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Isle Of Wight Emerging Artist Of The Month: Josh White

Did you realise that Eminem was on the Isle of Wight Festival line-up last year?

Admittedly, the Detroit born rapper wasn't there in person, but The Real Slim Shady — AKA 18-year-old Islander Josh White — had the Platform One stage bouncing on festival Saturday with his tribute to the hip-hop icon.

Isle of Wight Radio spoke to the talented teenager from Havenstreet about his future in the industry.

It’s rare to see someone born this Millennium pay tribute to Eminem – what's the story Josh?

I’ve loved Eminem’s music ever since I was young and I was looking at solo projects to embark upon.

I took a risk because it could have gone either way. That first gig went really well and I’ve been doing it ever since.

I don’t become him but I kind of (invoke his spirit).

You have a classically trained background – this is a bit of a 180 degree shift…

Instrumentally I’m a pianist but I’ve also known how to rap for a while and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.

It has grown from something that was initially a hobby I did on the side. Nowadays I’m always listening to hip-hop and learning more about it.

What are your aspirations moving forwards?

I’m focusing on writing my own original material, but the Slim Shady stuff is really fun to do, and the audience seems to like it, which is the most important thing.

It’s a project I hope goes places, but my long-term goal is to be writing my own music.

How do you feel the Isle of Wight Festival performance went?

That was probably the best experience I’ve ever had!

Even though it was early on a Saturday, a big crowd still turned up, the set went well and it was a fun time.

Are there any other musicians who have inspired you?

My favourite artist is Scouting for Girls – they’re an inspiration to me because that’s the style I write my songs in.

Sam Fender is another big influence — when I see him writing stuff about life and growing up, about how he's dealt with mental health issues, I find that relatable.

I always think about other people listening to the words I’m writing for my music, and I want to make people happy when they listen.

How important has Platform One been to your development as a musician?

It’s changed my life around since I joined last November.

The college has given me the opportunity to perform at the Isle of Wight Festival, which was something I never dreamed of doing.

The tutors here are brilliant and I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to get into the music industry — this is the place to be.

Are there any other local artists you think will break through after the likes of Wet Leg and Lauran Hibberd?

It’s nice to see people like Beth Brookfield appearing on the mainstage at the IW Festival as that’s where I want to be in a couple of years.

What Beth, Coach Party and Wet Leg are doing is kind of my vision – it’s really nice to think that they were once sat in this room, doing exactly what I’m doing!

It’s exciting to look at what they’re doing and think about what I could do in life, they motivate me to keep going.

Where can people catch you performing in November?

I’ve got a really exciting Real Slim Shady set at Strings on Wednesday (November 2) with a female singer who’ll be performing the Rihanna parts of songs for the first time.

I’m aiming to do a gig every month and hopefully soon you’ll see me play my own stuff down there.

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