Josephine Tehrani, who performs under the artist name “Josephine”, found her sweet spot as a musician by incorporating her cultural background and spirituality into her musical career. Her soul pop music is inspired by hip hop as well as her Middle Eastern background. Following the recent debut of her single, “Okay”, Josephine launched an East Coast tour with a performance in New York City. Prior to that, the up-and-coming artist spent time performing at a string of clubs and festivals along the West Coast. Tehrani maintains a positive mindset by focusing on spirituality, relying on practices like meditation to help her manage stress and excel in her career. We talked to Josephine to learn more about the inspiration behind her music.
Introduction by Meredith Reed
Name: Josephine Tehrani
Artist Name: Josephine
Currently based in: Los Angeles, CA
Originally from: Tucson, Arizona
Biggest pet peeve:
Slow walkers/slow everything
Favorite 90s jam?
Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve
What are some of your hobbies or interests outside of music?
Meditation, yoga, boxing, doing me, Amazon shopping, drinking bougie coffee & traveling
If money wasn’t an issue, what would you love to splurge on (something totally impractical & just for you)?
$8 dollar cappuccinos multiple times a day.
What is a quote or piece of advice that you try to live by?
“Whether you believe you can or you believe you cannot, you are right.” –Henry Ford
Can you recall your earliest musical memory?
My mother bought me a karaoke machine when I was five years old. I remember running home every day to sing with it, emulating Jennifer Lopez and Britney Spears music videos (back when MTV was a thing).
How would you describe your sound?
What are the main themes or topics in your songs?
Infatuation, Longing, Delusions
As a whole, what is the message your hope to put forth with your music?
Vulnerability is living.
Who are some of your favorite artists/which artists are your greatest musical inspiration?
Etta James, Janis Joplin, Queen, Pink Floyd, Elvis, Eminem, Lana, The Weeknd, Drake, & Moein
Who would be your dream artist to collaborate with?
Freddie Mercury (RIP)
How do you feel your music evolved since you first started as a solo artist?
When I first started writing songs, they were more self-deprecating. I was still finding myself. Now my music is more empowering. I think I am more interested in owning every part of who I am and inspiring others to do the same. My sound used to be more dark pop, but as I grow, I am moving toward soul pop and integrating more of a rock ‘n roll sound into my music.
Do you play any instruments, and if so, which ones?
I play the piano.
Who writes your songs?
I do, or sometimes I work with co-writers.
What do you do or where do you go when you need to find inspiration for your music?
Long walks are my favorite. Travel and meditation are also helpful.
What is a project you’re currently working on that you are most excited about?
My sophomore EP, Chasing High, is coming out this summer. I am most excited about that. Chasing High is a commentary about 90s teen pop culture, and the instant gratification we still see as a trend today. I wrote Chasing High to take the listener back to their glory days and make him or her question whether they ever really left high school at all.
I think high school tends to be such a strong reference point for all of us. For many, it’s all about status, reputation, and doing what everyone else does to fit in. I feel like high school might set some people up for the way the rest of their life will unfold — doing what everyone else is doing, moving through life mindlessly. I think that some people get sucked into a hole of giving a f*** in high school and never truly escape it.
What has been one of your favorite performances of all time?
All of my performances feel amazing, but I’d have to say either Peppermint Club or Avalon in Hollywood.
What is one thing that you have accomplished as a musician that you’re most proud of?
The biggest things for me are the small things. It means the world to me when I get fan mail from someone saying that my music helped them through a breakup or gave them clarity in a certain situation.
Are there any resources you have discovered that have been an asset to you as a musician that you’d like to share?
Were there any other band names that you almost chose instead? And if so, please share!
I always knew it would be Josephine.
If you weren’t a musician, what do you think you’d be doing?
I’d probably be a suburban housewife.
This interview is part of the Steereo Featured Artist Series. Steereo promotes new music from up-and-coming artists in ride share vehicles, reaching new listeners and fans as they travel. For more on Steereo, visit mysteereo.com.