Hello and welcome to Melodic.net. How are you?
I'm great, thanks.
Could you tell us about yourself? Who is Joshua Hyslop?
I'm a twenty-four year old who plays guitar, loves his family and friends, and sometimes paints houses. I'm still figuring out the rest.
Your debut album is called "Where the Mountain Meets the Valley". What can you tell us about that?
That title just really resonated with me. In the past year or so, in my life, there have been some euphoric highs and there have been some devastating lows. One day I was sitting with a view of the valley, and it just sort of hit me, that that's what my life has been for the past 14 months. Highs and lows, or, mountains and valleys. Everything else sort of came from there.
Your management compares you to William Fitzsimmons, Damien Rice and other artists. Who would you say has been your biggest influence(s) music wise?
I saw Oasis' Familiar to Millions when I was like 15. After that I was pretty certain that I wanted to be doing something with music, or just have a british accent, anything to get attention from girls. I think Wonderwall was the first song I ever learned on guitar. Other than that, bands like Wilco, Bon Iver, Ray Lamontagne and Simon and Garfunkel have had huge influences on me.
How do you write songs?
It's different each time. Sometimes it takes me twenty minutes, sometimes it takes me six months. Most often I find a melody I like and just sit with it and then shape the music around that. But it's not written in stone.
Is there a particular song out there that you wish you had written?
It would be kind of rad to have written something like Michael Jackson's Thriller, or something, under a different name so I could fund my own music forever.. But songs like the wind, by Cat Stevens, or the trapeze swinger by Iron and Wine make me wish I'd written them, for sure.
Have you set any ultimate goals with your music?
Not really. I'm still pretty green at all this. I suppose longevity, without being redundant. I don't want to be writing catchy songs that mean nothing. I want to write because I have something to say.
Name one album that everyone should own.
The Animal Years by Josh Ritter. It's been a favorite of mine for a long time.
How do you handle bad reviews?
Jack Daniels. No, I'm not really sure. I try not to google myself, or pay attention to those things. The few times that I've seen them, it's sucked, for sure. But, I think good reviews have the potential of being just as damaging as bad reviews. When you start worrying about critics' opinions, it's very hard to do anything else.
What is, in your opinion, the biggest challenge you have to face as an aspiring artist today?
Growing as a songwriter. There are so many amazing artists coming out with incredible albums these days. It's actually really inspiring, but it means you have to be at the top of your game if you want people to pay attention to you.
Name a dream artist to share a stage with.
Paul Simon or Leonard Cohen. One of those artists I grew up listening to who are still touring extensively and making us young guys look bad.
So, what does the near future hold for you?
I'll be doing some touring for sure. I'm off to Ontario and Quebec again at the end of this month. So, lots of shows, and I'm doing another music video in a little while as well. Lots of stuff coming up!
Thanks for answering the questions. Any final words for our readers?
I'd just like to say thank you to all my fans for being so supportive of my new album which is now available on iTunes!