Josh Naujokas is a talented singer-songwriter from Freeport, Illinois who connected with us for an exclusive interview to discuss his new single and self-directed video “I’ll Think Later”. We also talked about the term “Creepy RnB” that Josh coined, as well as his band Royal Infamy, and what we can expect from his upcoming EP, “Lessons”.
After reading our Q&A with Josh Naujokas, be sure to stream “I’ll Think Later” on Spotify, and connect with him on social media to stay up to date on everything he’s working on as both a solo artist and member of Royal Infamy.
How did you get your start as an artist? Was there a certain artist or group that inspired you to start singing?
Tyler Carter started it all. Something in his voice and his music really sparked something in my conscious to start singing. So I joined choir when I was a junior in high school, and like a year later my dad bought me a simple keyboard from a flea market to see if I really wanted to do music. Three years later I can sing, play drums, guitar, bass, piano, created a decent studio, sing/produce for my band, and make my own stuff. Along with Tyler Carter, Jonny Craig and Amy Winehouse are really the reasons for what I do.
Tell us what "Creepy RnB" means and will we be hearing a lot of it on your upcoming “Lessons” EP?
I coined the term Creepy RnB because it's honestly the best way to describe my main style of music I make. The genre takes elements of classic RnB, with soulful(ish) vocals and drum beats, then adding different types of lyrics, such as murder cases, insanity, and anything that can make someone feel shackled inside of their own consciousness. Finally, adding ambient textures and interrupting expected song structures and cadences with the unexpected.
The EP will for sure be heavily influenced by this genre along with one ballad and one classic RnB song, whereas other musical project/mixtapes I'm also working on will have insane versatility. The upcoming projects will have a different genre for each song with no similarities to the previous song. I want the projects/mixtapes to be incongruous.
Congratulations on the release of your debut single and video "I'll Think Later". What are you most proud of with your creations?
The thing I'm most proud of is I've gotten to the point in making music were I don't have to listen to other songs for a reference to create. When I very first started making music I was always like "Oh I want to make a song like Amy Winehouse" or "Oh I want to have that style of synth in my song because The Weeknd did". Now I can just mess around with sounds and create a whole piece with no extra inspiration. Now all of my songs are special because they weren't created because of someone else's art. I also enjoy showing this side of me because in person, I'm a really goofy and witty dude, but when someone hears my music, it throws them off because they're not expecting it. It's a good time.
When someone watches the "I'll Think Later" video for the first time, what do you want them to take away from the experience?
Each song off the "Lessons" EP is going to be what it says, a lesson. In "I'll Think Later", I want people to take home the concept of stop over thinking and worrying all the time. When people get so stuck inside of their own mine and let their guard down, their mind becomes indisputably easy for someone else to manipulate their mind. Somebody could invade your self-being and distort your own ideas and thoughts to get what they want. When you worry and over think all the time, you can be used by others more frequently just because of your state of mind.
Describe the difference between Josh Naujokas, the solo artist, and Josh Naujokas, the lead singer of Royal Infamy? Did you have aspirations as a solo artist before the band?
I would say the solo artist in me is a lot more chill when it comes to expression, but more in depth because everything in my solo music is all my idea. Where as singing for a band, there's so much energy being expressed and it can be quite hyper-active, but also the songs have influences from our guitarist Isiah Duong when writing, so it's not 100% me within the project and creations for Royal Infamy. But as a solo artist, I can do everything I want to do. As a solo artist, I really want to collaborate with big upcoming artists like Gallant, Avery Wilson, Joji, and also huge artists like Billie Eilish, Janet Jackson, and Scott Hoying, and I still have these aspirations, but I started making music with Royal Infamy before also making my own music.