Joshua Bassett has a lot of eyes on him. At just 19 years old, he's got 1.5 million followers on Instagram thanks, in part, to his breakout role as Ricky in the Disney+ High School Musical reboot, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. Most fans know him for his dreamy performances on the show, but Bassett is a singer and songwriter in real life as well, and he's ready to officially make his mark as a soloist. High School Musical's Joshua Bassett is seizing the moment with his new original music.
Ever since High School Musical: The Musical: The Series premiered in November 2019, fans have been waiting anxiously for Bassett to drop his own music. But as anyone with over a million fans knows, with the lovers come the haters. When it comes to his music, Bassett is focused on tuning out the noise to focus on his creative process.
"As a general rule, I try and stay off reading [social media] comments," Bassett tells Elite Daily. "It's important when you're writing – for me — to be in my own space with my own thoughts and not really have anyone else's voice in my head and just write as honestly as I can."
However, at the end of the day, Bassett is still curious about what his fans have to say about his art. "Every once in a while I'll peek on Twitter and see what people are saying," he says. And, for the record, Bassett's debut single, "Common Sense," was a hit. "It's so awesome to hear people's stories and what the song means to them. That's also so wonderful to hear," he says.
Writing from the heart and not thinking too much about the process helped take some pressure off of Bassett when he was creating his music. In fact, the inspiration for "Common Sense," which dropped on April 3, came at the most unexpected moment.
"I came up with the entire song in my car and just recorded the lyrics on a voice memo," he says. "It just all kind of came to me like that. It was inspired by a girl that I knew [pursuing a relationship with] was a bad idea, but I couldn't help be in love with."
On April 21, Bassett surprised fans with a gorgeous music video to accompany the single and within 24 hours, it racked up over 200,000 views.
These days, Bassett has taken to TikTok to gauge his fans' thoughts on his music. He's definitely more interested in showing off his guitar skills and singing his original songs than getting in on a viral dance challenge for now.
"I'm still experimenting, still learning the ways of TikTok," Bassett says. "I try to be creative and post original content."
His experiments are working. When Bassett teased "Common Sense" as his first-ever TikTok video, the clip quickly went viral with more than 2 million views as of April 23.
Just because Bassett teases some original tunes on social media doesn't mean he's not keeping some private. "I have a handful of songs in my back pocket that I'm intentionally not putting out on social media because I do want to save them [for an album]," he says. "Some of my favorite songs that I've ever written, actually, aren't on any social media."
One person who's serving as inspiration throughout Bassett's writing process is his High School Musical: The Musical: The Series costar Olivia Rodrigo. They wrote the track "Just For a Moment" together for the show, and Bassett says the process was life-changing.
"She's one of the greatest songwriters of our time, hands down," he says. "Being able to collaborate with her on that project means so much to both her and I, and it was a dream."