Mzansi’s very own wunderkind Josh Middleton – a mere 16 years old – just launched his first album, Never Give Up, debuting at an impressive #5 position on the official iTunes album chart.
Josh also just dropped his latest mega-single, We’ll Be Talking, following the massive hit Monster, which spent a staggering 9 connective weeks at #1 on 5FM and even peaked at #21 on the Shazam Top 100 SA.
So if you have ever wondered why South Africa was so rudely left off the prestigious list of child prodigies that other countries can boast of, ask no more. Josh has hit the music scene with his own unique signature sound, look, songwriting abilities, and above all else – a voice that is hard to believe can possibly be summoned out of such a young man.
With an ear for music and pure passion for performing, Josh has been singing since the mere age of 5. By age 8, he was already performing at the Western Bonaventure in Los Angeles, California. From there he went on to hone his songwriting skills alongside well known icons in the industry, eventually being introduced to highly acclaimed producer, Crighton Goodwill (producer for AKA, Jason Derulo, Danny K), who would end up producing Josh’s debut album, Never Give Up.
Talking about his debut album, Josh states: “For anyone who likes Monster, they will love the album!”
We’ve created a Monster
Josh, who co-wrote Monster with Andre Scheepers, says he never expected the song to do as well as it did, stating: “The song was a huge learning curve for me, especially as an independent artist. The song was inspired by a typically good old heartbreak and how people tend to over exaggerate the situation they are in when it happens. It’s all about making things right before the relationship ends.”
The music video for Monster, with just under 100,000 views currently, can be enjoyed at:
We’ll Be Talking about Josh’s new single
Says Josh about his new single, We’ll Be Talking:. “I’m very proud of this song as I wrote it all by myself. We’ll Be Talking is about loving each other for who you are and not caring about what other people think,” he says.
Although Josh describes his style of music as international pop, he cannot confirm whether that is his favourite genre of music as “it changes daily”. He however points out that his musical influences and icons range from Lady Gaga, Emeli Sandé, Tove Styrke, and from Drake to Dan Reynolds.
“My mom always says I developed an ear for music in the womb…she’s always playing music. But no one else can sing in our family,” he adds.
Although Josh can already boast with a number one hit, he states that he is however hoping that his big break is still coming. “The big dream for me is to not be the next Bieber or Mendes, but to create my own music that people enjoy,” he enthuses.
Josh couldn’t wait to be born, as he was running out of womb
Josh was born (10 September 2002) in Johannesburg, where he still currently resides in Waterfall. His father is a chemical engineer and his mother has her hands pretty full managing his busy career at such a young age. Josh also has an older sister, Andy (33), who is a qualified chef and according to Josh, “she’s super cool and we’re very close”.
“When I won my first competition at age 8, I knew then that I wanted to be a performer,” he shares. “I’ve been training vocally since I was 7 and play the piano, but I’m still taking lessons to get even better.”
Youngsters can be brutal, so is Josh encountering any jealousy? He comments: “At first my peers didn’t take me seriously, but after I got recognised it all changed. There’s always going to be jealousy, but you’ve just got to keep your eye on the prize and ignore those who put you down…it’ll eventually pay off.”
But does Josh feel different to others his age being a performer most of his life? “Yes and no,” is his reply. “I know when to be mature and handle different situations within the industry, but also know how to have fun.”
Getting to know the real Josh who will Never Give Up
Jost describes himself as tenacious and determined, adding that “some might also say stubborn, funny and awkward”.
It should come as no surprise with his forthcoming album (stating the same as the title) that Josh’s philosophy in life is to “never give up”.
Josh also shares that he thinks sushi is “lit”, that he loves scaring and pranking people, that horror moves are completely his thing, that he has Anisometropic Amblyopia (hence the glasses) and he absolutely loves and adores his nephew, as “one of the reasons is because it probably makes me the world’s youngest uncle”.
In his free time, Josh says he “gyms, eats, repeats”. He also has his heart set on “being able to breathe underwater one day,” as he jokingly displays his fun nature.
Josh concludes: “At first I worried about what people thought of me and my music, but I’ve overcome that by perseverance and a thick skin. There’s always going to be someone who puts you down, but that comes with the industry and territory. And I plan to be around for a very, very long time.”
For more of Josh, visit www.joshmiddletonsa.com.
Also join the conversation with Josh on social media: Facebook (joshmiddletonsa), Twitter (@joshmiddletonsa) and Instagram (@joshmiddletonsa).
Josh’s music is available on most digital platforms, including iTunes and Google Play.