Josh Ramsay talks life & solo career

Singer, songwriter, and producer releases debut solo album

The Josh Ramsay Show offers listeners a peak into his diverse musical interests.
Supplied by Josh Ramsay

Josh Ramsay, well-loved Canadian artist, released his first ever solo album adeptly titled The Josh Ramsay Show on April 8, 2022. The 18-track collection was produced, written, and sung by Ramsay as an explorative venture completely on his own terms.

“It reminded me of when I was a kid,” Ramsay told The Journal, reminiscing about the studio—his dad’s studio in Vancouver—where he found his passion for music.

“I used to be in [there] all the time. And then eventually […] I started to learn how to write songs and play instruments.” 

Some of those songs include “Call Me Maybe,” “Stutter,” and “Fallout,” all of which he made famous as the lead vocalist for Mariana’s Trench.

Now, as a solo artist yet avid collaborator, Ramsay explained how he often writes songs and melodies with specific people in mind. Many of the songs on the album feature other Canadian artists.

One example is “Best of Me,” featuring Dallas Smith off The Josh Ramsay Show—he penned the chorus with the country singer’s voice in mind.

“The only danger that you do and that you can get yourself into when you do that is you're picturing someone's voice this whole time,” Ramsay said.

“And then you send them the song, and then you have the split second, where you go, ‘oh, my God, what if they say no, what am I going to do now?’”

Other features on the new album include Nickleback’s Chad Kroeger and Fefe Dobson.

The track ‘Miles and Miles’ serves as an ode to Ramsay’s late father, who passed away during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ballad, in which a symphony orchestra compliments the voices of Ramsay and his sister, was an especially meaningful song for the pair.

“Like, who else could I possibly asked to sing on this?” he said. “When we played at the Vancouver show last week, she jumped on stage and sang with me which was really great." 

The album’s artwork is also a tribute to Ramsay’s family. Designing it with Garnet Armstrong, the creative director behind many of Mariana’s Trench’s album covers, he drew inspiration from the variety show where his parents met.

This coincidental homage to his family’s origin led to the use of a groovy font for “Josh Ramsay,” with quintuplets complimenting the title. It’s fitting, as Ramsay tries every style of music that’s piqued his curiosity on the album, from country rock to orchestral instrumentals.

“Musically, it's all over the place,” Ramsay said. “I started to think like, ‘well, I think this kind of feels like a, like a variety show.”

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