Ahead of the God DNA listening party, we scheduled an interview with Josh SB. We had so many questions to ask, but knew it should not take more than 30 minutes. Almost, an hour and a half later, we were still involved in the interview and laughing out loudly. His life story was captivating and it was the one time he knew he could say everything. He told Ug Gospel Life that, whenever he appears on radio and TV, the amount of time given is not sufficient to tell every little part of his story.
Born Joshua Waiswa Timothy, he came into the limelight after his work with Ruyonga on a number of songs, Benezeri (Blest), and although unknown to many people, he was instrumental in producing at least two songs for Soul 5, a group that his brother was a part of. Currently, he plays Keyboard, drums and the bass guitar but told us, “Most people like me on drums.”
A last born of eleven children, Josh SB who grew up in a family of musicians is an artist and a lover of art. He expresses that in his music and video production, music and photography. He grew up in Kamuli, and Entebbe where spent a large part of his childhood and the bigger part of his teenage-hood in Mpererwe.
This is how he responded to our questions.
Josh: It has always been around me. I have always had an ear for music since I was a child.
Share with us those experiences.
Josh: When I was in Iganga, my brothers would play music mixes by Alex Ndawula. My brothers brought these tapes from DJ Alex, Emperor Orlando. So many people would play that music and its banging. As a village kid, you just vibe to what is around you
Did you feel at that point that, This is what I want to do this?
Josh: I did not feel that, I just loved music. I just feel like it is one of those things which is a highlight of my life. I knew, if maybe I was bored or done eating, I just want to turn on the cassette player and play some music.
So, when did it transition from something you enjoy to something that you would want to create whether as an artiste or as a producer?
Josh: I think it happened when I was 9 years old. I was so into music. I used to watch a lot of performances of Michael Jackson, Usher Raymond So, I would watch how they would piece these performances together, how the beats change, and the dancing and I am thinking, How do they do that? One time, my friends and I were doing a Michael Jackson dance routine on one of those school performances. So, we never had CDs, we just had tapes and videos. There was a record button on the cassette player There was something I had seen in the video that I wanted to play in the audio we would perform at school I put a cassette with the music on one side, and put an empty one on the other side, hit the record button and with a shoe hitting the table, I added a few things to the recording with my voice, and started to play the song for the performance The day we played it, it was hilarious I knew what I just did was just weird This was when I started thinking about creating music. I started to ask myself, Who are these people we call music producers. What are they all about?
I was the cool kid who loved music for a while, until I realized there was acertain kind of music I was listening to and coincidentally, it was all produced by Swizz Beatz. From age 11, the music that was grabbing my attention was all produced by one guy. I was shocked. Of course, by now, the internet had started becoming popular in Uganda so I started Googling him. When I started learning instruments at age 13, I wanted my craft to be like that of Swizz beatz. I started to have the Swizz Beatz mentality in there. I started to say, I want to do what this guy does with music. So, making that decision to become a music producer was when I was 13 years of age.
Besides music, what else are you passionate about?
Josh: But they are so related?
No, we want something else
Josh: I love photography
Well, photography is different from music
Josh: Theyre all art forms I love comics. I drew my first comic when I was in form two and it circulated around the whole school. I took a 96-paged book and drew a comic from beginning to end in the whole book.
Are you still doing it?
Josh: No, I forgot how to do it
Do you think this passion for creating comics which died contributes to your ability to tell stories or create?
Josh: I think the underlying thing is I have a natural ability to tell stories
Let us go back a bit to the music production. I am focusing a lot on the music production now, but I will ask about the musician shortly. Tell me about what happened from planning to actually producing music
Josh: When I was 12, I landed on a software called FruityLoops. My brother showed me a few things and I had to try and figure out the rest. On the side, I started learning instruments. I loved drums because I was young. I experimented with FruityLoops by trial and error I tried to recreate peoples beats.
Did you actually create those beats to perfection or at least something close to the original
Josh: I think I sucked when it came to recreating peoples beats. I thought that was the measure of success, because my brother could do it so easily.
