Rapper and producer Josh A releases an expansive new concept album 'Fearless II' plus shares "Sober" single featuring Neffex.
Today, rapper and producer Josh A releases 'Fearless II', an expansive new concept-album, and the follow up to his breakout 2019 project 'Fearless'. An immersive experience, complete with skits and storylines that connect across his discography – as well as that of his alter ego Lil Revive – the album finds Josh looking to his multiple past-selves to move forward and truly understand who he needs to be as a person. It's a cinematic experience that was more than 2 years in the making.
"Throughout my discography, I've always loved building worlds and making my albums feel more expansive than most other artists," comments Josh. "For 'Fearless II', I've created my first legitimate concept album that follows a story that will span beyond just this project. Not only does it tell a story, but it also ties into my side project Lil Revive and connects the characters."
"I'm a huge fan of George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, cinematic universes and I realized there aren't really any people in the rap world that are building the music version of that," Josh adds. "What's even better is that not only can the songs just stand on their own as songs, but now the fans that want to read deeper into the work have a whole world to explore and theorize over. This is hands down my favorite project I've made, and it's shaped how I want to make albums from here on out."
On the reflective yet anthemic lead single "Sober" featuring Neffex, Josh makes a socially conscious statement with the piece addressing substance abuse. He explains: "I've written songs where I've discussed my own addiction before, but this time I wanted to write about how this problem is affecting the country. 107,600 people died in 2021 from drug overdoses and it feels like not much is being done about it. I'm not saying I have the answers to fix it but just wanted to shed light on an issue that means a lot to me and the people around me. Hopefully this song can help any of my fans that are going through similar issues know they're not alone in the battle."
Josh is elusive in real life, but fearlessly vocal through his musical output. The Florida-based artist may not be a fan of the spotlight, but, even so, he's managed to amass over 1 billion streams on Spotify; 3 million monthly listeners; and over 1M YouTube subscribers completely independent and underground. His work ethic is constant, having also established his alter-ego Lil Revive which currently sits at 300,000 monthly listeners and 100k YouTube subscribers.
Initially creating music as a cathartic escape from a chaotic upbringing, Josh has found his purpose in the process: helping people feel less alone in whatever issues they may be going through in life. His candid, vulnerable lyricism over lush and, at times, grand hip-hop, pop and rock instrumentation acts as a vessel for the lost, the broken, and the outcasts.
"I never really fit in with people growing up" Josh says. "I was always the reserved kid in school that would just sit and write in his notebook. That isolation fed my creativity and drive to create my own worlds. When I started developing my sound, the music gave me a voice I thought I'd never have. It's like the best kind of therapy because I get to vent about my life, but also help people at the same time."
'Fearless II' is populated by different versions of Josh represented by each style of music he tackles on the project. The album opens with the orchestral "Long Way To Go", which Josh describes as a rallying call for him and his fans bonded by mental health struggles and longing to be somebody. On "Warfare", you get to hear the full extent of Josh's carefully woven narrative as he argues with another version of himself. "It starts out with a heavy beat as I spit some very flexy bars" he says. "Then the beat switches and my past self starts questioning my motives as an artist and human in general. As I gain more and more success, I've started to understand the materialism and greed is inherently unhealthy and indicative of the aspects I dislike about society/the industry. Do I really want to feed into that? What's more important? Being happy and creative or being rich and unhappy?"
Josh's journey is one of those artist success stories that immediately breeds inspiration and motivation. Most artists would be content with even an ounce of the work ethic that Josh possesses, but as far as he's concerned, he's just getting started. "I'm always searching for creative outlets and ways to express myself. Music has always been the number one outlet for that and eventually I want to move into even more outlets to showcase what I'm capable of. One day I'm going to make films, books, graphic novels, and whatever gets me out of bed in the morning. I love the challenge of creating through new mediums and that's what I have my sights set on. I'm doing this for the quiet weird kids that never get their ideas heard. Maybe if they see me do it, they'll feel like they can too."
Josh A's 'Fearless II' album is also available now to stream and cop on all major DSPs