Josh Andres (Statik Lnk) hasn’t been in the music business for long, but after trying out different things in life, he realized that music was definitely his calling. His fans and supporters couldn’t be happier about that. And we at Music Beats Cancer can’t be happier that he won our Challenge. His music is inspiring, and so are the good causes he works for and supports. In this detailed interview, Josh gives us detailed answers about his life, his work, and the causes he loves and supports.
Q: What was your original calling to music? How did you start out?
It’s quite the story, and I had no idea music would be my calling. I originally was a chemistry major with the intent of getting into Pharmacy. What a career change!
I started music at a very young age. My dad got me into guitar lessons at 6 years old. That’s when it all started. In 7th grade, I joined the band. I wanted to learn the saxophone so badly, but it was too expensive for my mom and dad to afford. The band director told my mom that he needed trumpet players. The trumpet was cheaper than the sax, so it worked out. I’m happy it did! I ended up playing the first chair all through middle school and my first year of high school. This introduced me to composition and the band structure. I also joined the middle school Jazz band and was in it until high school. This introduced me to Jazz and improvisation. It’s immensely important to how I create music today. However, not looking at music as a viable career, I quit the band to concentrate on my studies in preparation for college.
I graduated high school in 2005 and attended the University of Toledo. During my freshman year, my dorm roommate, Scott, had a friend, Josh, who was a rapper that went by Jaelen. I had always been a huge hip hop head. At the time, I was unaware of how the music industry worked. I had no idea how producers and artists made or found beats. This was prior to all the digital music production classes that are offered these days. Josh introduced me to digital music production using a program called Pro Tool, Sony Acid, and Reason. This is where I started to develop an interest in the music business. Coincidentally, at the time, school was kicking my butt. I started to realize that maybe Pharmacy wasn’t my calling, and it was time for a career switch.
I switched to Music Business and Recording Arts the following year. I started to take the music career more seriously. However, Digital Recording Arts was still in its infancy, and many schools weren’t offering contemporary courses that worked with music production programs. Knowing this, I started to reach out in the local scene to meet artists and producers. I ended up meeting another local rapper in Toledo named Big J. We still work together to this day. He is a big part of my team and my success. We worked together over the last 12+ years and experienced many ups and downs. With J, I learned how to become a producer. I learned how to work with artists in the studio, program synths, chop samples, use DAWs (like Pro Tools, & Logic), and how to market projects. A couple of years later, I meant Rob Sample, a DJ who was popular in the area. He taught me how to DJ and craft more mainstream songs.
All these things lead to me moving to NYC at the beginning of 2014 and pursuing my dream of becoming a professional musician. I consider myself extremely lucky to do what I love. I’m very thankful to all who have helped me over the years and to those who continue to help me.
Q: Who or what is your musical inspiration? Which artist(s) do you look up to?
Tough question! I have so many. Dr Dre was probably my biggest influence. His projects influenced my early production style, but Quincy Jones is also a big inspiration for me. Then there’s Miles Davis, John Coltrane. Coltrane especially, due to how he changed music from a composition standpoint. Recently I’ve been inspired by bands like BADBADNOTGOOD, Butcher Brown, Terrace Martin, Robert Glasper, Christian Scott, Anderson Paak, and Charles Mingus. I’m sure there are more I can’t think of right now.
Q: Why did you become involved with Music Beats Cancer? Has cancer directly or indirectly affected you?
I applied to an SXSW contest that Music Beats Cancer was running on Reverbnation.com. I was unaware of Music Beats Cancer. When I read about it, I knew I wanted to be involved. Every year I try to do something for charity as a way to give back to the community that has helped me live my dream. Like I said before, I consider myself VERY lucky to be able to work in a creative career. Last year I released a project that raised money for the homeless in NYC. I was actually in the process of figuring out who I’d donate to in 2020 when I stumbled across Music Beats Cancer in late January. It was perfect timing for when I like to do my fundraising. Dr. Jhaveri selected me and gave me a call in early February and explained to me what Music Beats Cancer was about. I was happy to accept the invitation to join the fight on cancer.
My grandma (who is 90) was diagnosed with Colon Cancer last year. It hit me hard. She is an extremely important part of my life. They caught it early enough, and she was healthy enough to do the surgery to remove the cancer. The laparoscopy surgery and treatment they used was amazing. It was minimally invasive. It was due to this technology and treatment that she was able to have the surgery, and she is cancer-free today. This is why I was excited to join Music Beats Cancer. I want to help fund research in any way possible. Any way to help find better treatments that allow loved ones to stay with their families longer.
My fan base was on board as well. Man, I love my supporters, friends, family, and fans. Like the English language doesn’t have the adjectives to express my appreciation for all they’ve done in my life. This is another example of that. Through this fundraiser, we raised $1550 on 47 donations. I can’t believe it. Thank you to Dr. Jhaveri and the whole Music Beats Cancer team for allowing me to be part of this journey.
Q: What is happening next in your music career?
Well, as we know, now is a crazy time with the COVID19 pandemic. The world is on lockdown. I had five shows on the schedule with two festivals that have been canceled, so seeing STATIK LNK live is up in the air right now, depending on how long the pandemic lasts.
I just released a new project titled Horizons that was praised by a lot of my followers and fans. It premiered on the site thefader.com, which was huge for me. It also reached number 5 on the iTunes Charts. I’m doing this all independently under my own label, managed by me. Thanks to Dr. Jhaveri, that may change due to our meeting with Universal Republic soon. We’ll see!
My music is also big in the sample industry. My albums are all up on Tracklib.com to be reworked and sampled. I also make royalty-free sample packs. Recently, due to the pandemic and future employment, for most, being up in the air, I discounted all my sample packs on my Bandcamp to $0 or donation only. Whatever people can afford. I wanted to give everyone the opportunity to create during this wild time. If you have ever thought about getting into music production, now is the time! Use creativity to combat boredom.
Q: Anything else you would like Music Beats Cancer readers to know about you?
Thank you to Music Beats Cancer for giving me the opportunity to use my art for the good of humanity. I hope it helps the war on cancer. Big thanks to my wife, Heather for supporting me and helping me spread the word about the fundraiser. Shout out to my band members Raul and Martin, and hopefully, you’ll see us on tour soon! Stay safe during these crazy times. Feel free to reach out to me on Instagram and say hi or ask questions if you’re learning to create during the lockdown. Thank you for all the support!
Links to check out my music:
To learn more about Statik Lnk, visit his Music Beats Cancer profile