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Daily Inspiration: Meet Joshua Mason

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joshua Mason. 

Hi Joshua, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I grew up in a somewhat musical family. My earliest memories of performing are me on stage with my dad’s band when I was 5, singing Buck Owens Christmas songs. After my parents split up, right around that same age, I really leaned into finding new music as a distraction from their divorce, I think. I got my first real guitar when I was about 10 years old. It was a real game-changer for me. I would practice every day after school from about 4-11 pm and then practice as soon as I woke up. I was a bit obsessed. I wanted to know everything I could and try anything that came to mind. That sense of exploration and growth is something that has been with me since the beginning. Each day I want to do something slightly better or slightly different. 

I grew up playing rock, moved into fusion, then to metal and prog rock. I took a few years off when my son was younger to concentrate on family but the itch was always there. Then, suddenly, I found myself performing in a Country band, The Low Low Chariot, with guys that have truly become family to me. I’ve been with this group for about 5 years now. We’ve been doing the Nashville scene, playing places like Tin Roof Broadway, and The Sutler Saloon for a few years now. We’ve recorded at Omni Studios and worked with some really great people like Rory Rositas and Skidd Mills of Skiddco music. 

Again, seeking to grow and push myself, I found myself dabbling with songwriting. Then things changed suddenly. My brother-in-law, music lover, and die-hard supporter, suddenly passed away in March of this year. His hidden battle with mental illness, anxiety, and depression got the best of him. For me, it pushed me into a corner of reckoning with how to deal with this loss. Those in my closest orbit, like my wife and children, my other brother-in-law, had lost someone very dear to them, a brother, uncle, friend. I kind of wanted to just hide from the world. But this required something different. So, I started writing…. And writing…. And writing. It just flowed out of me. In the months since he passed, I’ve written close to 20 songs. They all tell a little of the story, the struggle, the loss, the grief, and a little of the hope. 

I feel like in light of his passing, I have a new sense of purpose, a new mission. My hope is that I can help provide an arena to have these really rough conversations about mental health, about suicide, and about the need for understanding, support, and love. I just want to help change how people view mental health. It’s ok to ask for help. It’s ok to need help. It’s ok seek help for others. It’s ok to give help. We only get better together. 

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
You know, it hasn’t always been a smooth road. I think every artist, regardless of their medium faces similar struggles, whether it’s the financial (can I afford this gig or is the money worth it) or the pursuit of self (is this work reflective of who I am as a person and artist). But I feel like my journey has not been as difficult as what others have experienced. That may say something about my perspective too. 

I’m not doing this with the goal of landing a major record deal or being a Grammy artist. Those things are great, and I would certainly not turn them down. But my goal is the story, the expression of who I am in that moment of time. So, keeping that focus, I feel that any struggles I have faced to date have been necessary and essential to the story I’m in right now. 

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
Right now, I primarily specialize in playing lead guitar in the country band, The Low Low Chariot. I’m also expanding my craft as a musician to really focus on songwriting and storytelling in a very organic and personal way. My main goal in songwriting is to really connect to people at their core. I would much rather connect with somebody over some simple words and three or four chords than trying to impress somebody with a superpower ballad guitar solo. 

That being said, I am known for being a very adaptable guitar player and musician. I’m able to blend into a variety of environments and variety of styles of music and play comfortably. 

In my personal life the thing that I’m most proud of what would have to be my wife and my children. Their strength and support is something that really continues to inspire me and propel me forward through this journey. 

Professionally what I’m most proud of has to be most recently the songs that I’ve been writing for and about my brother-in-law. I’m proud that I’ve been able to take this horrific loss with our family and turn that into something productive and meaningful, not just for me but also for our family. The support that has come through different social media platforms and recognition of the importance of mental health along with that has been really rewarding for me and something that continues to inspire me. 

I think what sets me apart from others is the honesty of the music. I’m not trying to sell a product or talk about trivial things. I’m telling my story and I think that any time that a song or art, in general, is that personal it’s inherently going to connect with people. 

How do you think about happiness?
This is a deep question. Helping makes me happy. I like to feel like something I’ve done has made someone else’s day better, if even for just a moment. 

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Image Credits

John Linkenhoker

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