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Interview: Josh Kumra

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Here’s a new one for 2012. Josh Kumra’s recently released track ‘Call Off The Search’ showcased his ability for sultry vocals and brilliant songwriting. As a guest vocalist on Wretch 32’s ‘Don’t Go’ and with comparisons to Ray LaMontagne, Josh has been tearing up his local Swindon. With an album out soon, TNS had a chat with him…

TNS: Hi Josh, how are you?

Josh: Hello! I’m really good thanks, I won at cards last night.

TNS: People have compared you to Ray LaMontagne and you grew up listening to Dylan and Hendrix. There’s quite a vintage and soulful tone to your music. Would you say you belong to a different time?

J: Maybe I am. My dad was always playing records from Dylan, Hendrix and the Stones, so older music is definitely a big influence…but so is a lot of modern music which moves me too. I just like good music and that’s what I like to make.

TNS: Has your voice always been this resonant and strong or has it gradually evolved into its current form?

J: I recently found some old tapes I recorded about five years ago and they didn’t sound too good. I’m very happy I’ve gotten better. I remember that I thought I sounded good at the time so I persevered.

 TNS: How did the Wretch 32 collaboration come around and how was it?

J: I first met Wretch through my management. He heard my version of ‘Don't Go’ and two days later we were in the studio working on a collaboration which became his single. I really enjoyed teaming up with Wretch, and we had some laughs along the way and played some amazing shows. He’s a really talented guy.

TNS: How’s the debut album going? 

J: The album is coming along very nicely! I've been living in the studio writing with some friends for a while and we have recently hit a very good spot!

TNS: What kind of themes run through it? 

J: I want my album to relate to my experiences but I also want to connect with others by talking about what I see happening around me. But it isn’t a concept album and we aren’t approaching it with a fixed idea, so it will be a collection of songs that reflects how I’m feeling right now.

TNS: You’ve played every venue in Swindon. What’s been your favorite and why? 

J: Yes, I've played them at least ten times round! My favorite gig in Swindon has to be the Victoria. I used to perform at the open mic night every Sunday and performing there to a sell-out crowd a couple of months ago was the highlight of all my gigs. 

TNS: Any places in Swindon which aren’t necessarily venues that you would like to play? 

There is a venue in Swindon called the Oasis; Paolo Nutini, the Stereophonics and Razorlight have all played there. Example had to cancel his show there last week because there was a hole in the roof, so I guess that isn't going to happen!

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