Local R&B pop artist Josh Sahunta is having a great summer so far.
 
Sahunta recently received a $2500 Canadian Content Development Grant from MIX 107. He’s also up for two awards -- male artist of the year and R&B/soul recording of the year -- at the Edmonton Music Awards on June 28.
 
With a university degree in clinical psychology under his belt and years of studying behind him, Sahunta is finally making music his full-time career. He’s been pursuing his art professionally for about seven years now, writing and singing his own songs in a style he calls “Ed Sheeran meets John Mayer meets the Weeknd.”
 
“I just released my debut album this past October. I'm just following up on that now with more recordings and live performances and workshops and things like that,” Sahunta said.
 
Some of the words and ideas Sahunta encountered in university have found their way into his lyrics, giving him a unique way to share his thoughts about broken hearts and other musical subject matter.
 
“I think with especially my most recent album, I've taken a lot of concepts that I've learned in university in my degree just kind of talking about the more psychological aspects of relationships falling apart and things like that,” he said.
 
Sahunta will be putting his $2500 grant towards the cost of tuition for a Canada’s Music Incubator program he’ll be taking in Calgary. The five-week program will give him an intensive hands-on education in a variety of aspects of the music industry, ultimately, he hopes, helping him take his career to new levels.
 
"(The grant) is going to definitely help me do that. And I think that's an incredibly important step for me to take.”
 
With a summer full of gigs ahead of him, Sahunta will also be spending some time on the road in the next few months, performing at a number of venues in the U.S. and Canada. Fans can also catch him on July 13 at the Rec Room in south Edmonton.

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