10 Questions with ... Josh Krajcik
March 17, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
1) Can you offer a brief journey of your musical career thus far from your perspective?
I started playing music at the age of 15 paying my dues in tiny bars and small clubs. I then got some television exposure much later, and now I continue to pay my dues to get where I want to be in my career.
Along the way, I've had a lot of help from great people and I've learned a lot about myself as an artist and as a man. Getting spins on the radio isn't my only goal, but it sure feels good now that it's happening.
2) Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
Well, everybody says The Beatles, and so will I (particularly Paul McCartney). But I also like several soul singers from the sixties and seventies, like Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, and Bill Withers. Richie Havens has always been a big influence, but I could name a hundred!
3) What was the inspiration for your new single "Let Me Hold You?" What are some of the other songs from your new album "Blindly, Lonely, Lovely" that hold a deep and personal meaning for you?
When I began to write "Let Me Hold You" I wanted to write a song that said to the listener, "Don't give up!" But in the middle of writing it, I realized that sometimes there's nothing you can say to someone who's hurting, and that's when "Let Me Hold You" really started to come into it's own. It's not just a song about keeping your chin up. It's also something that I think is quite romantic. I wrote "Her Song" with my daughter in mind, so of course that's a song that has a very special and deep meaning for me.
4) You recently appeared on The X-Factor and you eventually became the runner up for the first season! Please tell us about this experience and how it felt to actually win over that crowd (particularly Simon Cowell?)
I was never worried about winning over the crowd. That was easy for me. I've always been comfortable in front of crowds, particularly large crowds, so that was exciting. So, really getting Cowell on my side was the only worry that I had going into it.
When I told the producers that I was going to sing Etta James' "At Last", they warned me against it, "he's heard it too many times", they said. So I told them, "He hasn't heard me sing it." Turns out my instincts were right!
5) Your songs have recently been featured on "The Bachelor" and they seemed to fit perfectly for two people who were discovering their love for each other. How did this experience make you feel as a songwriter, and how did this visibility help you to grow your fanbase?
As a songwriter, anytime anyone connects with your songs, it's a success. Music really is about emotions. It's exciting to see your music featured in a medium with such a wide audience. There's nothing like seeing new faces wanting to connect with you on social media.
6) How have social networks and sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter affected the way you promote your music and interact with your fans?
These sites make it really easy to give your fans content and instantly get their feedback. In this day and age it's invaluable as an artist. It's the age of information and everything passes through those sites.
7) What is your approach to songwriting? How do you capture the inspiration when it comes, and how do you tailor your music to fit in with contemporary artists that are now getting played at radio?
For me, songwriting is different every time. It could start with a line, a melody, a chord progression, or just a simple emotion. Often times, I'll just sing a melody into my iPhone to remember it, or make a note of a line. Then I can come back to it when I'm in the studio and flesh it out. I think that idea of "tailoring" music can lead to a slippery slope. While obviously you want to compete, but I think it can be a mistake to pay too much attention to what other artists are doing. Yes, keep your ear to the rail, but always make the music that moves you first.
8) How are you using new music technologies to record music and in your personal life?
Music technology is really getting great. I love seeing sound engineers at venues getting pin-point precision by walking anywhere and dialing it in with their iPad. New software and apps are constantly being released to make life easier for musicians. While they don't replace a $6000 mic, you can really be anyone and record anywhere, and that's what makes these new technologies great.
9) Why is this lifestyle (recording, singing, traveling) one that you're willing to follow?
Well first of all, it's the only trade that I've ever known. I was one of these kids that knew very early on what I wanted to do and I have been blessed enough to do it. It's not always easy but I don't know how to do anything else. And for me, it's worth it.
10) If you had the opportunity to work with any act/artist from the past, present or future, who would it be?
You know that's a tough question. There are so many. I'd love to jam with Prince. I'd love to sit down and write with Vince Gill. I'd love to be in the studio with Jeff Lynne. It would be amazing to trade licks with Stevie Ray Vaughn. But I think the pinnacle has got to be Sir Paul McCartney.
What do you do in your spare time?
I'm a big gamer. Ever since the Atari 2600 I've been hooked! There's something about the escapism of it that appeals to me. Also, my girlfriend and I love to cook and have cocktails with friends.
How do you capture your idea for a new song when the inspiration hits you?
It's important to have your notepad nearby at all times when you're a writer. Sometimes you can be at a bar (or anywhere really) and overhear someone say a phrase in a strange way, and it hits you. You got to have your notebook to write down your thoughts and inspirations no matter where you are.
What are some of the artists we might find on your MP3 player?
Right now, Queens of the Stone Age, John Legend, ELO, and Bruno Mars. And there might be a little Katy Perry in there too...