Joshua Ingram from Fort Worth, Texas is a musical storyteller, guitar stunt man, and breath-taking vocalist.
With a lifetime of creating music Ingram has relentlessly pursued the art of expression and the perfection of his craft. He started writing songs as a teen and has not stopped. In his own words “There is always something more to say, play and give to the audience.”
How would you describe the music that you typically create?
I really like using chords to support the melody instead of one line, like a bass line. That means I usually write on a piano or a guitar, come up with the progression, and then write an instrumental hook. It’s kind of a reverse order from how it commonly happens now and more of a throwback to the folk era or a songwriter like Bob Dylan. Being that most of my favorite writers write this way, it makes sense that I would also take this approach. It allows me to really focus on the message and feel of the song when putting the pieces together.
I always try to include some kind of uplifting or positive message when possible. With as much negativity as we have in the world today, I want people to feel like they have a friend in me, and I’ll try to make them feel joy when they listen to my music.
What is your creative process like?
I almost always start with lyrics unless a melody just springs into my head. Sometimes, a melody will land and I’ll write to it, but that is very rare. Typically, I have a legal pad and pen, sit down at the kitchen table, or a bartop if I’m on the road, and write the lyrics to what may or may not turn into a song. After I get the lyrics down, complete with rhythm and rhyme, I start thinking of melody, which leads me to chord progression and key.
Sometimes, the content of the song will lean it toward a common chord progression such as I-V-vii-IV, and if I decide to do that, I know I’ll have to work a little harder to have the final product stand out against the crowd. Usually, I try to use a progression that is not so simple and not so common, so the song itself will stand out.
Once I have the chords figured out, I have to sing it in many keys to figure out which one sounds the best with my voice. This can be a tedious process because depending on the time of day, the weather, the amount of rest I’ve had, my voice will sound better in different keys on different days.
Then I have to come up with the flow or order of the songs. Which verses, how many choruses, where is the bridge, and more questions like that have to be answered. We’ve come to what is probably my favorite part of songwriting. This is where I get to take it in its unpolished form in front of live audiences. In the live environment I can get a feel for how it should go based on audience reaction. Once I’ve done this fifty or so times, I’ll be ready to record it for release to the world.
I’ve always got at least one song going on each of these phases at all times. You never really stop writing and it never gets faster, you just learn how to drop them into the channel and work them through the steps.
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
I would love to work with Counting Crows. Those guys were hugely influential on me when I was starting out, I’ve seen them live multiple times, and am a huge fan of how they approach music. One of their albums easily makes my top 5 of all time and the other 4 albums are artists who are not making music anymore. That’s how much respect I have for the Crows.
What is one message you would give to your fans?
First, thank you so much. I literally could not do this without you. From when music became my full-time job, to when my wife quit her full-time job to work with me, we have only been able to make this dream come alive because of the support of our fans.
Second, I see you. I know things are hard. We have fans who have lost so much. They’ve lost loved ones, jobs, health, security, and we see you. When people tell me that a song I have written has gotten them through a tough time, or that seeing me perform helps them with a temporary respite, I feel honored. We will not stop giving our absolute best for you.
Third, this isn’t where it stops. We mean to expand our reach as we grow so more people can “join the party” and we want your help. When you see someone new at a show, welcome them. Meet each other at shows, bring your friends, share our posts, and share the music. Joshua Ingram is about bringing people together. I say all the time, “We’re not in the music business, we’re in the people business.”
How would you describe your music?
It’s guitar band driven rock or country with a positive message for a world in pain. It’s stories about life, love, dreams, heartache, and belief in a better tomorrow. It’s a singer-songwriter pouring out his heart with a band of killer musicians adding the power. It’s the insightful ponderings of a simple human against the exciting power of electric guitars.
What are your plans for any future releases?
For the duration of 2023, I will be releasing a single every 4-6 weeks. As we’ve been learning about streaming platforms and how to make use of the current music market, we’ve decided that’s the best course of action as opposed to releasing a full-length album.
Which fictional character do you wish was real?
I wish Huckleberry Finn was a real person. I stood at the bank of the Mississippi River in Natchez, MS thinking about what it would be like to ride a raft down that thing. The might and beauty of that river made we want to try it. I’d like to be able to read first hand from the Mark Twain character just what it was like to do that, and to do all the other things they did in that book.
Do you have any lucky items, objects, or traditions?
Some things have collected over time. There is a certain energy drink that I have to drink before every show. It seems the times the show has been difficult were times when I didn’t have one. Also, there are some folks who have folded different denominations of American bills into little boats and gave them as tips. I keep them folded up as boats and set them out like a little armada in front me. Then, there is Elmo. A couple of fans bought him for me for my birthday though I don’t know why. He now makes all the trips with us and either works security or is my guitar tech.
Are you a valuable asset on a Pub Quiz team?
Ask anyone who knows me, I know everything.
What’s your favourite children’s story?
I love The Giving Tree by by Shel Silverstein. It’s such a beautiful story and I used to read it to my daughters when they were young. I could never make it through the part where the tree, only a stump at that point, straightened herself up to let the man sit down, without getting teary. It reminds of my mom taking care of her three sons, and of the way I’d like to take care of my daughters, but it also reminds me of how much we can take from someone else without remembering to give back. It’s a cautionary tale for those who only give and for those who only take. We don’t want to be like the boy in the book when we deal with others, and we don’t want to be like the tree in the book when we decide what is acceptable for the way we let others treat us. It’s a pretty complete story in that it speaks many lessons to all ages.
If you were talking to a younger version of you, what advice would you give yourself?
Don’t compare yourself to others.
Don’t lose heart when things get tough.
Listen to those who love you.
Save your money.
Tell her you love her.
Make tomorrow better than today.
Thank you so much for letting me share some thoughts and stories with you! Joshuaingram.com is the bast way to stay up to date with what’s happening next!
“Look (Stacy’s Song)” was born of the feeling you get when you love someone but can’t be with them. My friend sat down after a long road trip, where he couldn’t be with his wife, Stacy, and told me how much he missed her while she was gone, and wondered if I could ever write a song about that. He talked about the physical presence being what he missed the most. He was so glad to be home so he could see her eyes and her smile. While he was talking, I banged the words out on my smart phone and slid it over. “Do you mean something like this?” I asked. “Exactly like that,” he replied. There it was, the lyrics to “Look (Stacy’s Song)” right there in front of us. Now, when I perform it, I think about those two, and how everyone should be lucky enough to be loved like that, and everyone should knowthey are who his or her partner wants by the look in their eyes.
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