He had always dreamed of being a musician. But by 25, Josh Bevan was spending most of his days in Brighton, singing at weddings, recording jingles for the radio and lending back-up vocals in studio sessions, and it seemed that that this would be the life for him, a dream half-fulfilled. Until recently, when – after a moment of clarity – and during a period of depression, he decided to take the gamble and invest more readily in himself, instead of waiting for permission to make a project that was solely his own.
“Just because something’s a gamble,” he said, reflecting on his decision to finally carve out a serious solo career for himself, “it doesn’t mean that it’s not the thing that you have to do.”
At 18, Josh left his hometown of Ely for Brighton, enrolling on a course at a prestigious institution, a degree designed to be the catalyst for a career in music. In his new city, he had initially hoped to start a Reggae band, but failing this, he quickly founded a Punk-rock outfit and then, after a little while, began to transition to self accompaniment on the acoustic guitar.
After dropping out of the school and slipping into a bout of depression, Josh was lost. Slowly, though, he began to piece himself and his music back together. All of his life, he said, he had viewed himself as just a vocalist, insecure about any other talent he may have had with instruments and production software, and so he had always turned to others to fill in the gaps. But now, at his lowest point, still depressed and too afraid of another failed recording session, he had few other options but to teach himself.
“I took the same attitude I had with singing to the production,” he said. “I didn’t think I was a talented singer, I just really loved it, so I worked on it every single day.”
Though still unwell, Josh spent six months sat at a piano and a guitar, writing music. It was these long lonely sessions that became the ‘Cloud_9’ EP, a four-track project capturing the melancholic reflections of a young man battling with the heavy weight of depression.
“I hope a sense of honesty comes across in it and I hope anyone going through rough stuff can find some common experiences because a huge part of my recovery was being able to talk about my depression…it was therapeutic for me, to write all of these songs,” he said. “And then to come out at the end of it with a complete product of my own. I learnt to take my ego out of stuff and just lost the fear, the fear that I would never have a good idea again.”
The ‘Cloud_9’ EP is set for release this summer, and despite the peaks and valleys, the dream had never changed. Josh Bevan has been a musician his whole life. Now he finally feels like one.