Bringin’ it Backwards: Interview with Josie Dunne

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

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We had the pleasure of interviewing Josie Dunne over Zoom video!

“When most effective, music possesses an almost supernatural ability to take listeners on a vibrant journey. Listen closely to a well-constructed song, and an artist’s pathway to the present comes into laser-sharp focus. To that end, if ever one was curious where Josie Dunne stands at a given point in her life, her sophisticated and ever-soulful songs told the tale. Songwriting then, for the 22-year old breakout singer, has always been a matter of “deep diving into who you are as a person,” she offers. Because you have to be super self-aware to figure out your sound.”  Having worked as a professional songwriter since age 16, and now on the cusp of releasing Late Teens Early Twenties, her soul-baring second EP for Atlantic Records, Dunne says in so many ways we have been and are continuing to play witnesses in real time to her self-discovery.  

“You’re hearing me grow up — the real growth spurt,” the singer says of her meandering road towards finding herself and, in the process, her unique brand of soul-infected pop. On Late Teens Early Twenties, a collage of sweet-and-sticky pop and timeless soul, “You’re seeing me learn these lessons for the first time,” Dunne says of her warts-and-all storytelling that, in conjunction with an electrifying sonic evolution, makes her one of the most thrilling, buzzed-about young pop stars of the moment.    

To hear Dunne tell it, Late Teens Early Twenties is the clearest distillation of her sonic and lyrical maturation. The process of constructing  To Be The Little Fish, her debut EP released last year via Atlantic, was a soul and sound-searching process Dunne likens to a healthy dose of trial and error. Only a teenager at the time, she experimented with a mélange of sounds and styles. Not until she wrote and recorded “Old School,” that EP’s centerpiece and her breakout single, did she feel she’d truly found her musical voice. “When we wrote Old School,” she says of the sticky-sweet single directly inspired by her parents’ relationship, “everything shifted. I was like, Boom! That’s the direction!” she recalls, noting how prior to its completion she’d felt compelled to write for any and every genre, but in pinning down what made her tick — fresh and funky soul music with a contemporary pop flair–  she finally felt at home.” – Resource: Atlantic Records 

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