Music to Our Ears: Bringing the Arts to WordPress

When magic meets music meets web design, WordPress gets a little more amazing for everyone.

Web development, jazz piano, and table magic aren’t subjects that get brought up together very often on tech blogs. Or anywhere, for that matter. Mix a pinch of entrepreneurial spirit and a generous dash of creativity into the proverbial bowl though, and anything is possible. Unless you’ve somehow managed not to see The Dark Knight yet, you probably remember that chill-inducing line: “…he’s the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now.”

He might not be Batman (or is he!?), but with big changes incoming for the future of WordPress, Josh Cook is exactly the kind of creative mind the space needs right now. We’d love for you to meet him. Read on!

How do you take a table magician/wedding DJ, twist through playing in a garage band that opens for Pharrell Williams, and wind up with a  small business owner that designs his own WordPress website?

Who hasn’t at some point in their youth dreamed about putting a band together and being the next big rockstar? Josh Cook took that dream and ran with it. The path you take following those dreams doesn’t always land you where you expect it to, but that certainly doesn’t mean you can’t shine just as bright from where you are.

Start small, dream big.

Josh Cook started out in high school with a love for music and magic. That love was channeled through gigs as a table and birthday magician, and also DJ’ing for weddings and events. Time passed, high school was replaced with university. Table magic and DJ gigs were replaced by playing in bands. That’s where that love story ends for a lot of us, exchanging pursuits of our youth for a ‘grown up’ job. He managed to hold on to both.

Josh played with different bands at York University while studying jazz piano and digital music production, balancing dreams and studies. He was successful at both, his band Cool Man Cool opening for Pharrell Williams at one point and eventually earning his undergraduate in digital media.

From there he doubled down on his academic pursuit of music, earning his masters in music composition and going on to work on his PhD. That’s where he found himself at a crossroads. Weighing the options between branding himself and freelancing versus continuing on an academic path, he chose the scary road.

Stepping out into the unknown… the road to building a successful business

Being successful as a musician means having a solid portfolio of work to showcase, and a lot of talent. Josh had the talent, and opted to stop work on his PhD to build his portfolio to showcase his skills. How do you do that? He built a website.

With no more experience than a couple classes on HTML and CSS under his belt, Josh downloaded WordPress and got to building. The results speak for themselves, which you can see for yourself at joshthemusician.com.

Through the years that followed, Josh built his brand and launched his career while also teaching piano, vocals, and digital music production. He’s done a lot of promotional soundtrack work for big names like Campbell’s, Sea-Doo, Mark’s, and G Adventures. He’s made video game music, advertising tracks, hip hop, orchestral, and much, much more. Even some tracks for Ninja Forms! One could safely say he’s a musical jack-of-all-trades. Sample his portfolio for yourself, from composition and sound design to his Seizure Palace DJ and production work… just be sure to set aside some time. It’s easy to get lost in the music!

Where does WordPress fit into the life of a musician?

WordPress gave Josh a public face, a way to showcase his musical talent to the world. He needed a solution that was easy to get started on with a minimal tech background, feature extensive, and looked at least almost as good as it was going to sound.

On the recommendation of friends, Josh chose WordPress to feature his skills, and we’re delighted to have him!

He primarily attributes WordPress’ extensibility born from the diverse selection of plugins and themes as the deciding factor. It gives him the tools he needs to serve his clients easily and efficiently, defining scope and cutting out redundancy from blueprint to story board to completed composition. In his words:

“Okay so what’s the mood that you’re going for? How long is your project?” Well, these are things that I can just have easily accessible on a nice tidy form like Ninja Forms and just have them get the first initial round of questions answered as I’m getting that first email from them. So, it just really sets up the scope right off the bat which is fantastic.”

Do you need more music in your life? Does your business?

From mixing to mastering to composition and production, if it’s music, Josh makes it. Again, you can find him at joshthemusician.com. He’s also on Instagram. We can vouch for his work because he’s made some pretty fantastic jingles for us, but his portfolio speaks for itself.

If your business or organization needs a beat to help captivate your audience, drop him a line and tell him we sent you! (promo code: Ninja ) 🙂