EXCLUSIVE: Interview With Josh Taylor

Three dates completed, The Alstar Xmas Party Tour 2016 is off to a flying start; with five more dates to go, Josh Taylor found some time in his busy schedule to answer our questions.

Josh Taylor, for those of you who don’t know, is a singer, songwriter, actor, and performer. He released an album back in early 2015; that he put together at just 15 years old. He has embarked on headline tours, as well as supporting acts like The Tide and RoadTrip.

He has just wrapped up his “Hot For Me” Tour, in which CelebMix attended the Belfast and the Birmingham dates. Josh Taylor is currently one of six acts to be a part of The Alstar Xmas Party Tour 2016; which has already visited Newcastle, Glasgow, and Liverpool. The next stops on the tour are Manchester, London, Nottingham, Dublin, and Bristol.

Luckily for us, Josh Taylor found some time to be interviewed. Revealing how The Alstar Xmas Party Tour is going, information on his new album, and what 2017 has in store for him and his fans.

How has your week been?

I’ve had a pretty chilled week as weeks go! Just been relaxing and recovering from the first mad weekend (Newcastle, Glasgow and Liverpool) of the Alstar Xmas Party Tour and now getting ready for Manchester, London and Nottingham this weekend. I’ve been planning a lot of studio writing sessions and recording dates over the coming weeks; as well as an exciting collaboration which we may take live, on tour, in Bristol on the 19th December. Oh, I forgot, I’ve also been to the gym, had a few Thai Boxing sessions and done a little Christmas shopping.

You have recently finished your headline “Hot For Me” Tour, how was that?

It still feels like it was yesterday, that I was on my own tour; this year has literally been one of craziest years so far and I have achieved so much in such short space of time. From doing my first headline tour in March, finishing school in the summer, to doing my second headline in October. It’s been amazing to see how much I’ve progressed as a performer and entertainer on stage. Also, in terms of people coming to see my shows – I sold out quite a few of my shows in October – I would like to thank every single one of my fans and supporters who, without them, that would never have happened.

The Alstar Xmas Party Tour kicked off last Friday, how has it been?

The first 3 dates of the Xmas Tour have already been awesome, the atmosphere from the fans at each show has just been another level; I think that may have something to do with you know, Christmas. I can’t wait to play the next 5 shows and celebrate with everyone before Santa comes down the chimney. It’s just really nice to be with everyone from the Alstar family, we all have so much fun backstage together.

What can people expect from your set?

An overly dramatic stage entrance, everything unexpected, some absolutely amazing Josh Taylor classic dance moves, lots of running and jumping around the stage; but, most of all, some great original music which will undoubtedly put a smile on your face and make you feel really good and ready for Christmas.

Watch Josh Taylor’s Newcastle Alstar Xmas Tour Vlog Here:

Since Christmas is coming up, what are your plans? Do you have any traditions?

My mum is a bit of a Christmas nutcase (in a good way) so, literally, our house has been covered in Christmas decorations and lights from the middle of November. However, I’m not complaining as I love everything about Christmas. It makes me feel so warm and happy inside; I love just walking around all the Christmas markets in Manchester when it’s dark because all the different coloured lights look beautiful, the atmosphere and the smells coming from the food and wine stalls are just unreal.

In terms of traditions, we don’t tend to do anything too weird or wonderful. I guess we have the standard Christmas dinner on Christmas Day and lots of our family come over. My dad makes sausage butties (or toast) and a cuppa tea in the morning for everyone whilst we open presents; after which, my mum will start dinner and play host whilst everyone has a jolly good time! Oh, and if there is one thing I love more than anything else about Christmas, it’s pigs in blankets.

What’s your favourite Christmas song and why? (I’m banning you from saying Bronnie’s “Modern Day Christmas” haha)

Erm… I wouldn’t say I have a favourite Christmas song (apart from  “Modern Day Christmas” by Bronnie haha), but I do have a favourite Christmas album… Micheal Bublé’s “Christmas”. You just know Christmas is on its way when you have permission to play that on repeat in the car without being told to turn it off; his voice is just so incredible and soothing too.

It’s been almost two years since you released your album, what have you been up to during those two years?

It has been yes… Wow, I put this together at 15, time goes so fast! Well, I would say from releasing this on iTunes two years ago to now being on my final tour of 2016; I have literally been finishing school (had to be done); promoting myself across all my social media; building up my fans (now my extended family, love you all); gigging and doing shows all across the country at every opportunity; supporting lots of different artists; lots of promotional events such as radio station summer shows, light switch on’s, a few celebrity style events in 2015; until now, this year, which has been all about touring.

The highlights being, The Tide Click My Fingers tour with New Hope Club (who are both awesome) in August and September, to finally doing my second headline tour in October named after “Hot For Me”, a track that will be released in 2017 along with others such as “Only Young”, “Saturday Night” and a fully produced version of “Back To Bed”.

