My Inspiration: Josh Ingledew – People | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Newcastle-based producer, multi-instrumentalist and experimental pop music maker Josh Ingledew is set to drop his latest single, People, on Thursday 1st February. 

The song talks about social anxiety and musically has a fragility to it, with Josh’s tender vocal delicately resting on a soft bed of music filled with eighties ballad-style keys, brittle beats and swirly, euphoric synths. There’s also a really cool guitar part at the end that threatens to go full Prince mode on you but never does and instead tails off into an ending that made me think of Bowie’s soundtrack for Labyrinth.

Here, Josh talks about what inspired this latest track

People is a ballad about my experiences with social anxiety, a subject that I’ve wanted to write about for ages. The initial idea came to me in 2019, all I had to begin with was the opening line, but it really resonated with me and I wanted to explore it further. While I was writing this song, I stopped playing live as a solo artist and locked myself in the studio away from the outside world, this was also during the pandemic when being a hermit crab was the law. As well as this I’m naturally an introverted person; I’ve trained myself to mask that when I need to, and I often avoid social situations. I think this song explains the feelings that come with that.

I took lots of inspiration from Todd Rundgren who had become a huge influence and a musical hero of mine. I only really discovered him before making the album, he has such a distinctive sound as both a musician and producer, a sense of harmony that sounds equal parts otherworldly, romantic and poignant. I used the chord voicings that he typically uses to try to evoke a similar feeling on this track.

On the production side, it’s definitely a homage to the 80s. I really love weaving nostalgic sounds into a modern production. The drums were played by producer/mixer/wizard Chris McManus who is also one of the finest drummers in the region. We managed to get a huge 80s snare drum sound to drive home the power ballad feel. There’s also a pretty gnarly guitar solo at the end of this. I take a lot of inspiration from Prince, another one of my musical heroes, who was a master at shoehorning rock textures into a pop song without it feeling out of place.

The song had many different demos until the final production was signed off. Out of all my songs, this one probably took the longest to develop. I actually shelved it for a year, but the subject matter of the song meant alot to me so I decided to revisit it. It is the second single from my debut album Beautiful Weird (released 5th April).

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