• Lillie Burke

Mirenda balances budding musical career

Since his freshman year, music hasn’t always been senior Josh Mirenda’s calling card.

During his time at Belmont, the exercise science major has been one of the charter player of the school’s lacrosse club while a member of Alpha Tau Omega and Student Government Association.

But behind that resume is a 22-year-old with eyes on the music industry. He released an country EP on iTunes last March, is an official member of ASCAP and is set to perform at Music City Roots’ “Belmont Night” Wednesday night at the Loveless Cafe.

As it turns out, country music is something almost natural for Mirenda. His childhood was spent with his aunt, Gina Dylon, while she was trying to make it as a country singer in Nashville. He tagged along with her for writer’s nights, warm ups and trips to Music Row to meet with producers.

“I grew up doing all of that, it’s all I know,” Mirenda said. “I pretty much got handed a guitar ever since I could stand up.”

Even with that background, the senior wasn’t always focused on a music career. His started only a year ago when he played for a show during freshman orientation. According to Mirenda, he had no original songs at the time.

“I felt like I was home, when I was performing [at the welcome freshman show],” Mirenda said. “After that moment I started to write.”

Soon afterwards, Mirenda played at Belmont’s “Battle of the Bands,” where music business professor Dan Keen discovered him.

“Dan has really taken me under his wing,” Mirenda said. “He is set me up with meetings with I feel about everybody up and down Music Row.”

Keen has also been one of his biggest helping hands to perform at Music City Roots, he said.

“I’m really excited,” Mirenda said. “It’s a live radio broadcast on Lightning 100 and it’s probably the biggest thing that has happened to me so far.”

Before landing the performance at Music City Roots, Mirenda performed at several writers nights, opened for former American Idol contestant Bucky Covington and played an acoustic set at a Mt. Juliet benefit called “Christmas with the Kids”.

“What I’ve learned is no show is too small to play,” Mirenda said.

His first single “Look at Us Now” has received limited local play in Middle Tennessee. Mirenda said the song was influenced by his grandparent’s love for one another.

“They have been with each other for like 40-something years,” Mirenda said. “I wrote it in a sense of a high school kid that thinks they are in love with their significant other. And they go through life they are still together and they thought they were in love back then, but now they are now so much more in love.”

Through the next couple of days before Music City Roots, Mirenda’s said his life was going through a musical whirlwind.

“Basically I wake up, go to class, go write, go to the studio, go to rehearsal, or any other errands for the Music City Roots show,” Mirenda said. “I feel like I’m living two lives, both a musician and a student and I like it.”

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