Tell us your real names, country of birth, date of birth and childhood experience.

My real name is Joshua Sahunta, and I was born in Edmonton, Canada on April 15th, 1994. My childhood experience involved a lot of moving around from place to place. I was in England for a little while and developed a British accent as a child, but then permanently settled in Edmonton once my parent’s working situation was secured here. My family was very musical in the sense that there was always music being listened to at all times of the day. My dad was in a band in his younger days, but I am the first full-time musician in my entire family history. I grew up watching nothing but Disney movies, and I was able to learn many songs on piano by ear. This eventually screwed me over for piano lessons, but it sure impressed the ladies when I was in elementary school.

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Tell us about your music career, your band name, musical background, experience and skills.

My music career has been one that I had to slowly ease into to say the least. I was met with constant opposition to doing what I wanted to do, but I got to where I am because of sheer determination and hard work. Coming from a fairly traditional family, my choices growing up were pretty limited to going to school and getting what my parents called a “real job”. Music wasn’t something that they saw legitimacy in and so I soon found myself 5 years into a Clinical Psychology degree that I wasn’t fully passionate about. I got that degree though, and it actually ended up inspiring my new album. The only reason I was able to get to where I am now, which realistically still isn’t very far, is because I learned to push myself to the max at key points in the day. During the day, it was all about school, but during the night was when my creative brain was most active and I did all of my writing during these times. I didn’t sleep a lot, and I wasn’t very healthy, but I adapted. Throughout the course of my new album, I’ve had the opportunity to put my creative foot forward in many different areas. I’ve been a songwriter, a musician, a photographer and even a director. I would argue that I’ve had the most personal growth within the past 5 years of my life. I fought with myself for quite a while about whether I should adopt a stage name, but I felt that nothing quite fit like my real name did. I’m literally the only Josh Sahunta in the world, and I want to just be authentic and true to who I am and so the name just worked.

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Tell us about your genre, concept and idea behind your music video and the song.

“Sing Me to Life” sounds much different now than it did in its early stages. I wrote it with the intention of creating a piano ballad that was very much focused on the lyrics as opposed to the music. I sent the rough draft to JDats, the producer I worked with on the album and he had the idea of making it into more of a pop track, which I was a little hesitant about at first. After a short period of sending the song back and forth, we had something we were very happy with: the song you’re hearing now. The song itself deals with the emotions felt on the night of a breakup. It talks about being in a place where you know that you have to end the toxic relationship you are in, but you still have to face the fact that you are still attached to the person who has brought you so much pain. The music video dives much deeper into the idea of relational anxiety. The video is rich with metaphors and symbolism and has the main character running away from masked figures that represent his stressors. The girl who rescues him represents his dating partner, who then ends up only leading him into an even greater problem than before. It’s pretty much just a creative take on what a really messed up relationship looks like.

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Tell us everything that we need to know about you as a musician and the ups and downs you have faced in the music business.

I started off with music just making piano videos that I posted on Facebook for my friends to see. I wrote tons and tons of songs but never had the confidence to sing them and so in high school, I started writing songs for other musicians. I found that this road quickly led to me being taken advantage of, so I started writing for myself only. Eventually I worked up the courage to start singing and I haven’t looked back since. I was part of a 5-piece band for quite some time during the end of high school and beginning of University and we were able to do some cool things. The band didn’t last however and I soon found myself doing it all alone. Throughout my university career, I was able to secure a lot of my opportunities simply because I was getting involved in many ways with a lot of the groups on campus. The best example I can think of is being given the opportunity to perform at the Winspeare Center, which is one of Edmonton’s premiere venues. Being at the university also opened my eyes to the many ways I could use music to help the less fortunate. I attended a trip to Guatemala in my fourth year to volunteer on an orphanage called the “Anna Vitiello”, and I actually wrote a song on this trip, which I titled “Anna”. I also recorded a ton of footage on my iPhone that I ended up using for the music video. This video then led to a massive amount of support being given to this orphanage from people in North America. After I graduated, I visited Uganda, Africa to help teach music with the “Our Village Community Partnership” organization. This furthered my desires of using my talents to help the less fortunate in any way that I could. Most of my time post-graduation however, was dedicated to finishing up my debut album “Dissonance”. This was an incredibly draining, expensive, but rewarding experience that I learned so much from. I think the hardest part for me in this whole process has been having countless doors slammed in my face. I’m not trying to feel sorry for myself, but this has not at all been a forgiving career path to follow. I have had so many seemingly amazing opportunities fall flat on their faces and so many people I trusted leave me hanging. What I have learned though, is that if you get through all of that crap and keep your head held high, you will come out of it as a force to be reckoned with.

