Interview with Josh Del

Josh Del shares how to use online to reach more fans than ever. He was even live streaming way before Covid.

Give an introduction to yourself, how you got into music, where you are today, and where you'd like to be?

My name is Josh Del, I am a songwriter/producer based out of Southern California. My music is in the vein of Roots Rock/Americana, but not scared to break those boundaries anymore. One thing I am grateful for is the lines between genres are starting to become more and more blurred. Today I am sitting in my condo in Laguna Niguel, CA, but in a couple months, who knows, I could be in a little town called Nashville, Tennessee.

I just signed my first publishing deal with Wixen Music Publishing and they are great. A lot of cool artists are signed to Wixen like The Black Keys, Weezer, Neil Young, they even represent Tom Petty’s catalog, which I absolutely love. I was a super early adopter of streaming live shows as well, even pre-Covid, so I have been doing a bunch of that, especially on Reddit where I go number one frequently and the stream will hit between 100k-200k in total viewership. That number is pretty bananas when you think about it.

Tell us about your latest release, what's it about?

I released Who Do You Love on January 15th and it has been doing really well! It didn’t get the coveted Spotify editorial playlist, but we are doing really good considering that. I actually have a live in studio version of it coming out February 19th as well.

The song Who Do You Love paints the picture of a couple and one of them starts to run through things in their head, ultimately leading them to the question of who does this person love? But the song is actually a little more complicated than that. I thought it would be the most relatable to compare it to a relationship, but deeper the song is about what do you give your energy to? It doesn’t have to be a person, it could be anything, even yourself.

How did you record it?

I recorded Who Do You Love in my home studio and ended up playing everything myself for this one, which I think turned out alright, but I usually have some of my super talented friends record parts on my song too. I guess it just depends on what the song calls for. Who Do You Love is a fairly stripped down production, but it still sounds big. 

How did you distribute it?

Haha, this should be a straight forward answer, but I have been going through two competing companies for distribution, just trying to see if one is better than the other. I distributed this particular song through United Masters, but I have a lot of stuff released through DistroKid as well. 

How did you promote it?

I did a lot of the promotion for Who Do You Love through my live stream shows on Reddit, which I consistently post my Songwhip link on there in the chat, especially when it’s blowing up. Also, being a photographer, I took a bunch of new promo photos and made a live video of an acoustic version of the song (the same one I am releasing in a few weeks) and took it and chopped it up into 15-second clips for some Facebook and Instagram ads, which the link it led them to was also my Songwhip account. It yielded some pretty great results.

Josh Del wearing shades

The music industry is in a state of flux right now, where do you see it heading?

Yeah, the way everyone does things is changing pretty rapidly. You are seeing more independents than ever start to build audience numbers which only major labels could get you back in the day. Some of the largest stadiums in the world can seat a little over 100,000 people and within an hour, a good live stream can double that amount in viewership.

Mind you not all the viewers are there to see you or stay to watch the whole thing, but there is a large amount who are and the fan conversion is great. I love getting to meet new people through my streams and make some life-long friendships. The growth that comes from it is insane too, within the last month I have had thousands of new followers on various platforms.

What's the most important thing missing from Songwhip?

So full disclosure, I haven’t created my premium account yet, but before I knew that there was a premium account, I would say the lack of social media links, but I saw that you can do that on premium! I think it is so dope to have a one-stop shop for everything that is your brand. The fact that it finds it automatically too is one of the coolest things I have ever experienced haha. 

Which artist do you look up to the most and why?

Ahh, so many great artists to choose from. I listened to a lot of oldies growing up, so Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Tom Petty were all staples of my childhood. Later on, I would get into every genre very deep, including Country and Americana, people like Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton, and Sturgill Simpson. I think now when you listen to my music in some way you will hear a representation of all those sounds, some Soul, Rock, Funk, Americana sound. I suppose that is a perfect representation of my scattered brain haha.

What artist tools/services can't you live without?

Songwhip is a must for me now! I also couldn’t live without live streaming on Reddit. Both have worked really well for me hand-in-hand for continuing my career during a pandemic.

What is your advice to other indie artists to help fund their work/produce music?

In the beginning, it is super tough to raise funds for projects on just doing music alone, then in the middle, it is also tough, haha. It’s pretty much always hard to get people to cough up money for smaller artists. I’m not sure why that is, maybe people feel like the beginning product isn’t tried and true? Who knows.

I do know that doing a lot of my own production saves me money, but it is also a trade off with time and learning new things, so that’s up to you to decide whether that trade off of time Vs. money is worth it to you. I will probably try to fundraise a little bit for this next project I am going to work on for myself because it will take time and I want to have a bunch of rad players on it, so I will probably plug it via my live streams and on my socials.

Josh Del in winter coat

Anything else you'd like to plug?

Go stream my new song, Who Do You Love on all platforms, and look out for the acoustic version on February 15th! Also if you want to catch my live stream on Reddit, I am usually on M-F, 2-4 pm PST. My username on there is r/Jdel110. If you follow me, you should get a little notification when I go live.