Exclusive interview with None Like Joshua
Today explosion.com is proud to bring you an exclusive interview with the Rap Star NoneLikeJoshua! What do I need to say? Chances are if you’re a gamer and you’re on YouTube then you’ve already seen his work, but for the uninitiated I’ll elaborate.
NoneLikeJoshua is a rapping sensation with a following in the tens of thousands. Some of his most popular work are the widely revered dubstep rap remixes of Zelda tracks, which are performed by Josh and produced by Epxhia.
Josh is somewhat unique in his approach to his music, when artist says this, “My mission and unique purpose is to combine poetic and imaginative lyricism with electronic dance music” it would generally seem a tad strange. But after looking at the content he puts out on regular basis, he not only fulfils his mission but excels at it. Being a music lover I can say that some drops can seriously shake what ever sound system you happen to be using. Always a good thing.
So when Josh agreed to talk with me, I knew right away that I was onto something big. Without further ado, I give you Nonelikejoshua
What was the first game you played?
First game I ever played I think was Sonic 1 for Sega Genesis, but it was likely one of the old school Mario games but I just don’t remember. The first game I ever witnessed but didn’t get to play cause I was only 4 years old and would’ve turned me into a violent criminal when I was older would be Doom for PC. This cool 10-year old brought it to daycare to play on the PCs and everyone crowded around to watch, but then the teacher said no more cause it was too violent.
What is your fondest memory from playing games as a child?
Besides reading, doing homework, drawing anime, watching cartoons while eating cereal, and playing outside, games were just a way to kind of get my brain into puzzle solving. I was never a fan of sports or racing games, I loved the RPG quest puzzle-solving games cause I loved going into alternate worlds and fantasies. Same with the books I read. I just wasn’t a fan of reality.
What consoles did you prefer in your youth?
I had a Sega Genesis and a Gameboy till I was 9 and got a Nintendo 64, then when i was 13, I got an Xbox 360 with the whole console craze coming out, but like a smart shopper, I waited a long time for it to be $200 less and come with free games. Now I own an Xbox 360 and only play Skyrim and Arkham Asylum sometimes.
Do you have a particular series that you hold dear?
I was all about Sonic on Sega Genesis and Streets of Rage. I played Pokemon like a fiend on gameboy. On N64, of course Zelda. I also spent months getting to the bosses on Banjo Kazooie and Donkey Kong 64, but never finished them cause I got too frustrated and rage quit forever but those were awesome games. I actually beat Tetris 64 which I’m not too proud of…For Xbox I freakin loved Shenmue 2. That game was just super dope but so short. They need to make another one. I was a big fan of Fable and Halo as well. Right now I’m addicted to Skyrim.
Would you consider yourself a serious gamer?
Not really cause I don’t have a day job or still live with my parents or play in tournaments. I would say that if your means of income is through gaming then yeah, you’re a serious gamer.
How long have you been rapping?
I KINDA started when I was 9 with the whole nu-metal and rap craze going on back in the late 90’s. I was covering Kid Rock and rapping it at school. It’s probably why I cuss so much as an adult now. It was only until I was 18 did I actually start writing my own music and rapping it. The first song I rapped was to ask out a girl to prom. She said “no” but it was a good try. Once I got to college and learned how to use garageband on Mac, I would make these shitty little beats and rap about philosophy and be all poetic and stuff since I was heavily influenced by Buck 65.
Your Legend of Zelda raps are a personal favourite of mine, did you have trouble finding lyrics that fit so well?
Those are your favourites?! What a surprise! I actually didn’t have too much trouble really. I hadn’t played the game in a while so I actually had to do a bit of wiki research to remember it all, but it just kind of came to me pretty easily. I think Lost Woods only took me an hour max to write. Song of Storms was a bit tougher and Gerudo Valley took me the longest since I had to remember and research all the details from that specific part of the game and rap about it.
You collaborated with Dave, from Boyinaband for a Streetfighter rap, how was that?
It was actually on a whim since I got a random request from Antoine Lavenant to rap over his Street Fighter remix then I had to ask Dave cause I do when I ever have a dual concept for a rap remix. We’re working on some new ones to come out this year as well.
Veela, another well known YouTube personality has featured in your work as well, how has that been?
It’s been pretty awesome. I learned a lot from her work actually and she’s really motivated me to get my vocal producing to a much better level. We’ve got a lot of tracks coming soon as well.
Your raps, like the content that Dan Bull publishes have a lot of internal rhyming in them, I’m aware of the fact that it’s an aspect of rap music that a lot artists struggle with, what’s your view on it? Does it just come naturally?
I prefer it over just ending the last word of every line. Eminem used it a lot (probably the king of it), and it makes the lyrics more interesting to listen to. If a rapper isn’t going to tell a deep story then might as well make the rhyme scheme somewhat interesting and unique. Every other mainstream rapper is just Dr. Seuss to me. Internal rhyming comes with paying attention to the vowel sounds. It’s not about perfectly rhyming, it’s rhyming the “A” sound of the word with another word that has an “A” sound. See what I mean?
When we spoke earlier today you briefly mentioned a rap regarding a Dishonoured rap, I assume this is the game being developed by Bethesda?
Yes. * [Very cryptic! How interesting]*
You write some very melodic songs, and others that are similar to spoken word poetry, like “The Kiss Part 2” of your Album “The Impermanent” is it difficult making the transition between such diverse styles?
I actually really like making orchestral productions. I’m a big fan of Romantic orchestral music like Debussy, Berlioz, Beethoven, Ravel, Tchaikovsky. I only wanted to take it a step further and add hip-hop to it in a “flowy” poetic style. I’m all about dat experimenting…I like experimenting…especially in college
Would you ever try this style in regards to your video game content?
Hmmm, it’d have to be a game with a very orchestral soundtrack, like FF, or Skyrim would’ve been good, but I’m not doing one for Skyrim. I don’t know, cause when you rap without drums, you expect something deep and meaningful to come out like Sage Francis’ “Waterline” or Buddy Wakefield’s “Convenience Stores” or Kid Cudi’s “Solo Dolo.” When it comes to games, it’s got to give you that feeling of “epicness” and drive and drums help with that.
And last but not least, is there anything you would like to say to your adoring audience?
I want to thank everyone who’s believed in me from the start when I had no idea what I was doing while recording or producing. I just had a dream of putting good lyrics to good music and I had no idea how to do it as well as the people I looked up to. I wasn’t born with a silver spoon and I bought what I could afford to make the ideas in my head come to life. We can already hear the difference in my production skills and my vocal recordings from a year ago to now, so I’m finally at the point where I can compete with the people I look up to and I’m going to be better than them. I want to show the people that look up to me how to do it too. I’m not afraid to help anyone that needs it or just wants a better understanding of how to make music. It’s been a tough road and I’m not even there yet. I’m still just a guy who puts lyrics to beats he likes and I am excited for these next couple of months since I’ll get to show everyone how far I’ve come. Thank you all for being awesome and stay sassy.
With all that said and done, it’s good to know that the future of music is safe in the very capable hands of Musicians like Josh. So before I leave, please enjoy his newest track, a remastered version of his track “Possession” ft None Like Joshua (Original Mix) by Grimehouse