Words By Jessica Golich
These days, Josh Levi is what many would call a renaissance man who wears a tower of artistic hats that contribute to the collective maturation of his artistry. It takes a keen focus and a purposeful attitude to push aside the glitz and glam and focus on what matters most: digging within and finding what ignites your own fire.
Lighting up television screens worldwide with his role as Darius Merriweather on Friday Night Lights and transforming into a singer on The X Factor USA, Levi has dipped and dabbled while morphing into a superstar and leaving a lasting impression on hearts and minds around the globe. The Houston raised 18-year-old is now a member of Island Records newest pop sensation supergroup, Citizen Four, who have just released their blazing hot new track “Testify”. BASIC caught up with the old soul to discuss his creative magic, Citizen Four’s latest works and what’s in store for the second half of 2017.
What is your perception of the power behind how the music industry has addressed the political world through lyricism and artistic expression at this time?
This power is my favorite thing about music. I actually think I’ve grown to make this power be the incentive of my love and dedication to music. At this point in society, culture and politics, we need every voice to be used and to be expressed and all stories to be told and all perspectives to be explained. For someone like me, it’s the only chance I get at telling my story of my position in society, which deserves to be heard.
In the midst of writing your lyrics, do you keep in mind the level of vulnerability in which you approach the process?
I am definitely cautious of how much I want to unfold and how much of my reality I’d like to expose, but at the same time, I consciously balance how my voice isn’t only for me or about me. I must help other people with my power and do that at all costs.
If you could sit under the table and listen to any two human beings have a conversation to draw inspiration, who would you choose?
Beyonce and Michael Jackson.
Talk to us a bit about what is in store for the second half of 2017 with Citizen Four. What’s a message you’d like BASIC to relay to your fans?
Citizen Four will be releasing a ton of music this year and following our current single, “Testify”, with consecutive singles throughout the year. The one thing I always want fans to know is to spread their wings no matter the space or environment, despite surrounding people’s judgement or fear. Be the best you can be even if it means people can’t handle it. You shouldn’t hold yourself back.
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