An Interview With Musician and Actor Extraordinaire, JOSHUA TRIPLETT!
Posted On 27 Sep 2017
This face may look a little familiar. You’ve seen Joshua Triplett all over your TV screen from popular TV shows like Netflix ‘Girlboss’ and BET’s ‘The Quad’, along with 11 national TV commercials currently running including Samsung, Subaru with Tosh.0’s Daniel Tosh, Walmart, Pepsi, Credit Karma and 5-Hour Energy, which has earned him the coveted title of #TheCommercialKing.
Aside from his theatrical and commercial work, Joshua Triplett is also a recording artist, who recently dropped his new EP, In Development. The EP is now available across all digital stores including iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, Tidal, Spotify and more. This 7-track EP is a suave and sophisticated modern R&B, soul and pop that feels like the beginning of a new wave.
Joshua said, “Originally I just wanted to make dope songs, and then I realized that everything that I recorded was its own sound. So I realized that I needed to develop my own sound, which is where the title, In Development came from.” He also adds, “The EP is a glimpse of my ability to transform vocally.”
The first single featured on the EP, “Commitment”, which features a beautifully shot visual in Malibu earlier this year.
Joshua made his way into the industry by debuting his first single, “Millionaire” with Young Buck and Kenny Ali. The single received national radio play and collected over a million views online. The success led him to perform on the Big Heff Industry Tour and the Summer Jam Tour. “Return of the MC” with Joell Ortiz (Slaughterhouse), Kool G Rap, and Kenny Ali, was also a major single that contributes to his discography. Since making the second round auditions for the popular primetime show, The Voice, Joshua Triplett has since refined and perfected his sound. He has also been seen on MTV’s Copycat, in which he was a contestant winner and finalist.
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Learn more about Joshua Triplett in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! How has 2017 been treating you?
Really well. It’s been a blessed and powerful year. Bought my first home. Maintained financial stability. My career is steady. My family is healthy and safe. God is good.
Musically, did you approach this year any differently then you did last year?
This year, my entire outlook on music is different. I recorded my EP “In Development” in 2015 with an exception to “What’s The Point?”. Now that I’ve released my EP, I am looking forward to continuing the growth and experiment process of finding my sound. I figured out what I’d like to talk about for the next project. I figured out what I want to stand for as an artist – all through the music. Last year and previous years, I just wanted to make hit records – that was the formula. Now, I have a story to tell.
Where does this interview find you today?
I am actually in my newly built studio.
Is there music playing in the background?
I am currently sitting in silence after a 12 hour day on set for a new national commercial campaign for Pizza Hut. Long day, I just want silence.
If so, what is it?
Usually I put my playlist on shuffle and just wait for my music to surprise me.
What kind of music do you listen to when you are working?
My playlist ranges many genres from R&B, to Gospel, Pop and Musical Theater. Nothing like going from Chris Brown to Smokie Norful or Trey Songz to the Hamilton soundtrack.
What music gets you instantly out of a bad mood?
You will very rarely catch me in a bad mood. But if you do, my playlist knows me enough to play J. Moss or Kierra Sheard. Any type of gospel that reminds me of how good God is. Anything that puts me in a place of worship to realize God’s favor over my life.
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician?
I always wanted to be a musician. I used to listen to Boyz II Men and sing every harmony. I used to watch movies like The Jacksons: An American Dream or The Temptations, and I wanted to be a superstar singer so badly. It was in my blood.
Can you recall your earliest musical memory?
My earliest musical memory is singing in the church at the age of 2 or 3 in front of the entire congregation. I remember falling in love with singing my heart out. Soon after, I picked up instruments and started writing, and eventually started acting and much more. Funny story, although I am the baby of 27. Yes, my dad had 23 kids and my mom had 4. I was the youngest. So by the time I was old enough to remember all of my siblings, they were grown and out of the house. So I used to record into a mini tape recorder…push play…sing along with the tape recorder in a different harmony part, while recording both with the other recorder. That was how I created my own recording studio. I was like 8 or 9 years old. Soon after, I realized I wanted to do this no matter what.
If you weren’t a musician today, what else could you see yourself doing?
Many things! I am a singer, actor, model, magician, graphic designer, writer, producer, editor, videographer, marketing consultant, store owner, salesman, entrepreneur, father, husband, son and so much more. I was once told that everyone has 100 hidden talents. I will tap into most of them by the time I pass away. The point is…I have options. That was one of my goals in high school. I didn’t want to just pick one thing. I wouldn’t be happy if I can only choose one to be good at and do for the rest of my life. I want it all!
I always like to ask artists about where they came from and how that city or town has influenced them as an artist now. So how do you think your hometown has affected who you are as a musician and the art that you create?
I am from Youngstown, Ohio. The small city and home of some of the countries best musicians and singers. The world just doesn’t know it. What I am saying is, I had the most talented people to look up to, but they had no platform or their work ethic was poor. Or they simply didn’t have the opportunity. So I watched the most talented people in my life fail, and I mentally took that into consideration of what not to do. I quickly realized that talent doesn’t win in this game, work ethic does. Being in the right place at the right time does. Your network does. Your confidence wins. And my faith in God and my vision is just the icing on the cake. I moved to New York for college, where I studied acting, musical theater and dance was the best thing that I could have done. I turned down a scholarship to Ohio State University to go to NYC and follow my dreams. My mom wanted to kill me. But she reminds me every time I speak to her that it was the best decision for me.
