Interview with singer/songwriter Josh Tavares

Today on What On What’s Good with Host Jovin Tardif, I am here with Josh Tavares. Tavares is a Toronto-based alt-pop artist. Josh started experimenting with original music at an early age. Fun fact: he actually picked up the guitar when he was only 10 years old. Today in our interview, we discuss musical influences, songwriting tips, his new song and music video “Cheap Gold” from Ashes album and much more.


1. You grew up singing with your siblings and cousins. What sort of genres were you into? What sort of songs were you singing?

Growing up I was mostly into pop music. It wasn’t until I started writing my own music when I branched out to more R&B, alternative, and rap artists. Some of my favourite musicians were Avril Lavigne (which was actually the first concert I ever went to), Shania Twain, Justin Timberlake & Hillary Duff. I would sing along to their songs forever until I was forced to stop.

2. Your list of musical influences include Lorde, Billie Eilish, The Neighbourhood, and Taylor Swift. What is your favourite song from each artist and why?

That is a HARD question. Ok, my favourite Lorde song is, I mean all of Melodrama is amazing, but I’d have to say “Sober”. It’s just a fun song to sing along to!

My favourite Billie song is “When The Party’s Over”. I’ve told my friends so many times I wish it was my song – the intro!!! I’m all for a sad song but this song is also just soothing with the harmonies throughout.

My favourite song from The Neighbourhood is actually still one of my all time favourite songs to this day. “Sweater Weather”. The first time I ever heard this song it hooked me right away and a DAY later I was buying concert tickets.

And my favourite Taylor song is “Call It What You Want”. I honestly don’t know how to describe it, but this song to me is the epitome of Fall. Like walking around, leaves falling, pumpkin spice drink in hand (ya ya, basic), and the song playing – my favourite vibe. I also love the song is basically “yea, I don’t care what you think I’m doing me”

3. Where do you typically get ideas for writing songs?

Literally everywhere. For topics, most of my songs are written about my life, or some of my friends’ lives of they’ve told me enough about something. When it comes to thinking of titles or imagery to include in a song, there have been so many times that I’ve been driving and either hear a word on the radio or see a person doing something and I’ll pull over and write down an idea.

4. Describe your process for creating a song?

It’s always very different for me, but I almost always start with a title. For Cheap Gold, I wrote about 4 versions of the song over a few demo tracks until we found the right one which happened over about a month. For another song called “BYE”, I wrote it in about 10 minutes sitting on a couch creating the beat by banging on a table. Another song called “You Seem Great” I wrote over the course of a day to guitar. It’s more interesting this way for me, not having a set writing routine.

5. What can you tell us about developing the song “Cheap Gold”?

It was a PROCESS. I started with the title. The main lyrics of the song didn’t really change through the process but the melody did so many times. The first two versions were very “poppy” which I didn’t think fit the song very well the third version was the complete opposite. The final version that’s out is a good combination of all three demos.

It was produced by Aaron Hutchinson (along with the other 9 songs no one has heard yet) and the way we work together is by working on multiple songs in one session. So we’ll work on Cheap Gold for a few hours, then move on to the next song. This way, we both have time between sessions to listen to what we have already and make notes on how to make it even better the next time.

6. Any fun stories about making the video for “Cheap Gold”?

We filmed this over two days but the big day we got to film on a property that had a mini car junkyard. It was such a cool atmosphere (other than the bugs). I got to film it with a few friends and one of my sisters and it was just a fun time!

Ashes by Josh Tavares

  1. 10.19
  2. Cheap Gold
  3. ASHES
  4. tightrope
  6. BYE
  7. You Seem Great
  8. drinking alone
  9. Con Man
  10. That one party last year…

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Tags: Josh Tavares, Cheap Gold, Ashes

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Jovin Tardif
Jovin Tardif is a freelance writer, storyteller, interviewer, reviewer and conversation starter.