Stay true. Don’t let others change you or convince you to change. Know your worth. Not every opportunity is a good one — be picky. Not every business relationship will work out, and that’s okay.
As a part of our series about rising music stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Josephine Relli.
Josephine Relli is a recording artist, model and actor. She released her debut album “Miscellaneous” in 2016 and has continued to churn out an eclectic array of music ever since. She attended the International Modeling and Talent Association (IMTA) and has participated in high-end events with the likes of the mega-brand Macy’s. And she made her on-screen debut in Chloë Sevigny’s short film, “Carmen.” Josephine is now writing and producing her own music as she fine-tunes her unique sound. She prides herself on intentionally avoiding genres, and is as equally at ease in the hip-hop and R&B worlds as she is in alternative or pop space. Josephine’s duology album “Slow Down/Falling” is available now on all major platforms.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
I was born in Washington, but don’t have much memory of it, because at around 5 years old I moved to Minnesota. I spent a good chunk of time there and spent a lot of my time focusing on figure skating and ballet. I moved to Portland, Oregon in 2011 where music started to become more of my focus.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
I was trying to find a solid vocal coach just to see if I could hone in my singing for fun. After finding Joseph Konty and working with him for a while, he brought up the opportunity to make my own music. Before then I had never considered doing that type of thing. I decided to try it because, why not and ended up falling in love with songwriting over the process of piecing together my first album. I’ve just kept on ever since.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
My entire experience living in LA was interesting, honestly. From going into the studio, doing photoshoots, attending the Grammys, Hollywood movie premieres, etc. That move was probably the most interesting thing to come out of my career so far.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I’m not sure I’d classify this as a mistake, but back when I first began songwriting, I had no idea what I was doing. So looking back at those songs now makes me laugh a bit. They hold a special place in my heart for being the first songs ever, but there are definitely a few things here and there that make me chuckle and cringe a little.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I’m currently brainstorming and in the process of writing a new album that I think will be my most personal album yet.
We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
As a society, we are extremely diverse and that needs to be properly portrayed in media — all forms of media. Everyone deserves to see themselves represented. Honestly, to me, it’s ridiculous how little representation there has been. And it’s been happening for way too long.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.
1. Stay true. Don’t let others change you or convince you to change.
2. Know your worth. Not every opportunity is a good one — be picky.
3. Not every business relationship will work out, and that’s okay.
4. Sometimes you’ll hit a dead-end, that’s life.
5. Sometimes you’ll hate what you’re doing, but if you truly love the path you’ve chosen, the love will come back.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Stay true to yourself and make sure you love what you’re doing. Burnout is somewhat inevitable, but if you can remind yourself of why you’re where you are in the first place, it can help.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
That’s a difficult question. I’m honestly not sure. I just hope we can reach a point of love and understanding throughout everything. Every person, regardless of who they are or where they’re from, deserves love and respect. If I could inspire or even just be a part of a movement like that, I’d be happy.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I have many people I’m grateful for that I know played a huge role in why I’m where I am now. My mother is a big one. Without her support, my career wouldn’t have even begun. And Joseph Konty, who introduced me to the idea of this career in the first place and who sparked that passion for music.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
That not everyone will love you or what you’re doing, but as long as you love yourself and are staying true, you’re on the right path. When your job is to entertain people it’s very easy to put your worth on other’s opinions, so trying to remember that you can’t please everyone, and to love life, has been beneficial.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
Alan Alda. I would absolutely love to be able to sit down and chat with him. He’s a huge inspiration of mine.
How can our readers follow you online?
I’m on pretty much everything @josephinerelli.
This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!