The Writer’s Block: Josh X on Working with Cardi B, Lil Wayne and Going Solo

Josh X has worked with some of the biggest names in the music industry, from Cardi B to Lil Wayne. He’s also collaborated with Rick Ross, Birdman, Jim Jones, and Jadakiss, among others.

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In other words, he’s experienced in an industry notorious for being closed off to those who want to make an impact. Somehow, through talent, grit, and hard work, Josh X (born Josh Xantus) has made an imprint and there is no looking back from here.

American Songwriter caught up with the artist to ask him a few questions about his time in the music business, what it’s like to break in, trust yourself, and work with some big names. We’re also proud to share Josh X’s latest track, “Forever Love,” which is out today.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into the latest edition of The Writer’s Block with Josh X.

American Songwriter: How did you get started in songwriting?  

Josh X: When I was in middle school, I had a crush on this girl and I wanted to impress her so bad. So, I wrote my first song on the guitar titled,  “My Girl,” and she loved it; the rest was history. I never stop writing.

AS: What do you believe goes into writing a hit song? And what was it like being part of a hit with Cardi B’s “Heaven on My Mind”? 

Josh X: Everything you feel that people can truly identify with. And finding the perfect melody. Once you got that melody locked in, the sky’s the limit. “Heaven On My Mind” is a timeless record. Me and Cardi really made a classic.

AS: What was the biggest facet of taking your songwriting to the next level? 

Josh X: Someone in a position in the industry that believed in me and gave my songs a real chance to fly. 

AS: Have you ever experienced writer’s block and how did you get past it? 

Josh X: Yes, when my dad got sick with cancer I stopped writing for a while. I couldn’t get past the feeling or the thought of losing him. After his transition, I just felt so much music come into me and now that I’m truly in a place of knowing my dad is at peace, all the songs keep flowing to me. 

AS: What was the inspiration for your new song, “Forever Love”?

Josh X: I want people to fall in love again and truly experience it in a real way. A “Forever Love” can and does happen. The world is very much in need of love today. This is my contribution to that idea. 

AS: When working with other artists, what is that spark, or the moment when you know it’s going to be a good session or a great song? 

Josh X: I can tell from the second I meet somebody if I’m going to have a great time. It’s all about the synergy you know? The connection. I’ve learned to trust my gut and it always works. 

AS: What is Cardi like to work with? What is Lil Wayne like to work with? 

Me and Cardi were on the same label. I was a part of her development as an artist. When we cut “Bodak Yellow,” it was a movie. We all knew we had hit on our hands. With Cardi what you see is what you get.  Good times! And Wayne is a legend. Do I really have to say anything? [Laughs

AS: Is it hard to let a song go? 

Josh X: Sometimes it can be. It depends on what that particular song means to me. Some songs you marry yourself to and others you know are not for you, but a hit for someone else. 

AS: What advice would you share with songwriters who are just getting into the business? 

Josh X: Trust your talent. Don’t be scared to express yourself. Remember it all starts with your idea. You’re one hit song away from changing your life forever.

Listen to “Forever Love” by Josh X below.

Photo courtesy The Hive Social

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