While she's still relatively new to this pop game, LA-based Josephine is achieving a lot in a short space of time. Her ambitious Love Trap: The Story visual album has picked up over 100,000 streams in just a couple of months, and she has the pop press in a bit of a tizzy. Her music is catchy and fun, though simultaneously dark and edgy, and mildly disconcerting. There's a lot more to come, and Josephine is performing at Club Congress this week. To celebrate, we asked her about the five albums that changed her life...
With Belinda Esquer at 8 p.m. on Thursday, December 21, at Club Congress, 311 Congress St., Tucson; 520-622-8848; $5, 21+.
It was more than her music that penetrated me—having had acne in her teens, she was left with acne scars, like me. She was unladylike, unattractive and unapologetic. She was called "Ugliest Man on Campus" at her high school prom; she's the eternal vision of utilizing pain as fuel for her art. Her cracks, screeches, hollers—she sang completely by intuition and bled every ounce of herself into that record and her music overall. The opening cry in "Cry Baby"—show me something more real than that.
I get to cheat a bit on this because it's technically three albums in one but let's roll with it. I found Trilogy when I was in high school—a time where I was uninspired by everything I was listening to. Then comes Trilogy along with its own planet. You know the movie The Room, where Tommy constantly talks about being on his own planet and no one understands him? That's how I felt when I listened to Trilogy. It was like I found my world. The Weeknd's melodies reside in a space of their own. "Loft Music" is one of the most underrated songs. I can listen to that album endlessly.
All 6's and 7's
Oh lawd, Tech N9Ne. I was a sophomore in high school when a friend in my drama class opened me to the mind of Tech N9ne. I was really hood in those days. I wore a durag to school just because, so naturally he made me a mixtape of Tech N9Ne hits, mostly comprised of All 6's and 7's. I couldn't believe it was one person. His music is so sporadic and frantic. The schizophrenic ubiety of the record served as the influence for my "High Hopes." Off that record but still omni-present in influence were "Caribou Lou" and "Sex out South"—the raw sexuality, it's like listening to a porno. Not to mention Tech N9Ne's "Delusional," too.
Lana del Rey
Born to Die
I fell in love to this record. I was 17, had just moved to LA, had never been in love and through this song I manifested my first relationship. I frequently romanticize my life experiences and this time was no different. As an old soul, her music allowed me to live out a life I've envisioned but never lived. The effeminate, vulnerable, highly sexual world she depicted—I wanted that. I feel oftentimes women believe they must compete with men to be equal—being unemotional, masculine, egotistical etc.—all things which women naturally are not. I was drawn to the blatant vulnerability and embodiment of the opposite—the sensuality of womanhood. "I have nothing if I don't have you." "Without You." Like, goddamn.
Nothing Was the Same
I fell out of love to this record. It was eerily a prophecy of my life in the present moment, showing the trajectory of love from friendship to break up, make up and break up again. "Yeah this shit is on 10, we used to be friends but even back then you would look at me with no hesitation and tell me it's yours; I'm just tryna connect with something babe; I love me enough for the both of us, How every conversation starts with this time will be different; Don't think about it too much." It's amazing the courage music can give you—seeing my relationship unfold before me—realistically and sonically, that gave me the strength to endure.