BACKSTAGE: Josh Stevens
Audio engineer, writer, producer, and music company CEO, Josh Stevens has set himself up to be a versatile player in the music industry. However, his dream of pursuing a career in music did not begin right away.
“I actually wanted to be a history major, and then a history teacher,” Stevens said. “I had a fascination with how we came to be a civilization today and how we can grow from the past.”
Through high school and even into college history remained a passion for him. However, music had always spoken to him from a young age.
“As a kid I was a writer, so when it came to music, I realized I could write stories to a melody,” said Stevens. “I think music has always been with me.”
In high school, Stevens was in a band with his brothers called Mental Advisory, which he considers to be his first entertainment job. They would spend the majority of their time doing shows, writing music, and recording in the studio.
During that time of experimenting with music is when Stevens decided to pursue a career in music. He went to college with a major in music, but soon decided he wanted to do something more specific.
“I wanted to learn how to engineer more,” Stevens said. “I found this school and they specialized in just doing audio engineering for music and TV and film and so I went through their program. And the rest is history.”
Although he has a certification in audio engineering, his main job is a musical artist. That title is multifaceted, including writer, producer, and CEO. As with many jobs today, having one skill is not enough to excel.
“It’s where we are in our society,” Stevens said, “You have to multitask and do multiple things.”
The music industry specifically is on a decline and thus, jobs are being consolidated. However, Stevens is optimistic about where the future of music is headed.
“In every decline there will be a rise,” he said. “There is room for a birth of new innovations. Someone will come up with the next billion dollar idea to make music a massive part of the entertainment industry again. There just needs to be a new approach to how people like music and listen to it. I actually feel pretty optimistic about it. I don’t really dwell on where it’s at.”
So what is a typical day like for someone pursing a musical career?
“I doesn’t really stop to be honest,” said Stevens. “It’s very much a lifestyle. Today for instance I woke up and had to write a few interviews, respond to fans, and try and promote the music online. From there I had to go to rehearsal for about seven hours. From there I came home and slept for about an hour and then later I’ll go back to the studio and stay there till about one in the morning and work on a pitch that needs to be done tomorrow. It’s all time consuming. But I really love it, so it doesn’t seem that busy to me.”
As with any time consuming job, there needs to be a level of passion in order to push through and make it to the top.
“Musicians have a tendency to be more passionate because their minds are always running,” Stevens said. “For me it was always about bringing purpose to music and inspiring people to be better where ever they’re at in life. It’s an outlet that has allowed me to reach people.”
However, Stevens believes that it’s about more than simply getting people to listen to your music.
“When people listen to my music, I want them to always feel like they’ve been uplifted,” he said. “I want them to feel like listening to my songs is worthwhile. I want my music to seem like I respect them and their time. I want to give as much quality as I possibly can.”
In addition to his musical talents, Stevens continuously pushes to expand his versatility in the music industry. Stevens, along with his long time business partner, started a company called Stadium Music Enterprise, Inc. Essentially, they assist artists in creating a brand for themselves. By doing so, they help artists uncover why and how they make their music. To top it off, Stevens uses his skills to produce their music.
“In the next year or two I want to launch my company further,” he said. “We hope in the next year Stadium Enterprise Music and Josh Stevens will be a household name.”
By pursuing such a variety of areas in the music industry, it is not difficult to see where his passion lies. While his inspiration does not particularly lie with fashion, he has grown to respect the industry.
“I’ve seen that high fashion is an interesting art form,” said Stevens. “It’s really cool. I think to each his own. If you think you have to wear a big wig and flamboyant outfits, and you have the confidence to do it, more power to you. However a person feels comfortable in their own skin, I’m supportive. I appreciate trends, but I think each person should do their own thing.”
He goes even further to make a connection between fashion and music. “I think that’s where fashion and music come together,” he said. “The fashion people that stand out the most are unique. And I think music is the same way. The artists that reach the masses are the ones that say, ‘I’m gonna be me.’ I think that’s where fashion and music really do collide.”
While Stevens does not see a future in designing anytime soon, he says he would be up for the challenge, and do it to the best of his ability.
“I’m always open for trying new ideas,” he said, “I do believe that, for me, I would make it the best product it could possibly be. For me, if I’m gonna be a part of it, I’m gonna make it a good value. I may not know about it at first, but I will learn about the best fabrics and combinations.”
When it comes to his personal style, Stevens prefers second hand clothing and the art of digging for clothes. “You can find some cool style,” he said. “I’m a mix maxed kind of fashion person.”
So how would he label his own personal style?
“My girlfriend says boho chic,” he said with a chuckle, “I don’t know if that’s cool or not.”
Find out more about Josh Stevens at iamjoshstevens.com
By Hannah McCauley
Photographs by Amelia Williams
T-Shirt: Hitoma Button shirt: &Denim Camo pants: Obey Boots: Basic ZARA MAN Hat: Barbisio Made in Italy Jewelry: Turquoise ring from Mexico, crystal mediation beads, turquoise bracelet from Peru, silver flower pattern bracelet from Pyramids in Teotihuacan, Gold Quartz Crystal Necklace Wardrobe Stylist: Naima Mora Hair Stylist: Nicole Bellows