Friday, May 8, 2015

Young Talent: NJ's YouTube Fave Josh Pirog Takes a Rollercoaster Ride up to New Heights with New Ballad: Thinkin' Bout You

   It's always exciting to hear new talent. Sometimes, it's someone you know. You watch that person grow up and then you just get amazed by what you hear. Josh is a bit of a Youtube sensation, A senior at  Mahwah High School in NJ, he's got  almost 30,000 views on an original song he made when he was 15. Now that he's 18, he's got a new ballad out, a poppy, yet soulful song that could rival anything you hear from Ed Sheeran, who just happens to be one of Josh's faves. I just love this new song, Thinkin' Bout You. Josh first caught my eye when he was just a young lad with his original song RollercoaSTer now with tens of thousands of hits. It touches
upon the ups and down of  young teenage days (and dare I say an obsession with a video game).  His second original is a little more reflective in thinking about his life. Listen to Livin' in the Moment here:

Josh has also covered some songs, that you can find on his YouTube Channel. He's got covers of Marc Ronson, Imagine Dragons, One Direction, Plain White T's, Paul McCartney and more, all showcasing his range and ability to cover different genres. Here's his channel:

      I got to see Josh perform at his high school talent show, amid screams of "I Love You" and offers of  marriage from his female peers. Here's his performance there:  

What I like best about this is the audience reaction and the live real feel of a high school talent show. (And kudos to the people involved who created this experience.)

      I had a chance to talk to this talented guy before Rolling Stone finds him. So here's some insight into this up and coming singer/songwriter who started playing the guitar at the start of 8th grade right after he quit the trumpet. Why? Well Josh say's it simple,  "I couldn't sing and play trumpet at the same time so I decided to drop it haha."

Suzee: When did you start singing?

Josh: I always loved to sing since I was a kid. My family always said I sounded good, but I never really did anything with my voice until high school. Freshman year I joined chorus and came out with my first youtube video.

Suzee: Did you have lessons or are you self-taught?

Josh: I  never took guitar or vocal lessons. Honestly it didn’t seem worth the cost, and I actually enjoyed learning on my own and challenging myself. I taught myself mostly from online by learning guitar tablature, chords, and a bit of music theory. Listening and trying to imitate guitarists/vocalists like John Mayer and Ed Sheeran, is what kept me from getting bored. Incorporating different techniques and styles from other artists into my own music has always been exciting to me.

Suzee: What motivated you to write Rollercoaster?

Josh: My motivation behind writing “My Life Is A Rollercoaster” was actually from my older brother. I was building a Roller Coaster on this game called Minecraft and was spending countless hours building and perfecting it (I was 13 and I didn’t have much else to do). So my brother came into my room and saw me working on the rollercoaster and started joking that my life is a roller coaster because I was spending so much time on it. I laughed and thought that the phrase “My Life Is A Rollercoster” was a good idea for a song. At that time I had been wanting to write a song/ post a video to YouTube so I kind of just put it together.

Josh: Yes I was pretty surprised at the amount of youtube views I got, but the whole thing was kind of nerve-racking. I posted the video to Facebook, so that meant that people from my Highschool would see it. I was just a freshman, who never really sang in front of people before, and now everyone in my school could potentially see my original song… about a rollercoaster haha. But honestly the feedback was really positive and a lot of kids from my grade, and even some upperclassmen, liked my song/video. So that felt good.

Suzee: I like your new song! Is there a special someone you wrote about?

Josh: Haha well I can’t mention anyone specifically, but I will say that the song is written based off of some of my experiences and thoughts about girls in my life.

Suzee: Are you working on anything new?

Josh:  Yes! I am actually trying to get into a better flow with writing/ producing more music. Right now I have one or two songs in the making, but I’m always thinking of new ideas for covers and mashups too. I think its cool for my fans to hear a different twist on songs they know, and it’s fun for me to re-create songs from my favorite artists!

Suzee: What will you be studying in college?

Music is on the horizon for me in college. I plan on majoring in Software Engineering and minoring in Music and Technology at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken. While (for now) music isn’t my main career, it’s going to be really cool to get a more in depth understanding of music recording, composition, and theory in college.

Suzee: Tell me something about yourself. What do you do in your spare time? Favorite subjects?

Josh Pirog: Besides music, I play varsity soccer and tennis for my high school, and hang out with friends in my spare time. Math is probably my favorite subject just because it makes sense to me haha. That’s why I’m studying engineering in college.

Right now my favorite artist is Ed Sheeran, but I love listening to Maroon 5, Kanye West, J.Cole, Bruno Mars, Michael Jackson, and the list goes on. I like to listen to a lot of different artists from different genres to broaden my ear for music.

My favorite place to go in NJ is honestly Mahwah High School. I love messing around with my fellow students, and being around such friendly teachers and coaches. Over the years, I’ve accomplished a lot at my high school, from sports to academics to music, and I’m truly going to miss it all next year.

-  By Suzanne Ordas Curry

Come back to SuzeeBehindtheScenes for more on Josh's career.

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