I had another brother called Andrew, he was a worship leader in church. He asked me to create beats for their church choir. I was 13 years old. He was in Senior 6 vacation and I was up for the challenge.
Where that project ended after I produced for him the beats, I dont know. Nothing came out of it.
Thereafter, I started to think, I want to create my own thing. This was at the age of 14. I had a brother who was part of the group Soul 5. I remember coming from school and listening to the first Soul 5 song, and I couldnt believe my ears.
Josh: The song didnt get to the airwaves but, it was so nicely done. I could not believe it, these were not the guys I know! These are not my big bros. Eddy of the Ngoni was the producer, he had just come back from the UK. So I asked my brother to take me to studio so that I could see how it is done.
Fast-forward to many years later, it is 2017.
On the 14th of July, New Day Bookstore at Acasia Mall was the center of attraction for different media personalities, key players in the music industry, critics, and hardcore fans of Josh SB. The announcement had been made on various digital platforms, that an invite-only experience was to be held. There was much excitement in the air, and the fact that it featured popular singers like Sandra Suubi, MoRoots, Ruyonga and youngsters – Kamanzi, Ginsu and Abigail Barlow whose vocal capabilities surprised those in attendance, made God DNA a must-have product.
Of Ginsu, Josh SB would say,
Josh SB told us that God DNA EP is both a club banger and a sermon. He was the executive producer, and the mixing and mastering involved Nelson Muhire of C19 Studios.
Earlier, Josh SB had told Ug Gospel Life that there was a break between the famous God DNA featuring Sonny Soweez and the EP production because, he went through a rough period where his material in studio got lost, and he suffered depression but beat it and came back on top. That season taught him what it meant to have God’s DNA and coincided with the time he was receiving mentorship from Nelson Muhire of C19 studios. At that point, God gave him a directive that it was the right time for the God DNA EP to be produced.
Ruyonga testified to this growth at the God DNA listening party when he told us that, Josh SB really loves God and that he has observed Josh SB’s growth.
We felt that, indeed Josh SB the rapper & producer had been launched. He exclusively told Ug Gospel Life that he will be setting his energies on an album. He also said, during the God DNA listening party that all songs on the EP will soon have a video to further allow the world experience this project.
Of all the songs on God DNA EP, the recording of Always featuring Kamanzi took the shortest time despite the fact that it was her first time to do anything professional. Kamanzi’s mother who was in attendance thanked Ruyonga and Josh SB for allowing her daughter create music at a professional level even though she is young.
Maritza of Urban Television and X Fm would say her thanks to Kamanzi’s mother for supporting her daughter and prayed that others should emulate such parenting. Timothy Code [Urban TV] and King Wesley [Spirit Fm] among others in attendance heaped praise on Josh SB for a great production and pledged their support.
From the moment Question featuring Mo Roots played, to Abigail Barlow teaching us the “Your Love” chorus, to a listening of “Wilder” featuring Ginsu, then the performance of Always with Ruyonga & Kamanzi, Kingdom Come (Sandra Suubi and a crowning performance of God DNA with Ruyonga, everything was served to perfection. We were wowed.
As Josh SB said his final thanks, we too were grateful for those who helped him grow to where he is. He had revealed to us that Mac Elvis (R.I.P) had also contributed to who he is as a producer.
If you missed the God DNA EP listening party, and have not had access to the EP, find it at New Day Bookstore at Acasia Mall at only 20,000 Uganda shillings only. It will be totally worth it.
Finally, we asked Josh SB about his Christian life and how he became born again. This happened when he was sixteen years of age. He had been in church all his life owing to the fact that he loved hanging around his then famous brother & the group Soul 5. Due to peer pressure, he had strayed to drinking and had many insecurities. His reformation would find him at home, alone. He had become tired of that lifestyle. God was his way out. Of course, he’s been a work in progress and surely has grown by leaps and bounds.
God DNA is a testament to God’s continuing work in him. If you listen to Always, Josh SB raps about it saying,
“When I was a kid I used to visualize myself in the mirror idolizing myself…”
He talks about the battle of good and evil inside himself, until he knew he couldn’t do it himself…
Why must we decode everything for you? Find yourself the God DNA EP.