Welcome to Emerging Artists Spotlight, the Billboard series where we highlight a musician or band who has recently made their debut on the Emerging Artists chart. Whether they are new to the industry, or have been around for a while but are just starting to have a chart impact, the intention is to showcase where they are here and now. This week’s pick is pop singer Joshua Bassett, who debuted at No. 33 on the charts (dated Jan. 30) with his single “Lie Lie Lie.”
In 2019, while many 17-year-olds were enjoying their senior year in high school, Joshua Bassett was playing high schooler Ricky Bowen on screen in Disney+’s High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.
Like many HSM castmembers, Bassett, 20, has branched out into releasing solo music — even earning a spot on the charts with his new single “Lie Lie Lie,” which dropped on Jan. 14.
According to the rising star, the track has been in the works for a couple years now. “People have been asking me to release it since I posted a snippet two years ago on my Instagram. Having the finished product out there and seeing people enjoy it has been wonderful,” Bassett says. To accompany the release of the track, the singer also premiered the visual shot in Joshua Tree, Calif., where he quarantined during much of the pandemic.
The Warner Records signee debuts at No. 33 on this week’s Emerging Artists chart (dated Jan. 30) thanks to “Lie Lie Lie.” The song earned 3.7 million U.S. streams and sold 1,000 downloads in its first week of release, according to MRC Data, helping it debut at No. 25 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart. The debuts on Emerging Artists and Bubbling Under Hot 100 mark Bassett’s first career Billboard chart entries.
While “Lie Lie Lie” has been gaining momentum on the charts, fans didn’t have to wait long for a follow-up to the track. The San Diego native released the slowed down “Only a Matter of Time” along with its music video on Thursday (Jan. 28).
As Bassett enjoys a strong start to 2021 with a stream of new music, he admits that staying creative during a pandemic has had its challenges. “Almost every track was made via Zoom. You’re forced to take on more responsibility as a musician and really step up your game,” he adds.
When he’s not working on his own music, Bassett is busy on set for High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, whose second season is currently filming in Utah.
Learn more about Joshua Bassett below.
Hometown: San Diego, Calif.
Recommended Joshua Bassett track: “Only A Matter of Time”
“This song is about how often times people online can forget that there are real people behind the screen,” Bassett explains. “A lot of people have become desensitized due to social media and think they can say and do whatever they want with no repercussions. When there’s nothing you can do to change a situation, it’s important to remember it’s ‘Only a Matter of Time’ until you will be okay. Just be patient and trust that people will be held accountable in some way for their actions.”
Outside of the music: “Reading, reading, reading!”
What’s next: “Lots of exciting stuff in the works — each day, I’m continuing to write and create. I’m beyond excited for all that’s to come, and I think my fans will be, too!”