Live-looping artist Josh Payne to play at Vue

Josh Payne specializes in the art of live-looping — he often covers popular songs, and even takes requests from his audience.

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Joseph Cress

A menu for the Vue rooftop bar is seen during a ribbon cutting event for the Hilton Garden Inn on Clinton Street on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017.

Sydney Hurley, Arts Reporter


Live-looping is the art of recording and playing-back of a piece of music in real time.

Josh Payne, a live-looping artist, will bring his take on the specialty to the Vue this Friday, April 28.

Payne said he found a passion for live-looping at around 14 years old. He bought a loop machine, and would sit in his rooms for hours on end to try and teach himself how to live-loop.

“It’s a very kind of organized chaos sort of thing. A lot of times I’ll just try something out, I’ll lay down a beat and then start a riff, do some vocals, and then it kind of turns into something bigger, more complex sounding,” Payne said.

Payne said that there can sometimes be difficulties with live-looping, mainly because any mistakes will continue to play after any given section is complete.

“The problem with it a lot of times is if I mess up one tiny little thing, it gets looped, so then I either got to stop everything or just kind of incorporate that mess-up into the song,” Payne said.

Payne often performs a mashup cover with the songs “No Diggity” by Blackstreet, “Boyfriend” by Justin Bieber, “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, and a few Ed Sheeran songs. This mashup tends to be a crowd favorite, Payne said — the chords blend well together, making the mashup nearly seamless for Payne.

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Although that mashup is a favorite, Payne said he listens to his audience, and tries his best to please.

“A lot of times people will request songs that I’ve actually never heard of,” Payne said. “So during my breaks, I’ll look it up on my phone and listen to it, and kind of get a feel of the melody, and then I’ll look up the chords on my iPad, and I’ll just kind of fumble through what I think it sounds like.”

Payne does have a few original songs, but tends to stick to covering songs. In ten years Payne hopes to be on tour playing at well-known venues.

“I do a lot of what I call acoustic rap sort of, like really old Jason Mraz, older Ed Sheeran before he moved to the US and got poppy,” Payne said.

Payne performs at the Vue once or twice a year and enjoys coming back everytime.

“That’s my favorite place every year to play is the Vue, because the people are always really friendly. The people that are coming to see the show are always really interested,” Payne said.

Marissa Dimaranan, the event organizer at the Vue, is eager to ask Payne back after his performances.

“Josh always has friends and family that come up to see him and their enthusiasm always gets the rest of the guests feeling the same,” Dimaranan said. “He has lots of support around him, and there is a lot of confidence that comes out when he performs.”

Payne’s dedication to his art of live-looping is what the Vue and the crowd appreciate the most.

“Josh is very friendly, and always treats our staff well whenever he is here. He takes his music seriously, he’s very creative,” Dimaranan said. “We almost always set another date for him to come back in the days following his show.”

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