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Tell us about other members of your band, music producer, crew or music video director, how the song was recorded and how the music video was shot.

“Sing Me to Life” was produced by Will Duong (JDats) and myself in Will’s basement. This song, along with the rest of the album was largely a DIY project that we worked on with the help of some friends. The music video was shot by Kyle Tiernan of Kingdom Creative, who got on board after falling in love with the concept. It is unbelievable how much volunteer work went into this project. I had essentially no budget for this video and so everybody who helped out, did so because they loved the idea, and because they are amazingly generous people. The video was shot entirely in Edmonton, Alberta but the camera work was done in a way that made every location unidentifiable. We were lucky enough to have Griffin Cork and Emma Houghton give incredible acting performances in this video and bring the characters to life in a way that I didn’t know was possible. The whole project proved to me in a powerful way that you do not need a massive budget or Hollywood-grade equipment to achieve something incredible. I hope this video serves as a source of inspiration for many DIY musicians.

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Tell us how long you have been in the music industry, your experience and your future goal.

I have been professionally involved in the music industry for the past 5 years. This consisted primarily of writing and releasing music, and performing regularly. Much of my experience has come out of the past 2 years however, as I have been gaining the most momentum in this time. I have played more shows in the past 2 years than I have in any other point in my life and I have finally figured out who I am as an artist. This is something that has taken me a massive amount of time. My immediate goal for the future is to go on tour with my new album in April and begin to build my fan base outside of my city. I also plan to begin recording my next EP immediately.

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Tell us what inspires you to write, compose and sing.

I am inspired most by life experiences that have hurt me in some way. I know that sounds depressing, but I’m just being honest. I’ve always had a hard time writing happy songs because they don’t really come as honestly or authentically as sad songs do. I write a lot when I’m inspired by a movie or TV show as well, but it’s usually when something sad happens to one of the characters. I should probably see a counselor.

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Tell us the secret behind making a hit song.

I wouldn’t say that there is necessarily a “secret” to writing a hit song because a “hit song” could mean something entirely different to different people. I think the thing that is important though, is that the song is authentic and that it represents the artist in some way. Nobody wants to hear an artist sing a song about a horrible breakup if that artist has been happily married for 15 years. It just doesn’t make sense. To me, a hit song is one that draws the audience in somehow, and makes them care about what is going on. This isn’t as easy to do as it sounds.

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Tell us the message you will like to pass to your fans out there.

You guys have more power than you realize. You have the power to build up a musician to global stardom, but also to tear them down completely. It wouldn’t have been possible for me to come even to this point without you and I am so excited to be able to pour more of my time and effort into creating amazing content for you in the future. Thank you for using your influence, your finances, and your time to help musicians like myself get out of their basements and share their talents with the world.

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Tell the kind of advice you will give to an upcoming artist.

The advice I would give would be to pave your own way to success because nobody is going to give it to you. Work harder than your competitors, be smarter, more creative, educate yourself constantly and never for a second think that you know everything. Read books, watch videos, practice your craft and never let anybody set your limit except yourself. You will have a million doors shut in your face before one stays open, and believe me, if you persevere through the closed doors, the ones that stay open will mean so much more.

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Elaborate on your music careers, albums, songs, tours, recognition or awards you might have obtained.

