Fashion & Music – Looking behind the business with Josh Kempen

Josh Kempen – Songwriter tells us how he started his career

Josh like many students, stumbled into Law. At a turning block in his educational path, he had to choose a subject and Law was the only one that spoke to him.

Towards the end of his studies though, a growing gnawing feeling and desire to indulge in his long-term passion of music starting to take surface.

He embarked on a life-changing journey to Italy, and at that point truly understood that though he liked Law, he needed music and needed to express his honest person as a musician.

This trip to Italy when I realised I wanted to be a musician happened 5 years earlier after I finished school in Australia. I went back to Europe after my studies- but the biggest revelation I had there was that I didn’t at that point have a lot to offer as a musician, and was a little disillusioned.”

This period left Josh in a very dark place, during which he felt like Law was the only option for him, him who was too late to make it in music.

But fortunately, through an awakening experience, Josh’s ambition to pursue a music career was rekindled and he began to pursue it religiously.

Whilst working on his articles, he pursued music as a side thing for a while, however the desire to fully embrace the musician in him was ever-increasingly growing and ever so real. He spent every waking moment not doing his articles, playing music.


“ I would rehearse before work, during lunch, and after work, and gig on the weekends”

Gradually taking advantage of his network and determination to performing wherever he could. From private parties to small concerts,

‘Every opportunity to play for me was golden and I did it with enthusiasm’. Says Josh

Money was not on the table, he played for Love of Music and asked nothing but to be recognized as a musician.

In Josh’s words  – “the journey was messy at the beginning and beautiful at the end.”

In 2016, Josh was signed to Warner Music and has now released his debut album “The Morning Show” which made its debut at #3 on iTunes. From Law Student to full-time musician. Josh is an example that circumstances don’t define your destiny.

For him, Raising the standard comes down to: “ taking responsibility for the way you spend your time, your thoughts, energy, money and being completely accountable for everything…”

He puts an emphasis on encouraging people to hold themselves completely accountable to their lives.  He states “ There are so many people that want to be things but haven’t taken responsibility in their lives to become that and are hoping and praying for some miracle outbreak from someone. But it just doesn’t work that way.”

Threads Team

We believe in change. We believe in leaving a lasting impact. That's why threads mission is to empower the next of South African fashion entrepreneurs by providing them with the tools, resources, and networks to run a sustainable business operation and thrive internationally.