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Soundbites: Josh Monteath mixes genres in Dubai

The 23-year-old plays at Stereo Arcade and Boca this week

Image Credit:
Tabloid

If you’re a fan of John Mayer and the Kings of Leon, you’ll probably get along with Dubai’s very own singer-songwriter, Josh Monteath.

But don’t rule him out if you’re more of a One Direction fan.

Monteath, 23, is an audio production graduate known for his acoustic sets that take on a rockier tone, but lately he’s been branching out into other genres, including a bit of pop. On Tuesday, he’ll perform a set at Boca’s Midweek Sounds (7.30-9.30pm, DIFC), and on Friday afternoon, he’ll provide a live soundtrack to the Late Late Brunch with Loaded at Stereo Arcade (2-5pm, DoubleTree Hotel, JBR).

He tells tabloid! what he’s got up his sleeve, performance-wise, and what he’s working on in 2016.

First off, what can people expect from your Stereo Arcade show?

It’s just going to be myself and my guitar. I’ll probably throw in some covers and medleys, but it’s mostly going to be originals.

You do a healthy mix of covers and originals. What’s your favourite cover to perform?

I do a medley — the most recent is a song by Zayn, it’s called It’s You. Because it’s slow, it’s not always a crowd-pleaser. But I do a medley that’s a combination of Be My Baby by the Ronettes, a country song, and Stevie Wonder’s I Just Called to Say I Love You. So it’s a medley of country, pop and Stevie Wonder.

Is that representative of what you listen to? Do you listen to a bit of everything?

Lately, I have been listening to pretty much everything. When I first started off, I was very strictly very acoustic, like, blues or folk, but now I’ve reached out into other genres of music. I appreciate it more now. I guess I’m more mature in terms of music when it comes to that.

What’s the appeal of acoustic/singer-songwriter sets to you?

I had a band back in 2012 and it fell through because all the members had to leave the country. I couldn’t find anyone else after that with the same chemistry. I was kind of getting tired of performing in my room to my dog. I couldn’t find band members and grew really frustrated, so I thought, ‘you know what? I’m just going to take my guitar and go up there and sing.’

How different is it to perform solo than in a band?

It’s very different because it’s all eyes on you. There are no drums, there’s no bass, it’s just you. It’s nice in a way, but it’s a lot of pressure sometimes. There are some days when I’m doing an original where I can hear how the song sounds with a band, but the crowd doesn’t, obviously, because they’ve never heard the song before. It’s on and off — it’s always the setting that matters.

What’s the latest original music you’ve released, and what’s next?

The latest thing I released was this thing called The Acoustic Sessions. It was a concept idea I had with a bunch of guys where we recorded outdoors. It’s very, very stripped down, very simple. The reason I did that was just because I wanted to create a journey. This year I’m going to put out an EP with a full band.

What are some of the artists that have caught your attention lately?

Zayn. The most recent album I got was Zayn’s album, and the production on that album is really, really good. I probably shouldn’t be saying that to a reporter.

*Check out his latest at joshmonteath.com.

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