great Michael Jackson, the deal will develop new artists and cultivate the groundwork for Josh’s The Antidote.
In 2013, Josh is reinventing his sound. R&B is in his roots, but he is defying the rigid confines of labels to explore new horizons, which is apparent in the upcoming The Antidote.
“The project is more about finding out what you really are, who you really are and what you really want out of life,” Josh enthusiastically explains. Songs like “The Weekend,” “Breathe” and “Wake Me” are destined to rule radio with its urban rhythms and pop appeal. He is organically broadening his base, reaching the masses with a sound that cannot be categorized. Quite simply, Josh is a pop star.
The Antidote, which will be released in early 2013, includes production from Music Man Ty, Los Da Mystro and Swizz Beatz. Plus, there is more to come in 2013: a nationwide tour, an EP and collaborations. “If you’re putting your music out there, I think fans should know who you really are. I’m going to give them a show!”
While Josh has taken the time to learn his craft, earned a blessing from Stevie Wonder and worked with veterans in the industry, his musical destiny has yet to be seen. By being a truly gifted musician and a driven entrepreneur, he has accomplished unprecedented success for an artist that has no major label backing. With The Antidote, a nationwide tour and a revamped sound, 2013 will be the year of Josh Xantus.