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BELIEVE the hype: Country singer Josh Stumpf is the real deal

Updated: Mar 1

by Scott Roos

photos by Tracy Creighton/Copperblue Photography and Design

live photos by Aaron Brown/Aaron Brown Photography

HYPE… Building it and generating it, whether it be by physical means or by digital via the necessary evil of social media and the ever present internet, has become essential for any artist wanting to ascend to new heights of, dare it be said, stardom. For influencers able to produce it, it can be easy to achieve for those they work for and “help”. For the artist on the receiving end of it, it can be difficult to live up to. “Don’t believe the hype” trolled in the direction of those who strive but, inevitably fail, to achieve glory and renown, is a common adage. It seems as though once said artist is crushed under the enormous weight of the machine they and their team worked so hard to build, they’ve reached the point of no return. Fortunately, for up and coming country crooner Josh Stumpf, he has been able to exceed expectations and live up to every ounce of positivity that has been levied his way… thus far. 

“I've always been musical. I never really started singing until I was in the later parts of high school. But I've always loved music and country music,” Stumpf told NSMZ.

Born and raised in Prince Albert and currently residing in Saskatoon, Stumpf took to music at a young age. Crediting long hours in his Dad’s garage listening to country music as the reason why he decided to attempt to master the genre, Stumpf also had opportunities to explore music within his school’s band program. In terms of the guitar, he's entirely self taught having first tried playing on his own in middle school while he was at Ecole Vickers and that carried through into high school at Carlton Comprehensive. Once he started singing, he was given more opportunities via high school assemblies and functions on top of leading his local church’s worship team. He also took vocal and songwriting lessons from Donny Parenteau. Basically, his undeniable talent gave a self described former introvert the chance to come out of that proverbial shell and help get him to where he is at in his musical journey today.  

“I definitely used to be (an introvert). Music has cracked me out of my shell quite a fair bit. I think, especially in the last couple of years, I've been very good in public and in crowds and I'm not as socially awkward or shy as I used to be in high school,” continued Stumpf.

“It just kind of felt natural to sing country music and then to start writing it was really cool. Now to have my first single out and actually have it do pretty well for a debut single is something…. that I never thought would have happened but I'm super grateful.”

“Drink Me a Lullaby” was released September 23rd of 2023 and has been steamrolling the Canadian Indie Country Countdown eventually landing itself in the number one slot February 11th of this year. Produced by Aspen Beveridge at Skull Creek Studios, the track is a slow burn balladic journey chock full of all the country tropes befitting a tale of heartache and pain. There’s relatability to a degree with the chorus in particular that sinks its teeth into you and refuses to let go. All the while, Stumpf wears his vocal influences on his sleeves. Essentially, it’s a great song to showcase his voice. Hell, it’s a great song - PERIOD. And, based on chart position alone, it would appear the people have spoken and would, in fact, concur with that sentiment.

“A lot of (my vocal) inspiration comes from when I started singing. There was a lot of Luke Combs and Morgan Wallen and that had a lot of that rasp….I worked on (my own sound) a bit and kinda expanded and I found where my voice sits but a lot of that inspiration comes from Luke Combs and Morgan Wallen because I didn't start singing at a young age. I came out late singing so those were my inspirations in terms of what I was singing along to when I did start singing. That's kinda where that raspy tone comes from,” Stumpf explained. 

Next week, Stumpf will be releasing the follow-up single to “Drink Me a Lullaby”. 

It's called "That Song In This Truck". Judging by Stumpf’s description, this one is going to be more of a mid-tempo, stompy, country/rock affair. Featuring friend Andy Schumack’s guitar on the track, Stumpf is excited for the new tune to drop.

*Josh and good friend Andy Schumack perform at Coors Event Centre

“(It’s) more of a kind of nostalgic song. It's got a little 90's/80's kinda feel to it. (It has) some slide guitar, some chicken pickin'.... The song is really special to me I think because I went to my guitar player Andy's house and we wrote that song in a weekend. We spent hours working on the guitar solo alone. It went through like 30 different variations of that guitar solo and that's been a key part of the song. I'm so happy with the way it's turned out. I can't wait for this song to come out,” Stumpf said. 

In the meantime, you can check out the music video for “Drink Me a Lullaby” as well as the Sask One Mic Recording Series video for “The Way You Love Me” that he performed alongside another promising young singer Mercy Glover. In short, when it comes to Stumpf, BELIEVE the hype. Talented, with a golden voice, catchy songs, rugged looks and charming, driven… Stumpf is the real deal and the sky is the limit for him. 

“My goal ultimately is to be able to do music full time and to make an impression on somebody the way lots of these artists who have influenced me have. To be able to have a little kid look up and say 'I wanna be like that guy' that's kinda the dream,” Stumpf told NSMZ.

“Music's always been like therapy to me. If I'm having a terrible day, I go to the truck and just drive around and play some sappy music. If I'm headed out to the lake and having a good time I'm putting on some rock music and flying down the highway or sitting on the beach drinking a beer playing some chill music. Music is everywhere. It surrounds absolutely everything. So if I get to be somebody that gets to put (a song) like that out (that’ll be) just awesome.”

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