My first EP “Lights” was released 5 years ago. This was my first experience with basically all things music. It was my first experience with recording in a professional studio, it was my first official iTunes release, and it marked the first time I had my music played on the radio. Unfortunately, I didn’t really like the songs I had put on this album and so it was a bit frustrating to have to play songs live that I could really even get behind. I learned so much during this time however, and I learned that I never wanted to record an entire album in a studio again, unless a grant or a label funded it. It’s just way too expensive. The title track “Lights” was selected for the regional semi-finals in the CBC Searchlight competition, as well as the finals of the Hot 107 Hot Factor Competition in Edmonton. Fast forward 5 years and I’ve just recently released my debut album “Dissonance”. This entire project was very much DIY, and recorded, produced, mixed and mastered in various home studios. Each and every song of this album is something I am incredibly happy with and proud to promote. The lead single from the album “Summertime” has already been placed in various major Spotify playlists by companies such as Ditto Music and Eternity Network, and it has also received regular radio play on both campus and commercial radio across Canada. I am preparing to go on tour with this album in April 2018 across Western Canada and then Great Britain in August.

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List Radio or TV Stations that are airing your songs and blogs that have featured you as well and send message to them via this platform.

Currently my song “Summertime” is being regularly played on CJSR campus radio, as well as Fort Saskatchewan’s Mix 107. I have also recently been featured on a couple blogs such as “Heard it from Nas”, “Aipate” and “BK On the Scene”. I would like to thank each and every one of you who has supported my album so far. I honestly could not do this without you and I promise to work my ass off to make you proud.

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Tell us how you write your lyrics, compose, sing and record in the studio.

When I write a song, I always start with the music first, and then the lyrics. The music to me, sets the mood and the tone up for the rest of the song and so it is crucial that I have that all down before I even begin to consider lyrics. Composing is something that I love doing more than anything else. Honestly, if being a touring singer-songwriter didn’t work out, the next best thing for me would be to compose movie soundtracks. I love writing instrumentals and I wish I had more time to do it. My studio work is generally pretty quick because I practice a lot before I even think about recording. If I had the money, I would love to spend more time in the studio experimenting with different techniques, but for now, I’m content with just getting in there and getting it done.

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Name five biggest artists that you like.

John Mayer, Ed Sheeran, The Weeknd, Coldplay and Alicia Keys.

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Name the artists you have collaborated with before in your songs or artists you are willing to collaborate with in the future if you have the chance to do so.

So far I’ve collaborated primarily with other Edmonton artists such as Kayla Patrick, K-Riz and Natty Valencia, but recently I’ve been working with or beginning to work with artists from outside of my city. I just recently recorded two songs with Emily Coulston, who is becoming a huge rising star on Youtube, as well as Damian La Grange who is from Red Deer and has not only won an Edmonton Music Award but has also gotten featured on a curated Spotify playlist as well. In terms of future collaborations, I cannot tell you how much I dream of working with John Mayer someday. Performing live with him would honestly be the pinnacle of my music career. I’d also love to work with Skrillex because I dig the work he did on Bieber’s most recent album.

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Give us the links to your website and your entire social network.

Website: http://joshsahuntamusic.com/

Youtube:http://www.youtube.com/c/JoshSahuntaMusic

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/joshsahunta

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/lights-ep/id725669242

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joshsahuntaa

Instagram: http://instagram.com/joshsahunta

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jsahunta

Bandcamp: https://joshsahunta.bandcamp.com/

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/37aXAbBndtjTPR4aUKumLV

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Give us the links to your various stores for fans to buy your music.

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/37aXAbBndtjTPR4aUKumLV

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/lights-ep/id725669242

Bandcamp: https://joshsahunta.bandcamp.com/

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Tell us about your happiest day and saddest day.

The happiest day I can think of would have to be two summers ago when I went to Europe to audition on X Factor with one of my best friends. The day before we took the train to London, we were in Paris spending our last day biking around. We had no idea where we were and we were completely lost, but it was easily one of the greatest experiences I have ever had. My saddest day was probably this past summer when I was in Uganda, Africa volunteering, and I saw poverty unlike anything I have ever seen before in my life. I have never seen people so hungry that they physically did not have the strength to stand up. It was heartbreaking, but it inspired me more than anything to do what I could to give back.

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Tell us how you will spend a million dollars.

I would use a million dollars to start an organization which will make music instruments more accessible to people living in developing countries. I have seen the effect that music has on individuals who live in great poverty and I believe that it is so crucial for their mental health to be able to have a safe outlet such as music that they are able to turn to in times of distress.


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