An Oro-Medonte artist has built himself a fan base through his indie-pop music.
Joshua Sheppard, 19, has been singing for fun for most of his life. He has been taking it seriously as a career since September 2022.
"That's when I began actually recording and releasing my music," he said. "My dad put me into piano and guitar lessons as a kid, and singing kind of came out of that."
Sheppard, who is originally from Brampton, moved to Oro-Medonte in January, which has allowed him to put more time into his passion for music.
"My whole family moved here to get out of the city," he explained. "It's a nice place for us to live as a family, and things are pretty relaxed and laid back."
Since moving to Oro-Medonte, Sheppard has posted more than 100 videos to his YouTube channel, where he has racked up more than 300,000 views on some of his videos. He already has more than 3,000 subscribers.
"It all started off slow when I released my first song," he said. "It got a few thousand views on YouTube, but as I've progressed in the music industry and learned various things in marketing, I've seen a massive uptick in views and reach."
He says his latest song, Rolling Thunder, has garnered some radio play in the United Kingdom.
"Things are looking good so far," he said. "I've improved on my skill base with music, singing and songwriting. It's all really coming together."
Sheppard says his style is "refreshing" and different from pop music that is played on the radio today.
"It still has that mainstream pop sound," he said. "It has a little more substance, lyric-wise, to make it stand out amongst the crowd."
His songs are inspired by personal stories and influences.
"It's all just my experiences in life that I write about. There are a lot of different stories that come from family and things that I've experienced, which is the charm of my songs," he said.
He attended Georgian College in Barrie for business marketing last year, but he is now putting all of his focus on his music career.
"I decided this is what I want to chase while I'm young," he said. "I'm swinging for the fences with my music."
Sheppard hopes he can make a living out of playing gigs and writing music.
"That's the dream for me," he said. "Anything else would be a bonus."