We had the good fortune of connecting with Josh Forte and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Josh, what inspires you?
I’m inspired by music. The emotions that it creates within me are unlike anything else…from sadness, to excitement, to hope. Music is something that accompanies me on a daily basis, through long drives, workouts, and work days. Specifically, I’ve gravitated towards the melodic bass genre (think Illenium) within electronic music. There’s something about the emotional rollercoaster this genre takes you on that really resonates with me – A beautiful vocal that builds and crescendos into an emphatic drop. This genre is what inspired me to want to work in music and help the artists I feel do such an incredible job at hitting the mark of this incredible rollercoaster of emotion within a single track. I’m crazy passionate about it and doing everything I can to grow these artists (Danny Olson and Lama) so that others can share in the amazing journeys their music can take you on. Similarly, I’m inspired by live shows and performances of these songs. To me, that represents the music really coming to life. There’s nothing like helping an artist bring a song together and then envision how it will look in a live setting, sharing those emotions while shoulder to shoulder with others and connecting with friends and strangers over the course of a show.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I embarked as a journey as an artist manager a few years ago now, first starting with only working with Danny Olson. Since then, I’ve added Lama to my roster while also helping out with other artists that my partners handle. I still maintain a full-time job as an Analyst so it’s at times been difficult to find the necessary time to focus on the management side of things…often requiring late nights.
I jumped into this career almost accidentally. I met Danny shortly after I completed my production class at Garnish and we initially bonded over a love for melodic bass. My knowledge of the genre and production techniques led to me initially helping him out by reaching out to vocalists and other producers I thought would be great strategic collabs and eventually, things became “real” as I officially partnered with his manager at the time to be a true member of the team.
I’ve faced many challenges in this role and at times have thought about bowing out of this industry and just falling back on my career as an Analyst. but in overcoming some of these it makes the successes that much more worthwhile and rewarding. There are certainly moments of disagreeing with artists, frustrations when we’ve had songs rejected by labels, and the annoyances of waiting for people to respond to emails. There’s a sense of urgency for things to happen quickly and when they don’t it can feel like all hope is lost. In particular for Danny, breaking into the live show space has proved difficult. But after all the hard work, he’s now lined up to play Insomniac’s newest festival, Lost In Dreams, over Labor Day weekend.
I think the biggest thing I learned here is to follow where your passions are. My love for this type of music, belief in the people I’m working with, and confidence that I’m a good judge for what great music is, have been important things to focus on in those difficult periods.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Los Angeles – I’d probably go to dinner at Bacari (I frequent the 3rd st. location) as I love their tapas style dishes as well as their awesome bottomless (sangria, beer, anything really) deal. While predictable, I also love visiting Bungalow on Saturday afternoon. The daytime vibes there are incredible. Would also probably check out one of the million electronic shows that occur in LA, whether at Exchange, Academy, or Sound. For a little bit of nature, I’d probably take my friend on a bike ride down the strand from Santa Monica to Manhattan Beach, with some stops along the way of course.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d love to shoutout the managers I’ve worked with who have taught me so much – Dustin Claretto, Nathan Navarro, Tyler Trew, and Eddie Elizalde – I jumped into this industry as a true newbie and working with these great managers has allowed me to gain confidence in my decisions and learn the ins and outs of the business.
Additionally, I’d love to shoutout Danny Olson. Not only is he an incredible artist, but he’s become a great friend and someone who has also taught me so much about the industry. He truly cares about my career as a manager and for that I am greatly appreciative. The trust and rapport we have built has been extremely rewarding and his music and process as an artist is truly inspiring.
Finally, I’d like to shoutout the Garnish School of Music in West Hollywood. As I started becoming obsessed with melodic bass, I took a 3-month course to learn how to produce within Ableton. It’s through this process that I became knowledgeable about the technical side of music production, which has allowed me to be more effective when it comes to A&R related duties as a manager.
2 client pics: Danny Olson (wide angle shot in the studio) Lama (other one who isn’t me 🙂 )