Josh Fudge Talks New Music, Mac DeMarco, and Playing The Piano with His Dad [Interview]

Music is truly an intimate experience for both listener and creator. When an artist professes their own stories through a concoction of modern instruments, crafted lyrics, and musical influences, you know you’ve found the real deal. We knew we heard something special when we came across Josh Fudge, an 18 year old instrumentalist and songwriter from Oklahoma City.

Recently releasing his upbeat tune “When She’s Gone,” Josh Fudge carries a classic-clean sound full of vintage synth tones, groovy bass lines, and crisp drums. This song has you bopping your head left and right, seamlessly unaware of a darker story, until that opening line: “We fell apart with your head on my shoulder work of art.” The song’s lyrical depiction of a past failed relationship contrasts with the song’s warm instrumentation, making the song’s melancholy connotation even more alluring. 

We chatted with Josh Fudge on his music, his inspirations, and what’s next for him. Check out the interview below!

RDFO: You have been cranking out some major vibes lately. Can you tell me where your musical inspiration comes from?

FUDGE: I take my musical inspiration from a number of things. Music for me is my way of expression. Instead of journaling or talking about the things I am feeling, I like to write music and songs to get all of my emotions out. My songs are always inspired by the things that are influencing my life at the time I write them, whether that be good or bad.

RDFO: How long have you been playing, what instruments do you play and what would you say is the instrument you are best at?

FUDGE: I have been playing music for the majority of my life in some way shape or form. I started on the piano at age 4, and I think that the keyboard will always have a special place in my heart because it was my first love. Whenever I got into middle school though, I picked up the guitar and then the bass, as well as some other fun little instruments like the ukulele and harmonica. I have really loved guitar and bass lately, and have a ton of fun being able to write on different instruments, but I would say that I am probably the best at the keys.

RDFO: Who are some artists that you look up to when it comes to songwriting?

FUDGE: There are so many artists to look up to these days. In my genre, people like Mac DeMarco, Boy Pablo, Dayglow, and Still Woozy inspire me every day. They are all geniuses when it comes to composition. Their lyrics, textures, and arrangement is always incredible, creative, and alluring. I love their warm tones, their songs always seem to just carry you from start to finish.

RDFO: Your tunes have some serious groove, what other bands have you maybe pulled some flavor from when it comes to your music?

FUDGE: A lot of the bands/artists that I listed before are big inspirations for me when it comes to “flavor.” I love the warm analog tones used in a lot of Mac’s stuff, as well as the groovy kind of spliced sound that Still Woozy has to offer, so I just take little bits of inspiration from all of them and make what sounds good to me. In addition to them though, I draw from a lot of retro grooves. I love artists like Stevie Wonder, The BeeGees, and Tears for Fears. The 60s, 70s, and 80s all held incredible sounds and grooves that are still bangin’ today.

RDFO: What music did you grow up listening to?

FUDGE: I grew up listening to so many different types of music. Whenever I was small, I loved Billy Joel and The BeeGees. Once I got a little bit older, I started listening to a lot more alternative music, getting into bands like Panic! At the Disco and BØRNS, until I finally fell into the more bedroom pop kind of wave that I am on now. I really enjoy listening to a lot of different types of music now though, there is something cool to take from most any genre.

RDFO: Who do you have to thank for your initial foray into music?

FUDGE: Believe it or not, I started playing the piano because I had awful fine motor skills when I was little. But after a bit of exposure to the ivories, I quickly learned that I loved the instrument. I would sit with my father on Sunday nights and improvise for hours, just playing whatever it was that I was feeling. If it wasn’t for my dad’s patience and encouragement, I likely wouldn’t be making music today.

RDFO: What is up next for Josh Fudge?

FUDGE: Actually, I just finished my debut studio record. “Second Date” and my newest song “When She’s Gone” are a part of it. After I drop a few more singles, I will drop the record likely later in this year. After that, I will continue churning out more tunes until I move to Nashville to study music more at Belmont University.

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