It isn’t easy travelling around the world to perform as a violinist while being your own manager, but Josh Kua manages to succeed simply by running on pure passion. On top of that, Kua is also a composer, models in his free time, and creates content for his social media channel. Truly, this multi-faceted identity is what BOSS defines as the Man of Today.
The Man of Today plays by different rules from your average man – he lives by a strict code of integrity and respect, holding those values close to his heart. This, in turn, is reflected in his behaviour, personality, and the way he lives his life. Take Chris Hemsworth, the BOSS Bottled ambassador for example. Hemsworth is one who embodies the ideals of the Man of Today as a blockbuster actor and devoted father. In the same vein, Kua emulates the Man of Today characters in his own way, proving that the Man of Today is not a one-dimensional character.
We sat down with Kua to have a chat on what it means to be the Man of Today, his journey thus far, and how he manages to juggle his responsibilities while remaining calm and composed.
Josh Kua (JK): Music has always been a passion of mine. I was fortunate enough to start learning violin at the young age of four. My parents told me I saw a violinist performing with an orchestra on TV and decided I wanted to do that! I had training in classical violin and soon after, the piano. There was certainly pressure to perform well for exams, but fortunately, I took well to music and it became a hobby as much as it was an educational task.
I performed in school and church from a young age and quickly learned to improvise and develop my own style of playing. By the end of high school I decided not to study music at university and ended up reading law and commerce degrees. Despite this, I was fortunate to receive multiple opportunities to perform with the violin overseas as well as model in various Asian countries during my university studies. By the time I graduated, I had decided to not become a lawyer and instead continue my creative pursuits.
JK: I grew up with low self-esteem and found myself seeking and finding validation through excelling in academics and music. Over time, I developed a strong confidence when performing music in front of audiences. It started by feeling the love, connection and adulation from the audience who would appreciate my performances. This in turn, gave me the confidence to express myself unabashedly in front of people through my music. It was while playing music that I found myself most comfortable to let go, to be myself and to express without constraint.
Playing music helps me connect with my inner self, to express and process emotions I might normally suppress. As an over-thinker, it’s important to process the feelings causing the mental obsession with certain things and to release emotions that may be clouding judgment.
“At times it’s difficult to manage these different roles all at once, but I find that reminding myself of life’s finiteness and what’s important to me is always a good way to put things in perspective, keep calm, and carry on”
JK: Aside from performing and creating music, I also manage myself as an artist. This involves administration, communication work as well as business development. I also work as a model and create my own content for social media, so I’m sometimes busy photographing for brands and magazines. I like to stay in shape by hitting the gym almost daily and also spend a good portion of my time caring for my two cats.
Juggling all this isn’t too hard when a large part of my life involves things I enjoy. At times it’s difficult to manage these different roles all at once, but I find that reminding myself of life’s finiteness and what’s important to me is always a good way to put things in perspective, keep calm, and carry on.
JK: I believe in equality and progress. I always remind myself to have an open mind and to employ critical thinking.
JK: Being the Man of Today means spending time working on and connecting with yourself. Learning about yourself and learning to love yourself is so important. As men, a lot of us tend to bottle up or ignore certain thoughts and emotions because society tells us that men “aren’t emotional”.
For me, playing music is one way to freely express myself, let go of negative feelings and re-centre myself. In the same way, I think that performing music for others aids them in reconnecting with themselves, where they may start to think of and process their own feelings through immersion in the performance.