CTMS Interview – Joshua Grierson

Interview by : Ezelle Louw (@lupaphotography)

Photography by : Natalia Gralewski

Joshua Grierson. This man certainly knows how to speak to your soul with his music. He has been in the music industry for quite some time and shows no signs of taking it easy. “Strange Heart” is his upcoming album, which I believe all fans are eagerly awaiting.

His honest demeanour and storyteller tunes combines into a very powerful solo performance. Exciting news is that Joshua has decided to expand further. A few talented musicians is now joining him for the full band experience. Diversity. That is what comes to mind when I think of Joshua. He is constantly trying different fields and blending that into his music.

We took some time out of his busy schedule to get to know the man behind the music.

Joshua Grierson

Describe to us your earliest memory you associate with music?
My mum, sis and I went to go and pick up my dad at the train station. I could see him walking away from the platform, with a brown box in his arms. I aksed my mum what it was but she played it cool and said she did not know. When we got home, my dad opened the box and there in lay my first box guitar. I was 5 or 6 years old.

I know it’s difficult to choose, but name 3 albums that made a huge impact on you musically?
Rufus Wainwright’s ‘Poses’. Penguin Cafe Orchestra’s ‘Penguin Cafe Orchestra’. Tom Waits’ ‘Mule Variations’

Was there a defining moment in  your life that you knew you couldn’t do anything else but create music?
When I quit pursuing a career as a professional tennis player. I was 13 years old.

Through your music, you tell us stories,most of which we can relate to, is this a personal experience for you to share these tales?
99% of my lyrics are autobiographical.

Up to date, what has been your greatest moment on stage?
I supported YOAV last year at Tanz Cafe in Johannesburg and after my very first song, the crowd (to whom I was a relatively unknown) erupted in loud cheers and claps.

Before you had your solo project, were you a part of any bands? If so who?

Yep. (Before and during) Free Fall, Breaktime, Neshamah, Lovehunter, Cold War Candy Drop and I have started a side-project with Nathan Rudnick called The Dead End.

What’s next for Joshua Grierson?
2013 holds many new and exciting opportunities. New side-project, The Dead End. At least 2 albums and extensive touring around the country.

Is there any mental preparation you do before you go on stage?
Nope. More vocal and body warm-ups.

Joshua Grierson

What is a full proof piece of advice you carry on your musical journey in this tough industry?
Don’t give up! (Which is an extension of believe in yourself)

Rather recently you have now expanded your sound, you now have a full band that performs with you? Give us a bit of background and introduce us to the members?

Because of my history with being in bands, I understand the power of big arrangements and how it can transform an average song into an anthem. The members I have chosen for the task of creating a new sound, came into my life very serendipitously and together, many of my aspirations have finally been given a voice. The members are Morgan Kennedy on drums, Fez on bass, Nicolai Roos on guitars, Gene Kierman on French Horn and vocals and Lauren Fowler on vocals.

Why did you choose to leave the one man show and trade it for a full band?
The solo show will never die and if a venue/client requires the solo show, I am more than happy to fulfill that obligation but where and when I can – mostly as much as possible – I want to show my songs the way that I am hearing them in my head. I too want to ‘rock’ a main stage fest and have the sound to do that with. Expansion is a natural evolution.

“Strange Heart” is your up and coming full album? Can you tell us when it is set for release, I’m sure the fans are very eager in anticipation?
There is no actual date at this point.

Tell us one thing about Joshua Grierson we wouldn’t know otherwise?
I suffer from Adult ADHD.

What do you want people to take from your music?
I want them to feel. Feel the joy, the pain and everything in between. My music is honest and maybe through the listening of my music, people might start to be more honest with themselves and others.

You’ve been in the industry for quite some time, tell us,what has been the most positive changes in recent times for you?
More well-equipped venues and the culture around music is growing exponentially. More and more South African people are waking up to the fact that original and unique music, is where it’s at.

Is there one venue which feels like home to you?
Mercury Live for band shows. The Alma Cafe for my solo show.

Joshua Grierson

I know you only write original material, but if you had to cover one song by one artist, what would it be and why?
‘Picture in a Frame’ by Tom Waits. It’s simply a sublime love song. One of the best ever written. Waits knows beauty. Waits knows pain.

The greatest compliment you’ve received in regards to your music?
That was a spiritual experience’

Tell us a bit about how you experience studio time?  Is it “personal time” with your music, to refine and master?
I actually hate recording my music. It’s wrought with self doubt and constant repitition but it’s also a place where you can really ‘hear’ the music for the first time.

If you could have your fans in one room, what would you say to them?
Thank You for believing in me; when I didn’t.

Where on the social networks can we follow you?

Facebook : www.facebook.com/joshuagriersonmusic
Twitter : www.twitter.com/JoshuaGrierson
Soundcloud : www.soundcloud.com/jkgrierson


  1. Renee Grierson

    December 14, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Thanks for taking the time to interview my favourite musician. I am looking forward to the day that the world wakes up to his genius.

  2. Rene Maritz

    December 19, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Thanks so much for this article. I must say every time I get to hear and see Joshua perform it’s a spiritual experience for me and his music definitely makes one feel! I know this is just the very beginning of great things and the best is yet to come!

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