In the spotlight – Josephine Pascoe

In the spotlight – Josephine Pascoe

Josephine Pascoe is a classically trained musician. She’s based in the outskirts of London. She started piano lessons at the age of 5, violin at 8 and flute at 13. She’s also a music teacher. She trained to be a secondary school (ages 11-18) teacher, but prefers one-to-one instrumental teaching. She teaches piano and violin.

Most of her instrumental tuition as a child took place at Trinity College of Music in London. Josephine told us that one of the great things about Junior Trinity was their encouragement and support for students’ own compositions. They had weekly group lessons where students shared their latest written music. Josephine loved composing music and continued to do so as part of her undergraduate course – although in a completely different genre to what she writes today!

Nowadays, Josephine writes music with Neil Thom, who is based in Windsor. So how did that come about? Josephine met Neil in 2016, when she decided to realise a lifelong dream to learn to play the guitar. Neil Thom is a guitar teacher. Josephine contacted him for lessons. As well as teaching guitar, Neil is a producer and sound engineer with a wealth of experience working with various record companies and artists/bands. They decided to have a go at writing something together after a few drinks in 2017. Josephine admits that it might have been more than a few drinks. 😉 She hadn’t written any music for a while, but had been messing about with some jazzy chords, which they used to build their first track, ‘Floresence’.

Their latest track, ‘Higher Funktion’ is their eighth. Josephine is really pleased with how it has turned out – especially as they had to take a long break from working on it together, because the UK went into lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Neil and Josephine don’t have a set formula when they work together, although they tend to put her crazy chord sequences down first over a rudimentary beat. Then Neil adds some bass. After that Josephine comes up with the string/flute parts, while Neil adds guitar bits. They work together on all the little extras and then Neil works his mixing/mastering/producing magic! 

All of their tracks have been instrumental so far, mainly because neither of them are singers. They have discussed the possibility of getting vocalists involved and it’s something they’re interested in doing in the future, but maybe not for every track.

Neil and Josephine are both big Jamiroquai fans, which you can hear in the more recent tracks. The track they’re currently working on has a very jazz feel at the moment – lots of juicy jazz harmony! It’s in it’s early stages but Josephine is quite excited about it!

Josephine finds it quite hard to describe her music. Chris Leon – formerly of YourMusicRadio – said “It’s jazz, it’s classical, it’s funk, it’s everything”! (We can only agree!) Sadly for us, we won’t be able to see any tracks live. They’re studio based and haven’t performed any of their material live.

So what kind of music does Josephine listens to herself? She describes herself as an omnivorous listener; she enjoys a huge range of music. It’s really difficult for her to pick a favourite genre, let alone a favourite piece of music! She does love a lot of Esperanza Spalding’s music. ‘Espera’ from her 2008 album ‘Esperanza’ is a particular favourite. She absolutely adores the bass part. ‘I know you know’ is another fantastic track from the same album. 

And last, but not least, what’s Josephine favourite track from the Cool20 playlist? Josephine has a hard time picking a favourite, but she really enjoys Crazy Daze by Grace Can’t Play Guitar. (And so do we!)

Want to follow Josephine Pascoe? Check out her website and social media accounts: