It’s a confusing exercise, trying to find one’s place in the world and a sense a purpose. All the distractions that take us farther from ourselves, to the point where we have to fight our way back. Jono Josh understands this type of yearning, and it’s what inspired his song “Birds” from his Outside EP, being released this month.
“Birds do not need the world to be explained. But I do.”– Birds
As sung by a cast of friends, “Birds” becomes everyone’s story — a shared experience of one’s search for identity and meaning in a world that can often feel overwhelming and incomprehensible. This yearning is beautifully expressed — when not with raw honesty, with a searing guitar solo.
Musically and emotionally influenced by the time spent with his mother in Canada’s Juno award winning Toronto Mass Choir, Juno Josh sings with an old soul gravitas, infusing his soulful, gospel tinged music with pain, joy and a lot of heart. His musical heroes include Nina Simone, Lauryn Hill, Son Lux, James Blake and Amy Winehouse, and his mission is to “paint a picture of truth for people to connect to.” In addition to his personal songwriting and heart-tugging vocals, he is also a choreographer and dancer.
As a choreographer, Jono Josh has worked with artists such as Jesse Labelle, manifest and Kirk Franklin, and he choreographed a piece to raise awareness for the problems in Haiti, which aired on Canada’s CBC in 2015. He has performed with a diverse collection of artists including Aleesia, Sean Desmond, Toronto Mass choir, Marianas Trench, Psy and many more. It’s now time for him to step into his own spotlight.
He describes his musical upbringing and explains the meaning of “Birds” —
“I grew up in a family where everything seemed easy. I didn’t know otherwise. It wasn’t until I grew up that my realized how hard my parents worked to put food on the table when I was little. We were always singing and dancing, no matter what happened that’s just what we did. My brothers and I would break dance and my mom would sing to us. Music was our way of pushing through the storm… my song ‘Birds’ is about that —
“When I wrote ‘Birds’ I was looking for answers to questions that I felt most people ask. Looking for an identity, purpose, self-reliance. At times when I asked these tough questions it felt overwhelming but I realized that the only way I would find the answers was if I kept asking and looking. I hope that ‘Birds’ at the very least opens a dialogue about finding resonance in a world of dissonance.” — Jono Josh