Composer Joshua Crispin’s story is a unique one in the music industry. Instead of spending decades “finding himself” and edging his way into a place of prominence, he cut straight to the chase. He knew what he wanted and, well, he did it. Of course, it helps to be a genius in the studio with a knack for drawing audiences into a story but we think there’s a bigger takeaway from this artist. His mindset is a case study in focus on a few different levels.
Joshua’s music, regardless of the project, is razor sharp and cuts directly to the core of the story: It’s powerful, but not overwhelming, intricate but not muddled. On an even deeper level, though, his story is a case study in focus.
At a relatively young age, it’s evident his commitment to the craft is unwavering. For many creatives (or people in general for that matter) lack of direction is a curse. It takes years to whittle down to our interests or skillset — and, if we’re lucky, find a career at the intersection of both. But, for Joshua Crispin, he simply needed to hear the sound of a guitar.
His connection with music evolved from listening to creating and there was no going back. To be fair, it wasn’t that long ago — he’s only 23 years old — but it doesn’t speak to his level of commitment. His conviction for being a musician runs deep, deep enough that he stood up for it when his father asked him to join the family’s web development business and give up on trying to make a career out of music. He tried web development for a year but knew he wasn’t built for the work. So, when he told his father that he wanted to make a career in music work, he gave Joshua an ultimatum.
Joshua skipped over quite a bit when he said: “fast forward five or six years.” For a composer at any age, much less his, he’s become one of the most recognizable and requested artists in advertising and cinema — his film work includes supporting music for Star Wars, The Avengers, Creed, and Sicario; not to mention commercial work for National Geographic, Volkswagen, Canon, and dozens more.
When his dad gave him the ultimatum to work on his music for six months, he wasn’t just offering him a path towards a creative career. He was also offering him a new perspective on music. The traditional path — one involving bands, managers, tours, etc. — lends itself towards a self-centered universe, as Joshua described it. But, with a career oriented towards others, he’s able to not only make a career out of his work but also bring other people’s visions to life and help them connect with audiences all over the world. Once he saw that music could be useful to others and help them tell their own story, he saw that there’s a much bigger world out there for artists and composers.
Now, working from his studio in Australia, Joshua’s work is a balance between creation and investigation. His client work involves extracting their tastes and decoding what the project needs, which is easier said than done sometimes. By working with some of the best in the industry, and having an eclectic taste in music from an early age, he’s become adept at taking the sound in a client’s head and making it a sound in reality.
It’s easy to draw connections with Joshua’s music, but difficult to make direct comparisons, and that’s due to a few different reasons. First, his body of work is so varied that he can’t be pinned down to a style. It may be described as modern, but range in execution from classical to electronic and everything in between. Second, his influences are as diverse as his projects. He grew up listening to Van Halen and The Eagles but then found his way to EDM artists like Deadmau5 and modern composers like Hans Zimmer. It amounts to an amalgamation of styles that are uniquely Joshua Crispin’s and no one else’s.
So, how do this work with a client? Well, through a process. First, it’s about digging into the project and asking the client to describe it — generally through a few simple adjectives. Then, he gets to work, digesting the project and applying it through his “toolbox of sounds” as he puts it. Regardless, it always needs to work from a place of inspiration.