What was it like putting together your newest EP, “In Development”? Did anything surprise you about the whole process?
It was amazing, and here’s why. I flew my friend and one of my favorite producers in to town from Arkansas. And I took off 30 days from acting to only do music. It was special because I took three years off music to focus on acting. I moved to LA for music and somehow the acting was taking the lead. So after doing acting for 3 years, I took that time to develop this EP. It was amazing!
What was the inspiration for the songs? In particular, how did your song, “Commitment” come to be?
The inspiration was growth. It was the idea that this has to be better than anything else you’ve done. I measure success by growth. I want to see growth in everything I touch. Inspiration came from the team of producers, writers, and other singers around me. Commitment is loosely based on an experience in my life of being torn in two trying to chase love when you already have love. Trying to plant seeds in green grass, when I should just water and sow into the garden that I already have. The music video, which I produced, (shameless plug), tells an incredible story that is loosely based on truth.
How does making music compare to all the acting work that you have done?
There is no true comparison. They are different types of therapy. That’s like choosing macaroni and cheese versus ice cream. You don’t want to choose because you love them the both. They just give you different experiences.
Do you find that you enjoy one over the other at all?
Music is therapy because I can speak, feel and enjoy an idea and dream that I was probably born to desire. Whereas acting is being able to escape and live in a moment so real but so far away from you that you can learn what life is and can be for others. Acting is living and breathing under imaginary circumstances. Where as music is living and breathing while reflecting every circumstance.
How do they both help you do the other? Has it been a nice and easy transition?
To me, it’s all just entertainment, right? The transition is quite simple. The time management and focus is the hard part. But that’s why I’m creating something for my next project that won’t make me do that anymore. Its incredible.
What was it like being on The Voice and making it to the second round auditions? What did you learn from that experience?
For me, The Voice was amazing. Going into an open call and getting the first call back beating out thousands of people. And then getting in front of the producers and doing your thing. It’s nothing like it. It’s nerve racking..it’s scary. But its your dream, so you power through it. I was told by the producers, which I understood, “You are really good, but I don’t feel like you would win the entire competition. You would go far. You would do very well. But I don’t think you would win. And once you are on the show you can’t come back for a while. So do you want to go on, and get far? Or do you want to wait a year or two, do the work and win?” I appreciated those words so much. I never went back because its not the path I would like to take, but I appreciated those words a lot!
What are your plans for the rest of this summer? Do you have any plans to play out live at all?
My plans are to continue to build, create and win! I want to travel. Enjoy my family, and really brainstorm on whats next. I am currently producing my next album. I am working on a feature film. I am pitching my new web series, called #BeefInBrentwood, which was nominated at the Burbank International Film Festival. I’m just in creator mode.
How do you think being a musician gives you the most joy in life today?
Music gives me joy because music creates joy. Music controls tone. It controls feeling. When you watch a scary movie, you wouldn’t be as scared if you couldn’t hear the musical score under it. You wouldn’t cry on the sad parts and you wouldn’t laugh at the funny parts. As a musician, I have so much power and control in my arrangements, my lyrics, and my melodies to transport you in to a world that I am the pilot.
How do you hope to be a good role model for young people today?
I don’t hope to be. I will be. By being positive, I am a role model because I lead by example. Because I treat everyone with respect and I have no malice or ill intent toward anyone. I am a hard worker. I am realistic whilst having faith and being optimistic. I am a young educated black man that graduated with high honors. I went to college in the career of my choice. I married the woman of my dreams and the mother of my child. I bought a house in the city that I always dreamed of living in. I am a hard worker, a dreamer and a man of faith. I set goals and accomplish them. I keep my word. I am happier than I have ever imagined that I could be. And I don’t need anything. I give to others, and I always desire to better. —- To me, I am a role model already.
Who are some of your very favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? What musicians would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
My favorite artists are the ones that inspired me to know that if they can do it, can I. I’ve always loved artists my age that I could watch and learn from like Sammie, Mario, Chris Brown and Trey Songz. Musicians that inspire me because they are incredible are people like Michael Jackson, Brian McKnight, Whitney Houston, Tank and many more. I would love to work with anyone that is willing to help me grow and that believes in my ability to create.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
I can only speak for my current and upcoming project. I want people to know that it is ok to be vulnerable. It is ok to let your wall down. It is ok to make mistakes as long as you grow and learn from them. I want people to know that perfect is only something we can aim for but we can never achieve. I want people to meet me. The struggles, the passion, the hurt, the love, and the lost.I want people to stop being afraid to let people in.
What advice would you give to someone just getting started on this music path? Or even to someone young that is thinking of becoming a musician one day?
My advice would be don’t do it unless you are willing to get rejected, lose time, lose money, cry, struggle and lose friends and loved ones. If you are not willing to work hard for something so impossible that even the biggest stars fall off. If you are not willing to make music solely based on the fact that you love it and have something to say or share, then this is not the right career for you. Don’t do this for fortune or fame because you will get knocked on your butt fast! Do it because you love it. No other reason.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
Go get my music on any digital download store in the world www.smarturl.it/indevleopment. There is something on the EP for everyone. I have new music coming so follow me on social media @jtripnation to stay tuned and follow the journey. I want to say thank you for having me. And thank you to the readers for lending their time to get to know another up and coming artist. Blessings to you all.