With her endearing version of alt-pop giving a much-needed breath of fresh air in the UK
scene, Josie Man is a vibrant new voice in the world of music. Through her authentic and
unique sound, Josie has used her voice to sing about themes of self-acceptance, love and just
being who you are. Much like Josie’s message, her confident and radiant personality is
reflected through her desire and passion to express herself through her clothes; often bright,
artistic and vintage! So, we sat down with the 21-year-old singer-songwriter to ‘virtually’
explore the hidden gems inside Josie’s wardrobe and to discuss everything from selfacceptance,
to new music, to broken legs at Rihanna concerts.
So how have you been doing with this pandemic, obviously it’s been a hard time so how’s
it been affecting everything in the music industry?
It’s definitely been challenging for sure. It’s definitely made me realise how strong I am and
that I need to keep doing things to stimulate my brain, so it does take a lot for me to motivate
myself! It’s quite hard to write songs when there’s nothing nice to talk about, but then it helps
me to write about other things that can come from a place of hurt or sadness. I haven’t really
written about those kind of subjects before, but it feels good. It brings light to those topics as
I think we’re all going through it.
There’s been a lot of hurdles this year like not being able to perform live, how have you
been dealing with not being able to do that and how would you describe your shows?
It’s really sad because I haven’t been doing music on my own for that long, so I was only able
to do around two live shows before COVID. The energy in the room is really nice so I can’t
wait till I can actually properly sing live and have a show again. I always think about doing a
little deep breathing exercise at the beginning of shows to help everyone feel calm so I haven’t
been able to do that yet.
For you, if you could go and see any artist perform who are you going to see and why?
I think it’s Rihanna, I love her! I remember seeing her when I was younger, and I was supposed
to be in standing but I broke my leg, so I ended up sitting down really far away! But I remember
being mesmerised by the way she dances and the energy she gives out.
So, heading back to the beginning of your career, what was the moment that clicked for you
that you knew music is what you wanted to do?
Music makes me feel really confident and isn’t something I feel embarrassed of. Growing up
I was really embarrassed of things and if I liked them, I’d be too embarrassed to say. But when
it came to music I was actually like ‘no I don’t feel embarrassed about doing this’. And I always
went back to it. If I worked in a job, I’d always go back to music, so it just felt right.
Music is obviously a massive part of your life so if you could pick one album to soundtrack
your life so far what would it be?
It’s got to be Channel Orange by Frank Ocean. I love all the songs on that album, and it reminds
me of summer when I was a kid, or my teenage kind of years. It makes me happy but sad. It’s
kind of weird but I like being happy, but sad. Both emotions are very strong!
So far what has your experience been like manoeuvring through the music industry?
I didn’t plan to sign anything or actually be in the music industry, I always just loved music. It
was definitely a hard thing for me to navigate in because it’s quite fast paced. Usually I’m used
to doing something slowly and in my own time, not having a massive team that’s so supportive
around me. It’s just so overwhelming to have so many amazing people who work with you.
It’s a really hard thing to get your head around so it was definitely overwhelming for quite a
while. I think that sometimes I have to be like: ‘Stay calm. You’re okay. You’re doing well
So how have you felt coming into the industry and having to do interviews? How have you
grown your confidence with experiences like this?
For me I soon realised that when I do interviews I don’t need to think about them first because
that’s when they work out the best. When I worry about them then I can’t speak! So, most of
the time I just think to myself: ‘I’ll see what happens and what comes out’. I just try and keep
Moving onto fashion would you say that fashion is equally as important as music to you? Can you even compare them?
No, I think they come hand in hand or are both as important as each other. If I feel comfortable
with my fashion choices, then I feel comfortable going to the studio and doing things. It’s all
about being able to express yourself. I just love clothes; they make me really happy and
What advice would you give to your fans on learning to embrace yourself, learning how to
love yourself and accepting who you are?
I think the first thing is that nobody’s perfect. Nobody’s at that point where they’re completely
happy with themselves all the time. Even if you don’t like parts of yourself just think: ‘okay
that’s part of me and I accept that’. That’s the hardest part, so when you get around that it
gets easier. You’re always growing and sometimes you have to look at yourself and cry and
it’s okay to cry. When it comes to comparing yourself with people you just have to remember
they’re not perfect either.
Anything exciting coming Up?
I do have a couple singles coming out and an EP! All round I’m doing a lot more content with
my team like cooking, fashion and me just being weird!
Words by Chris Saunders, Graphics by Millie Pollok, Video by Harry Kingston