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Joshua Roberts’ ‘Good For You’ EP Is Exploring New Heights

josh barber
[Photo by: Jessica Griffith]

Joshua Roberts, best known for being Magnolia Park‘s frontman, is here with his debut solo EP Good For You via Epitaph. Across eight tracks, including singles “Stay, Stay, Stay!” and “Darkness,” Roberts departs from pop-punk vocals with soulful sonics and R&B beats. In fact, the artist notes he was inspired by the likes of Labrinth, Jason Derulo, and The Weeknd.

“It was a different process because I had to be more of a nuisance with my voice because of the style prerequisites,” he says. “I believe that it definitely shows the distinction of what I do with the band versus what I do with my solo work.” 

On top of sharing a new EP, Roberts released a new music video for his heart-wrenching track “Father.” Check out the Evan Draper-directed video below, featuring a scenic mountainous backdrop.

“I wrote ‘Father‘ for those who are going through similar situations,” the artist says. “I hope this song gets to them in a positive way.” Check out the full tracklisting for the EP below and listen here. idobi Radio also had the chance to sit down and chat with Roberts about Good For You EP, its most cathartic tracks, and its sonic influences.

good for you
[Good For You Artwork]

Good For You Tracklisting:

  1. Father
  2. Angel
  3. Darkness
  4. Psilocybin
  5. Victim
  6. Inside Out
  7. Stay Stay Stay!
  8. Good For You

How was the process of writing this EP different from the writing of Magnolia Park?

So, the process for writing this album was more of a self-reflection, and a lot these stories that are being told within this music is all stuff that has happened to me in my life or some sort of thing that I can elaborate on. And Mag Park is more collaborative, so it’s everyone’s stories into one. So for mine, it’s just me. This is just my story. It was very cool to see the progress between my project versus the Magnolia Park project.

What song would you say was the most cathartic to write across the EP?

I would say there are two of them, actually. One is called “Father” and the other one is called “Victim.” So, those two songs are definitely the cathartic [songs] and I’m letting all of these emotions out here.

Was there a point in time when you decided having a solo project was the best way to explore certain themes?

So I grew up in the R&B/pop world [and] in the hip-hop world a lot, and I felt as if I couldn’t truly be myself fully with the Magnolia Park project. Obviously, I’m myself in those songs, but I can’t be like vulnerably myself. Even before the band, I was doing solo music on the side anyway. So I was like, “Let me take it up a notch. Let me get serious with it. Let me actually go to some producers and really collaborate with people in the studio,” and that’s how Good For You came out.

Do you hope to ever take your solo work on the road soon?

I would love to do a solo tour. I think that would be really cool just to go out there, just me, my guitar or piano, or even like a band backing and just doing these songs that I’ve been on for so long. So, hopefully it happens one day.

I can definitely hear influences from The Weeknd, Jason Derulo, Labrinth, and more. Were there any songs that really stuck out to you during the writing process?

I would probably have to say “Trumpets” from Jason Derulo, I love that song so much. And I would say from The Weeknd, it would have to probably be “Pretty” off one of his earlier albums. Labrinth, I would have to say “Mount Everest,” of course. When I heard it, I was like, “This is it!” There’s a little bit of JoBros in there, too. It’s a sprinkle of all the people I normally listen to on a daily basis.

Do you ever see yourself merging your alternative and R&B world in future projects, or do you kind of feel like both projects you’re working on satisfy a different musical need, a creative need?

I would say that both definitely satisfy the needs. But I do have a feeling that there is going to be a couple of songs where they kind of intertwine a little bit within one another. But I think for now, I’m just going to try to keep them separate. You know, if we write something dope, if it happens to be that way, then of course we’re going to go all out with it as a band.

What are you hoping they kind of take away from it as a whole or even just songs individually?

Take away that it’s okay to be vulnerable in certain situations, you know? Whenever it comes to listening to music, have an open mind and make sure that you’re not locked off to any sort of thing. Because who knows, maybe one day you might hear a country song from me, you know? Always keep an open mind and have that vulnerability when it’s when it’s needed.

This interview was edited for length and clarity.

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