Newcomer Josh Wantie Inks Deal with Gallo

Josh Wantie

Josh Wantie

Durban is once again the breeding ground for exceptional musical talent as Josh Wantie [pronounced Von-Tee] becomes the latest to step into the music scene.

Josh has been crafting his sound for quite a few years. Influenced by artists like Sia, Lorde, James Bay, Ben Howard, James Blake, Phillip Phillips and Civil Twilight, he has created a mellower, broodier sound to his work than that of the stereotypical pop artist.

Speaking about discovering the singer, Neil Greenberg, general manager of Gallo Record Company said: “I saw this kid performing at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Durban late 2014 and watched the heaving rowdy crowd in the restaurant come to a standstill when Josh started to sing one of his original tunes. It was quite a defining moment. We flew him up to Jo’burg the next week and signed him to Gallo in early 2015.”

Wantie has since been signed to Gallo Record Company. “With his rough but impressive demos presented back in Dec 2014, Gallo jumped at the chance to work with Josh,” says Rob Cowling, deputy GM of Sheer/Gallo.

“His music presents a fresh sound and a great vibe, and a musical direction and professionalism that, in my opinion, sets him apart and puts him on a level worthy to go up against an international playing field. This young man has got what it takes – looks, talent and a knack for writing good songs.

“During the planning process of picking the team to work on Wantie’s debut, we immediately thought of approaching Gangs of Ballet brothers Josh and Brad Klynsmith as producers. Gangs of Ballet have had multiple hits from their debut Yes/No/Grey and were also friends with Wantie. It was a great match.”

The team started laying down the songs for the EP in mid-August.

“What a brilliant opportunity to work with a home town rising star. The songs are fresh and Josh is not only down to earth but super super talented. We’re really proud to say we were a part of this project! He’s got a brilliant team around him and we expect great things. Durban proud,” says Brad Klynsmith.

Wantie has loved the process of working with Josh and Brad, and recording took place at Heritage Sound Studio in Cape Town, the studio of one of SA’s top engineers Brendyn ‘Rusti’ Rossouw, who was also part of the recording process. Rossouw has worked with Prime Circle, Die Heuwels Fantasties, Taxi Violence, aKING, Freshlyground and The Dirty Skirts.

Wantie, who was overwhelmed while in studio with this incredible group, said: “I have known Josh and Brad for quite a while before I decided to go full time with music and actually met with Brad to get some advice going forward when I did decide to pursue music as a career.

“I have always closely followed Gangs of Ballet and been a fan of their music and writing, so when Rob from the label told me they were keen to produce I was very excited.

“They worked hard with me in choosing singles from the songs I had written and went over and above to make sure they sounded as good as possible. In studio they were professional but fun and really wanted the best for the project.

“It was honestly such a humbling experience having the guys from one of the top acts in South Africa work with me on my music. They work very well as a team and if they weren’t so successful in their own careers respectively, I would love to do a whole album with them in the producer’s chair.

“I can also say the same about the engineer, Rusti (Brendyn Rossouw). He was absolutely word class and a breeze to work with, a truly fun and dynamic guy that makes tracking smooth and vibey.”

Wantie is determined to make his mark in the music industry and he has the talent, the team and more importantly, the passion to achieve just that. Spending time with friends and fellow Durbanites Matthew Mole and Jordi from Yorke has also given him that drive to know that through hard work and following your dreams, success in the music industry is possible.

Josh Wantie’s debut single will be released digitally in September, with plans for an EP and album release in 2016.

Follow Josh Wantie online:
Facebook: joshwantenaar
Twitter: @JoshWantie

From left: Neil Greenberg (GM Gallo); Josh Wantie; Rob Cowling (Gallo)

From left: Neil Greenberg (GM Gallo); Josh Wantie; Rob Cowling (Gallo)

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