Behind the scenes, I have been writing lots of new material; some of which you have not heard yet and others which I have performed live on the road, this year, such as: “Tick Tock”, “My Own World”, “Rockstar”, “Find Yourself”, “Rule Breaker” and “When I’m With You”. Only last week I wrote two new songs one of which I am completely excited about. And just as I thought we were winding down for Christmas, we decided to finish off this massive year with the Alstar Xmas Party Tour; so, yeah, you could say I’ve been pretty busy with my music!

New album out in 2017, what should we expect from it?

2017 is going to be another crazy year. After all the gigging and tours I’ve been on over the past two years; not only has it helped me to build a great fan base and has been such a great experience; it has also really helped me discover more about who I am as a solo artist and what music I really enjoy playing and also what music my fans really enjoy me doing. So with all this, I am now ready to finish and produce a signature album to launch me as an artist.

The big decision I have now is to decide which songs to put on the album; when to launch it and if I should consider releasing a few EPs, whilst all this is coming together. My music will be the main focus for me for the first half of 2017 and I have already started the writing process.

One of my new songs, “Only Young”, which I have been performing recently, is definitely set to be one of the first songs on the new album. It’s still early days at the moment but people should definitely expect the album to be fun and upbeat, motivational, slightly theatrical – in parts – which I guess is in part my signature when defining me and my music.

It will naturally be more mature, with a current feel to everything from the lyrics, to the sound of each song; given that I was just 15 when I independently sketched, wrote and produced my first album. Also be prepared for a few funky guitar riffs and new sounds.

You’ve done acting in the past, is that something you plan to pursue more of?

Yes, 100%. I love both my music and acting as much as each other and plan to have a successful career in both. I mean if my man Justin Timberlake can do it, why can’t I? Besides, we share the same initials: JT. Haha. Although, I guess recently it looks like I have just been focused on music, that is not strictly true as I train as an actor every week when I can in Manchester, so I’m always learning and being kept on my feet.

This year I have managed to squeeze in two theatre productions: “Movies to Musicals” with the Glasgow Philharmonia at the Glasgow City Halls; and “High School Musical”, playing Troy Bolton at the Lancaster Grand Theatre; and just recently I landed a massive TV job which I went filming, just a few weeks ago, in Portugal for 10 days. I can’t say too much about this project, yet, but what I can say is that you will be seeing a lot of me on your TV and online over the next 2 years; in pretty much every country you can think of, as this is being broadcast in 200 countries! You could say that music is my main drive and focus, now that I am free from school; but the next acting project and opportunity will always be around the corner.

You’ve taken part in stage productions and musicals, what was your favourite role and why?

That’s a good question. I’ve pretty much been on stage since I was 10, first playing Tiny Tim in “Scrooge the Musical”. I would say my favourite musical that I was involved in, would definitely have to be “Sweeney Todd”. I did that show with the NYMT for two years and I just love how dark the show is and Stephen Sondheim’s music is just incredible.

One role I really did enjoy playing was a role I did fairly recently: Shem in a brand new musical “Not The End Of The World”; which I did last year, over summer, for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, for a 10 day run at the New Town Theatre. And, I think, one of the reasons I enjoyed playing this role is because I could really make him my own and almost invent this character myself, as it was a new musical. I was also nominated for best overall actor/performer across all the Edinburgh Fringe productions that year which made it even more special.

What’s next for Josh Taylor?

My breakfast, haha. Well like I said earlier, for the first part of 2017 my focus is going to be on getting in the studio as much as I possibly can and writing more killer songs for my album; so that we can start planning the next headline tour and album launch. I’m also looking for musicians, with a view to taking my music back on tour with a live band, already we have a few ideas; what I can promise is a much bigger sound and production. I also want to plan a massive one-off headline event for the album at the end of the year with a full production, we are talking full band, dancers, light, projections, pyrotechnics. Everything! But let’s record the album first, I think. I also have a few promo events lined up for 2017 which I will announce next year.

Anything you want to say to your fans?

Yes, honestly I can’t thank you guys enough for what you have done for me over the last couple of years; whether you have been supporting me for 5 years or even 5 days, without you guys and you guys believing in me and my music, I wouldn’t be able to do what I love every day. This is only the very beginning and we have a long journey ahead, but as long as you guys keep on believing in what I do and keep being the awesome human beings you are; one day we are gonna take on the world and I promise I will make you all very proud.

Thank you, Josh Taylor, for taking some time out to answer our questions. We wish you the best of luck with the remaining Alstar Xmas Party Tour dates; although, no doubt, you’ll rock the stage, as always.

Have you seen Josh Taylor live? Are you planning on seeing him soon? Tell us your experiences on Twitter @CelebMix.

Written by Jonathan Currinn

26-year-old writer, blogger, author, and journalist. Graduated from Staffordshire University in 2015. I write under the name Critic Jonni, on my blog. I also write for Channillo, Outlet Magazine, SPECTRUMM, Fuzzable, Modern Magazine, and Electric Mode. In the past, I have written for Fox & Squirrel Photography and the Daily Star. Follow me on Twitter @CriticJonni