As Nashville based, Josie Dunne, launches into stardom with her new EP, we spoke to the singstress about her inspirations, go-to coffee order, non-musical influences and more.
Meet this week’s Artist of the Week, Josie Dunne, below!
1. Can you introduce yourself to those who may not know you?
I’m Josie Dunne! I’m a pop/ soul singer-songwriter from Nashville, who grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. I like guitar, my pet parakeet Calvin, and long walks on the beach. Haha!
2. How would you describe your music to people who have never heard it before?
I grew up on Motown and soul music, alongside the early 00’s pop songs that were playing on the radio at the time. With the music I’ve made, I’ve tried to blend those two worlds. I think my songs are a mix of a fun pop song with the grit and heart of a soul song.
3. What are you looking forward to most for the rest of 2018?
With the rest of 2018, I’m excited to keep writing as much as I can. Songwriting is definitely a huge piece of why I love music so much, so getting to write almost everyday is the dream to me.
4. Who are your musical influences?
My mom was really into Motown, so she always played artists like Diana Ross, Etta James, and Ray Charles when I was growing up. All the artists of that time have hugely impacted my musical style. I think RnB/Soul music is definitely my roots. That’s my favorite stuff.
5. What about nonmusical influences?
First of all, I love that you asked this question! There are so many things other than music that inspire me, but I rarely get asked about them! Actually, I’d bet that most of my song ideas come from reading books, watching movies, or just talking to people. The best song titles come from hearing my friends rant about their relationship problems. Those conversations are gold mines for song titles! Ha! Another huge influence on me is the director, Wes Anderson. I love his movies so much. They’re so quirky and clever, but also insanely beautiful. I’m obsessed with him.
6. If you could collaborate with any musician, who would it be and why?
I’d die to do a song with Alanis Morrisette. I know if I ever met her, I’d be such a dork, though. I’d be so nervous. I grew up on her “Jagged Little Pill” record. She’s so unapologetically herself. I love it. As a woman songwriter myself, she’s been a huge role model for me to just tell honest stories. That’d be the dream collaboration.
7. What do you hope fans get from your music?
I hope people listen to “To Be The Little Fish” and dance, sing along, and have fun. I hope people can relate to them, too. These songs are like documentation of my growing up into who I am as an ‘adult’ today (I have to put adult in quotes because I’m 21 years old and I still think I’m a dorky little kid deep down). The songs talk about stuff I was dealing with: love, break-ups, school, etc. But at the same time, the songs were made for people to drive around in the summer, roll down their windows, and jam out to.
8. Tell us a little bit about your EP, “To Be The Little Fish”
“To Be The Little Fish” has kind of a funny title. I got the idea to call it that from a psychic actually! She said, if you’re the little fish, you can swim alongside the big fish, watching them and learning how they’ve lived so long in the rough waters and how they’ve grown to be so big. I realized that these 6 songs had come together as a result of me going into writing sessions, vocal sessions, and meetings with people that were my heroes. I was getting to learn about the music industry and artistry from the people that had created, sung, or been behind the scenes on the albums or songs that got me into music in the first place. So, I thought it was fitting to call the EP “To Be The Little Fish” because each song came from me going into rooms and being the little fish, learning and growing as much as I could from my songwriting, production, or music executive heroes.
9. What is something that you’ve accomplished so far in your career that you are most proud of?
I’m so sensationally proud that I’ve released this EP. It took over 3 years to write it, discover who I am and what I want to say. Each song is so crazy personal to me. The entire thing really feels like such an extension of who I am, so definitely putting this thing out is a huge deal to me. Plus, I’m signed to Atlantic Records who have a bunch of my favorite artists of all time, like Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin, on their roster. To have music out in the same label as them is pretty mind-boggling to me!
10. What is a song you wish you wrote and why?
I’m a massive Amy Winehouse fan. I wish I wrote literally anything of either of her records. She was so authentic with her songwriting. I always aim at being that vulnerable. She is a bomb songwriter!
11. What is your go to drink from a coffee shop?
I’m all about a chai tea latte! Doesn’t matter where it’s from, they are a treat.
12. What is your current favorite song?
Currently, I’ve been playing the new Charlie Puth record on repeat. I’m super obsessed with the song “BOY”. It is such a jam.
13. What was the first concert you went to?
The first concert I remember going to was a U2 concert. My best friend’s dad was a professional security guard and randomly became friends with Bono through his work. So, from Bono we got floor seats to the U2 concert and it was amazing. Getting tickets from Bono to his show has got to be literally the coolest first concert story ever.
14. What is your favorite movie?
My favorite movie is “The Aquatic Life Of Steve Zissou”. It’s a Wes Anderson movie about marine life, so there’s no way there could ever be a better movie for me. Ha!
15. If you could create your dream tour, who would be on the lineup?
I’d freak out if I could ever tour with Maroon 5. They’re music is amazing. I feel like each album is better than the next. Plus, they’re awesome performers. That would be a dream tour.