Ep Review: Josh Osho – ‘The Manifesto Ep’
2011 was a good year for Josh Osho, to say the least. After signing to Island Records, the upcoming soul singer released his debut single, 'Redemption Days', featuring none other than the legendary Wu-Tang Clan member, Ghostface Killa. Josh dropped his new EP, 'The Manifesto', last night – which is a free release of five songs showcasing that, if anything, 2012 is going to be an even bigger year than the last for the south Londoner...
For the uninitiated, I've come to think of Josh Osho as the UK's answer to Anthony Hamilton. He’s a real soul singer-songwriter whose voice and thought-provoking lyrics set him apart from many of his peers, with the topics dealt with on 'The Manifesto EP' only serving to affirm this praise even higher. Yes, the EP does see him tackling the conventional subject of romance, but it also delves deeper to address the realities of certain lifestyle choices, consequences of them and the aftermath in both 'RIP Johnny Oakes' and his re-working of Kanye West's conscious track, 'Jesus Walks'.
The former is an ominous tale of a life that despite being initially lived with purpose spirals out of control once being led astray by the materialistic trappings a fast life can bring with it, a possible reference to Osho's own background in selling drugs and shoplifting before turning to music to change his life around. His take on Yeezy's modern day classic echoes the 'Take Two' sessions on his website that have been so well-received. However, his haunting version of 'Jesus Walks' that takes centre stage on 'The Manifesto EP' is a cut above his previous cover efforts. It is wonderfully crafted and despite more instrumentation coming in as the track builds, the listener is left in no doubt that it is the soulful voice of Osho that is holding them so captivated.
Smiler and Rize provide the bars for the empowering 'Superman', while Etta Bond should really share top billing on the imagery-laden 'Saved Me'. Her contribution to what is the EPs stand-out track has a big, radio-friendly chorus and the two singer’s vocal tones complement each other superbly. Overall, 'The Manifesto EP' is a strong body of work that showcases Josh Osho's voice and deeper lyricism excellently, reminding those already in the know of what this soul singer can deliver and at the same time educating newer fans as to just why they should be so excited for his Childish Gambino-featured single, 'Giants', which is out on April 23.
Download 'The Manifesto EP' for free: H E R E
Stay up to date with Josh Osho on Twitter - www.twitter.com/JoshOshoMusic
Words: James Walsh (@JW_DittoMusic)
Online editing: Joseph 'JP' Patterson (@Jpizzledizzle)