Going viral with all the "nasty things" people have said about her music
This past year has been a ghastly one for so many millions of people.
But strangely, it has been the best year of her career so far for Horsham-based singer-songwriter Josie Proto who has just released her second EP.
Josie, who has just turned 20, said: “Things are going fantastically. I am so excited. I have had such great opportunities this year.
“I am really sensitive to the fact that everyone has had a really rubbish year, but I have had the best year of my life so far. I am supposed to be doing a gig in May and that probably won’t happen, but it really does feel like onwards and upwards.”
It’s half and half because of/in spite of the lockdowns: “I have been working on my career since I was 14. I have been working towards doing this for a long time so it is an accumulation of hard work, but it just so happened that this year everybody was sitting at home wanting to listen to new music, and TikTok just blew up. Everyone downloaded it out of boredom during lockdown.
“Last year I started releasing music. It was just before lockdown… which was not great timing! I had one release before lockdown, and I haven’t get been able to gig as a recorded artist. I haven’t been able to gig and tell people ‘You can hear my stuff on Spotify!’
“But I had a TikTok viral video. I think it is about 600,000 views now. I just put it on and by the evening it had had about 100,000 views. It was a song called BTec Lily Allen.
“It was basically a compilation of nasty things that people have said about my music. I just kept a list. I used to write the things down on my phone… just all the insults that people said about my music. It was the fantastic. It was the ultimate petty move!
“People were calling me a BTEC Lily Allen and saying that my songs would only get played in a pub and that my biggest fan is my mum… which is true. And I do quite like Lily Allen! So I wrote the song and it just went insane. Off the back of that I got a record deal and I got signed to a publisher as well.
“I did my first EP maybe last August which went to number one in the iTunes pop charts which was really incredible.”
Now comes the second EP which is “really shower thoughts”, Josie explains: “It is about those deep things that you think about in the shower. It is just the ramblings of a teenage girl put to music!
“There is a song on there about being really annoyed about excessively positive people. There is a song on there about wanting to break up with somebody before they break up with you. There is a song on there about wanting to be a kid again and being scared of adulthood. And there is a song about making the biggest mistake of my life which didn’t turn out to be the biggest mistake of my life… that typical girl thing of going back to my boyfriend… the current boyfriend.
“I had broken up with him a year previously and did a lot of growing up and I was thinking that I didn’t know how he was going to be and whether he was going to like how I had changed. And also there was a gossip about him and me. But it has worked out!”