About five years ago, from an outside perspective, it looked like Joshua Thew was living the dream. The London-born, Brooklyn-based singer, songwriter, and dancer was in the prestigious New York City Ballet, performing alongside top-tier talent for audiences from around the globe. It was something he’d worked his entire life for. Still, Thew couldn’t shake the feeling that he was missing something. Hadn’t he loved singing as a child? Music, after all, was his first passion – the reason he became a dancer in the first place. So in 2017, after nearly a decade in the Company, Thew left the professional dancing space behind to pursue another dream.
Today, that dream is a reality. Thew is readying his second EP, which follows 2019’s Quiet Words. Leading off the project is the delicate, jazzy “Lose Myself,” which places Thew’s soulful vocals front and center. Accompanying “Lose Myself” is a cinematic music video directed by Jake Kolton, where Thew recalls a brief yet transformative relationship. “I like to make things feel really intimate and small,” Thew says of his creative vision. “I’m not trying to shock. I like to draw people into the quiet, slow, more human things that go on.”
Working with producer and multi-instrumentalist Cale Hawkins at Greylock Studios in Brooklyn, Thew began composing songs in earnest, drawing on classic influences like Donny Hathaway, Nina Simone, and Lee Hazlewood as sources of inspiration. Thew added a contemporary spin, invoking modern icons such as Amy Winehouse and Frank Ocean. As a singer, Thew creates highly stylized yet unpretentious ballads about love, loss, and starting over. The lush, aching “Lose Myself” chronicles a two-year relationship that ultimately had to end but gave Thew renewed hope around romance itself.
Ultimately, Thew is eager to ingratiate himself with listeners, who will no doubt feel an instant connection to his gentle, meditative ballads. Though he’d been considering a career change for some time, watching a fellow dancer – Tony-winning choreographer Justin Peck – doggedly pursue his goals nudged Thew to take a crucial leap. “I just remember always watching him; we were in class together,” Thew says. “Dancing was a thing for him, but choreography was always his thing. I remember watching him and part of me would be like, ‘he’s really doing what he really wants to do.’ And that’s how I felt about singing.”