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Artist Spotlight: Josh Phillips

We always try to introduce you to new music on 99.5 WKDQ, but we can’t put everybody on air. So, I decided to start spotlighting some of my favorite artists just for you! New artists, old artists, in between artists, local artists, I’ve got them all!

I hadn’t realized so much talent could come out of one city in North Carolina before I met Josh Phillips. Actually, both Josh and Chris Lane are from the same place. Josh had no intention of ever playing music professionally. His dream was always to play baseball. Not all dreams come true, and unfortunately Josh learned that quickly. The only reason Josh went to college was in hopes of getting drafted, but after tearing the meniscus in his right knee twice, he just couldn’t play anymore. So, what do you do when your dreams will never be a reality? He didn’t take it well, and I can’t say I blame him. He did a lot of stupid stuff up until he realized he had hit rock bottom. Thankfully, Josh got his act back together when he acknowledged the fact that God doesn’t close one door without opening another. He had played guitar when he was younger, but while he was going through that rough patch in his life, he sold everything.

Courtesy of Josh Phillips

Josh had no intention of ever playing music professionally. His dream was always to play baseball. Not all dreams come true, and unfortunately Josh learned that quickly. The only reason Josh went to college was in hopes of getting drafted, but after tearing the meniscus in his right knee twice, he just couldn’t play anymore. So, what do you do when your dreams will never be a reality? He didn’t take it well, and I can’t say I blame him. He did a lot of stupid stuff up until he realized he had hit rock bottom. Thankfully, Josh got his act back together when he acknowledged the fact that God doesn’t close one door without opening another. He had played guitar when he was younger, but while he was going through that rough patch in his life, he sold everything.

Now I haven’t known Josh for that long, but he seems to be extremely passionate about the things he cares about in life. I mean, who else would stay up until 4AM on a Thursday night just to work on his bike?! One main thing Josh seems to be extremely passionate about are his relationships. Before he knew music was what he wanted to pursue, he was going through a rough patch with his girlfriend at the time. They had broken up long enough for Josh to get home to clear his head. When he realized that he wanted to fix things, he wrote her a song called “Blessings”. That was the first song he ever wrote and recorded for anybody and his girlfriend LOVED it! She loved it so much that she talked him into letting her post it to YouTube. They had an agreement that if it got 500 views in 24 hours or less, he’d work up the confidence to pursue music. What Josh wasn’t expecting though, was for it to have over 800 views in less than 12 hours.

Courtesy of Josh Phillips

He started out playing acoustically in biker bars to people who didn’t want to hear him for 3-4 months, before he got a band together and started branching out. Now when he says God opened up another door for him, he wasn’t kidding! He kicked open that door and pretty much threw him into it. Josh has only been doing music for a little over a year and a half and has had more success than many ever will, but he’s still not happy with where he’s at. His goal starting out was to play 100 shows in a year. Chris Lane has been somebody that he’s looked up to a lot, and Chris was able to do it before he got signed. Josh ended out his year playing 118 shows! His goal now is to just keep turning heads and doing what he loves.

Josh had been blessed to open up for some people like Tyler Farr, Lauren Alaina and Craig Campbell. He was with management, but ended up leaving after they tried to change him. According to Josh, he wants to make a mold, not fit one. If I had to name one artist that Josh reminds me of, it would be 150% Brantley Gilbert, so don’t think he’ll have a hard time finding the right people to work with ;)

Courtesy of Josh Phillips

Now my favorite part about finding these new artists is digging into their personal lives to find out who they really are. Josh was a pretty good sport. Even though sports practically ruled his life growing up, his favorite shows included Andy Griffith, the Beverly Hillbillies and anything on ESPN. Favorite shows now are Two and a Half Men, because he loves Charlie Sheen, and Friends, but what he really wanted to say was anything that had Jennifer Aniston in it. His main hobbies are hunting and fishing, although he does like to knit on the side. I’m kinda hoping he was kidding about the last part ;) He mainly hunts dove, but he’d take anything! His favorite color caught me off guard. I’m used to hearing about the blues and greens, sometimes even red, but nope, not Josh! His favorite color is black. Black? His room is even black! To each their own I guess! His favorite food is a tie between steak and peperoni pizza, and his drinks are Wild Turkey or Mt. Dew.

If you want to stay connected with Josh and find out what he has going on, you can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, but if you actually want to interact with him, Twitter is your best bet. His song “Home” is available on iTunes for you to download, and he’s currently working on some new music. If you want to check out Josh singing “Home”, I’ve got that video posted below, along with an audio clip of a phone call where he sang a new song he wrote called “Shotgun Girl.”

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