Josh Walters is the furthest thing from a conformer, and the Marksville, Louisiana native made that perfectly clear with his newest single “Outs with the In Crowd.”
A proponent of what he calls “real country music,” Walters has stuck to his 90s-country inspired guns on the two singles he has released so far.
As he prepares to release his debut EP I’m Gonna Write a Song on November 22, hear from Walters about his traditional country influences, his lifestyle that he paints on “Outs with the In Crowd,” what listeners can expect from his EP, and more!
Pro Country: Who were your biggest musical influences growing up?
Josh Walters: My mom and dad were probably the biggest influences as far as getting me into music or encouraging me to get into music. However, my two top favorite singers of all time are Keith Whitley and George Jones. George Jones said it best as to “who’s gonna fill their shoes” and the answer to that is simple, NO ONE. Not even I will ever fill those shoes, but I’ll make sure those shoes are never forgotten. Aside from my original music, my cover songs are probably 90% from that era of music. When it comes to country music, that era will always be the best in my opinion.
PC: When did you realize that you wanted to pursue music as a career?
JW: When I was 14, I started playing guitar and singing. I guess it’s one of those things of when it grabs a hold of you, it’s got you. From then on, the more and more I got involved in music, the more of a passion it became. Fast forward to 14 years later, and it’s a way of life now.
PC: What emotions were you feeling as you’re preparing to release music for the first time with “Dr. Love”?
JW: I originally recorded “Dr. Love” back in 2011. I started working with a studio in Nashville and they introduced me to Tommy Barnes, who wrote the song. Mr. Tom also wrote “Indian Outlaw” which was made a hit by Tim McGraw. Mr. Tom allowed me to record a few songs and told me to make them my own. “Dr. Love” was the first of four that I decided to record. I liked the overall structure of the song, and I was looking for something that was traditional or 90s country, and it seemed to fit the bill to me. The emotions were pretty amazing, being that this was the first song I choose to record, the first song I actually recorded in my life, and it was my favorite song that he sent over.
PC: Can you talk about the inspiration behind your newest single “Outs With the In Crowd”? How true do the lyrics of that song ring to your life?
JW: When I heard “Outs With The In Crowd” for the first time, I was like “this is me.” Growing up and to this day, I’ve always felt like I was on the outs with the in crowd. I was never a partying type or drinking type, so I never really went out much. I’ve never been a materialistic person either, meaning I would rather go spend $10 on a pair of jeans from Walmart then buy a $100 pair of jeans from some fancy name brand. I guess I felt like with the way I live, people kind of look down on me because “I’m On The Outs With The In Crowd.”
PC: You have a new EP set for release in November. What information can you give about the EP? What can listeners expect to hear?
JW: My new EP titled I’m Gonna Write A Song is scheduled to be released November 22, 2019. This is the first project that I worked on that is “all me.” It’s four songs that I wrote. All four songs should be relatable to most of the country music world audience. When I wrote them, I actually surprised myself and was like “Wow, I wrote that.” I’m really looking forward to it and see how the audience reacts to it.
PC: As opposed to calling your music “traditional,” you refer to it as “real country music.” Can you talk about the difference to you and what you mean by that?
JW: When I say “Real Country Music” it’s not just about the sound, it’s about everything that is involved. My sound isn’t “traditional” per say, it’s more of the 90s country era. It’s hard to explain actually. It’s what sets you apart from the majority of other artists. I actually keep it along the lines of country music and not pop or hip hop country, from my original songs to my selective choice of cover songs. Not saying that those guys that sing that kind of music are bad, I just don’t see where it should be considered “country.” I’m always a straight up kind of guy that will tell you exactly how I feel about something no matter what. Truth hurts sometimes they say. I firmly stand up for what I believe in. I respect others’ opinions and views, but ask you to at least respect mine. The songs I write, I’ve lived or experienced in some way or another. Same goes for the covers that I choose to sing that I can really get inside. And another thing is that I take the whole “country boy” to the next level. I wear the face paint because away from the stage, that’s who I am. I’m a hunter. I can’t be a cowboy because I’ve never rode a horse before, but I can be a country boy, because that’s who I really am. I’m not no pretty boy, I’m not a fancy boy, I’m not tall dark and handsome; I’m a 5’4″ little red-headed long-haired country boy. I’m always a classy guy, even when someone tries to get over on me, I’ll still be the bigger person. I’ll support anyone’s dreams because I know how much that support means to me. And last but not least, I’m a full-time single father, and my daughter is my absolute world. Everything I do hopefully will pay off one day for her.
PC: You have mentioned your highly energetic live shows on Facebook. How important is a high-energy performance, and who are some artists that have inspired that live show energy in you?
JW: I’m not one that likes to just stand there and play the guitar, I like to move amongst the crowd, get on the bars, and dance like a fool. I’m a clown by heart as well, so if I’m making someone laugh, then that means just as much as catching them with a song. If you’re having a good time, the crowd will see that and they will have a good time too. Sometimes I’m limited with the things I can do, but you’ll know when I cut loose. Garth Brooks was a prime example of high energetic. I’ll never be Garth Brooks, but that’s okay, because all I need to be is Josh Walters.
PC: You’ve become a member of the Texas Country Music Association and Bayou Country Music Association. How important has it been for you to be active with those organizations and network in that way?
JW: The TCMA and BCMA are both amazing organizations, and I really respect them for what they do for all artists, but more so independent artists. I’m glad to be a part of both of these organizations. Both organizations have some amazing talent, and I’m glad to be amongst the ranks of those other artist. I’d definitely recommend these two organizations to any independent country artist who is not already apart of them.
PC: What are your plans for the rest of 2019 and beyond?
JW: My plans for the rest of 2019 are to keep working on my overall craft. My writing, my voice, my sound, my show, my marketing strategies, my promotional strategies; everything that makes me who I am. I’m hoping that my EP release is bigger than anticipated. I’ll also be spending time with my daughter, tagging out on a few of those Louisiana whitetails, and keeping the pace set for some “REAL COUNTRY MUSIC.”
*Images courtesy of Josh Walters*