Our Swag Spotlight this week, Josh Melton is eager to make a name for himself in the country music scene. He may have gotten a late start to music, but he makes up for it with raw talent, charisma, and of course the ability and desire to soak it all in. We chatted with the rising artist about where he has been, where he is now, and where he is headed.
Growing up in Ohio, Melton was a preacher’s kid, which came with a unique set of values. “We weren’t allowed to listen to secular music,” he shared, “It sounds a little crazy talking about it now, but I barely ever listened to music growing up all.” Other than singing in his church choir, Melton focus was on anything but music. He often found himself participating in extreme sports like snowboarding and skateboarding, adding, “I grew up without music honestly and that’s kinda crazy.”
The singer-songwriter found music later in life when a buddy of his asked him to help with a Karaoke bar every Thursday on an island in Ohio called Put-in-Bay. “When people weren’t singing, he was like “Josh you got to sing something”,” he recalls, adding later that the only thing he really knew was Frank Sinatra. Melton continued to find his voice working with his friend and hearing other people sing more modern songs. He slowly started recognizing his affinity for country music.
“The more current stuff- I just started falling in love with that kind of music. A lot of my friends growing up had country on, so I just think it was an evolution of me just like being around it.” Melton relates to the message that county music often portrays, feeling a connection to subjects in songs, such as church and good people. This revelation convinced the singer to move to Nashville, unsure of exactly what he wanted to pursue.
“When I moved to Nashville, I didn’t know what I really wanted to do,” he shared, “All I wanted to do was sing.” He landed gigs on Broadway, singing cover songs at popular bars, “For a while there, I spun my wheels on Broadway because I thought that was making it.” He shared that he only knew ten cover songs at the time, so he ended up learning over a hundred cover songs in one summer by renting a storage unit from a friend and practicing stage presence and guitar, playing songs in the mirror.
Flash forward to today, Melton has found value in listening to more modern singers. “I love Thomas Rhett’s character and how he involves his family in his career,” he shared with us, also adding, “I love Jordan Davis and Old Dominion [too]. I love the vibe of those guys.” Nowadays, Melton has shifted gears, focusing on songwriting and creating original music. “I found out that it was really all about a song and that’s how everybody else got to where they got, having a great song. I think I started to focus on writing about 4 years ago.”
The singer has had the chance to work with some of his icons, playing writer’s rounds, and even writing with Old Dominion recently. His current single “Staycation” has received praise from the country music world, even landing on major playlists on both Apple Music and Spotify. The single just so happened to coincide with the times, which made it even more perfect. “We wrote that song about six months ago,” he told us, adding, “It’s kinda a no brainer for us to give it to the people.” The song is the perfect introduction to Melton’s unique vocals and his creative and fresh songwriting.
Although Melton understandably cannot be sure of what the future has to hold, he promises that there will be more music coming down the pipeline soon. The singer shared that he wants to release a song every couple of months and hopes to head out on to the road when touring begins again. Until then, fans should stream “Staycation” as much as possible!
“Staycation” is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.
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