In the ongoing pursuit of his musical career, Josh Rennie-Hynes moved from his native Australia to Nashville last year. In doing so, he left behind not only his home country, but the place where he’d already dropped two critically-acclaimed solo albums and found further footing as one half of the Ahern Brothers. His newest step was the biggest one he’d taken yet, and it’s paid off in the form of his latest offering of Americana, Patterns, due out on 27 September.
Prior to the release of Patterns, Rennie-Hynes sat down with For Folk’s Sake to take on our ongoing ‘FFS 5’ interview series.
Please tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from and how did you get started in music? Any defining moments along the path to present day?
I grew up in rural Australia, a small town called Woodford in Queensland. It’s on the east coast, about an hour outside of Brisbane. I live in Nashville, TN now though, it’s a country town of sorts so I don’t feel too far out of place. Music’s always just been a part of my life, my family was very musical so I grew up surrounded by it. I picked up a guitar when I was pretty young, I took guitar lessons but I hated it. Eventually that teacher told my parents they were wasting my money so from there on I taught myself. I’d listen to songs and work them out by ear. That’s kinda how I’ve always come to music. Or maybe I’ve always just been a brat who doesn’t like being told what to do.
As an artist, how do you define success?
I’m not sure there’s defining thing one thing that equals ‘success’ in this, but reaching a point of sustainability with one’s work is a pretty good view of success to me. It’s what every Artist wants deep down. I think success is also having the ability to create whatever it is you want to create at any given time, to have an idea then see it through to fruition. On a smaller scale success can be writing a damn good song or playing a show you’re proud of. Small wins, big wins, all that.
What do you find to be your greatest struggle when it comes to the music business?
Probably how fickle it feels a lot of the time. Once you commit to the path of an artist you’re in for a hell of a ride, at least that’s been my experience. You’re going to have big highs and big lows and nothing feels that rock solid a lot of the time. The ‘business’ side of the industry is what it is, I’ve been doing it for long enough now to see it for what it is.
What do you think is the most realistic goal you can achieve as an artist/band? What do you hope to achieve?
I can’t speak to anyone else’s goals. For me when I started out in this thing I just wanted to make the music I wanted, tour and connect with my people all around the world and nothing’s changed there. Sustainability in what I do long term is the goal.
Outside of music, what do you like to do that you feel contributes to the creativity that you tap into for your music?
I like to paint, it’s been a recent discovery of mine and I’ve been diving into that. Nature has always been a reset for me, too, so I like to get outside whenever I can.
Words by: Jonathan Frahm