Get To Know: Josie Proto
In this week's Get To Know, Josie Proto tells us the inspiration behind her track 'I Just Wanna Walk Home', losing it in front of Maisie Peters and more!
In her signature confrontational fashion, Josie Proto's 'I Just Wanna Walk Home' was born from her frustration towards the extreme measures women in the world feel they need to take in order to simply get home safely. With Josie’s frank statements about the fear women feel remaining front and centre across a soft acoustic backing, the song further typifies her innate ability to connect with the world around her and curate commentative, heartfelt music.
Josie tells us all about the track, zooming with Annie Mac, losing her s**t in front of Maisie Peters and more in this week's Get To Know...
1) For those who don’t know about you and your music, tell us a little bit about who you are and where you’re from…
Hellooo! My name is Josie Proto, I’m a singer-songwriter from a tiny, tiny village in the middle of nowhere, somewhere near Brighton although that will probably annoy the try Brightonians! I started writing songs when I was around 14, debuting them to my local pub and gigging around Sussex.
2) Who/what inspired you to start a career in music?
I’m totally that girl that picked up guitar lessons to impress the boys. I used to have a wild imagination and write stories and poems as a kid, and the two merged when my uncle gave me a CD full of Carole King’s greatest hits which I totally fell in love with. I fell into the music industry by accident really. In my last year of college I had managed to get myself in the room with some amazing songwriters and ended up with such poor attendance at college that I flunked all my classes. I knew I didn’t want to go to University so I threw myself into music and it’s worked out so far!
3) Who are your biggest musical influences?
Carole King most definitely, but my parents brought me up with a fantastic appreciation for all kinds of music! I love music that has a strong message/storyline which I think is evident from writing. I’m a secret musical theatre nerd because it’s definitely not cool but I will always be a fan of the way music tells stories.
4) Tell us about the writing and recording process of your new release…
The latest release was born out of our frustration with the narrative surrounding the issue in question. It came from a rant about how I felt as though women’s feelings weren’t being taken as a legitimate reason as to why things needed to change. The reality, is that I and other women feel unsafe on our streets and that should be a good enough reason for the powers that be to listen and make a positive difference. The song is everything I wanted to say. The juxtaposition of the happy guitar behind the serious message was a conscious decision to make the listener feel uncomfortable.
5) What has been your biggest career highlight so far?
It’s totally got to be when Annie Mac picked ‘I Just Wanna Walk Home’ as hottest record in the world and ZOOMED ME! What a dream come true, she was absolutely lovely, and so cool and made me feel super special and we had such a great chat!
6) Who would you be your dream collaboration and why?
Lizzo, McFly, and obviously Sir Elton John any day. In fact, all three together would make the ultimate song. Reasons? Because they are the best and who wouldn’t want to work with them!
7) Have you met anyone and been totally starstruck?
The most embarrassing thing that ever happened to me was when I met Maisie Peters. I absolutely fell apart and all I could get out was "I know where you went to school" because I grew up around where she grew up and we had some mutual friends! I honestly could not be more embarrassed, she was super cool and had to rush off to perform but I wanted the ground to swallow me up.
8) If you could only listen to one song on repeat for the rest of time what would it be and why?
‘Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?’ by Carole King. It absolutely gives me the chills every time I listen to it and I think it’s the most beautiful song in the world.
9) What’s on your playlists that people wouldn’t expect?
OMG my playlists are RIDICULOUS! It literally will go from grandson’s latest tune to ‘When He Sees Me’ from Waitress, to ‘Crocodile Rock’ by the queen himself to Loyle Carner. It’s all over the place. But, it makes me the ultimate car DJ because I’m gonna have something downloaded for everyone!
10) What can we expect from your live shows?
Pure chaos, anecdotes, competitions, crazy stuff. I’m all about making my live shows a bit of an event. I’m totally excited!
11) Have you got any fun livestreams/online events planned for this year? / When can we see you live?
I am playing at The Grace in London on the 16th September, and The Courtyard Theatre on the 23rd November! I also potentially have some fun support slots coming up, which I am so excited for!