Everything is happening very fast for Josie Man.
Orpington by way of Hong Kong, this rising singer-songwriter only started writing and recording her own music in April last year. Soon after, however, she met her manager through Instagram and signed a major record deal with Sony-owned Promised Land Records, before following this up with her exceptional debut EP ‘aLOVINGboothang’. Five tracks of gorgeous, pastel-hued pop, it landed – appropriately enough – on Valentine’s Day. “I’m like, how is this happening?” she laughs down the phone. “Me, from Orpington!”
With a busy schedule including attending London Fashion Week, where she’s been invited to shows by Ashley Williams and Charlotte Knowles, Josie expresses her love for fashion which also inspired her music.
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The 21-year-old Pisces, who taught herself to play guitar and keyboards from watching YouTube, combined her love of fashion and music on her debut single ‘Colours’, a pink-skied, summer jam that she wrote about her personal experiences of being laughed at for her own clothing choices. In the video, she’s a glitter-misted dream, clad in a silk dress and chunky trainers. “Where I live, even if you have flared trousers on, they don’t accept you,” she says. “They find it really funny like you’re some sort of clown. I didn’t want it to be an aggressive song. I wanted it to be a polite, 'please be open-minded' kind of song.”
Now, with her EP in the bag, Josie Man has begun writing her debut album and while she doesn’t know yet what it will sound like, she knows exactly what she wants to say. “The EP is all about love,” says the songwriter. “I love my family, I love my friends, I love my boyfriend. I don’t want to do this to become famous. I just want to spread the message to everyone in a musical was.”
“I just want people to be nice,” she asserts. “That’s my message.”
What: Sugar-spun, aesthetically pleasing dream pop
Where: Orpington, by way of Hong Kong
Listen to: ‘4 In A Row’, ‘Colours’, ‘Baby Pink & Blue’
Fun fact: Josie has a family home near Hong Kong in a village called San Tin where everyone has the surname Man.
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Words: Dannii Leivers
Photography: Joel Smedley
Fashion: Zarina Shukri
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