'Triple Threat' 'High School Musical' Star Joshua Bassett Signs With Warner Records

Joshua Bassett
Filip Milenkovic

Joshua Bassett

Months before the November 2019 premiere of the Disney+ show High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, in which emerging actor-musician Joshua Bassett stars as Ricky Bowen, his manager helped him land a meeting with Nate Albert, executive vp A&R at Warner Records. Bassett arrived with a dozen demos ready to perform on guitar.

“I was blown away,” says Albert, who notes CEO Aaron Bay-Schuck and COO Tom Corson were also immediately interested when he played them the tracks later. “He struck me as wildly developed for somebody his age — a triple threat producing, writing and performing.”

Bassett, 19, first took an interest in music at 6 years old, when his father asked him to drum for his church; by 15, he wanted to pursue it full time after asking a girl to homecoming with an original song he played on a ukulele. Since then, the Oceanside, Calif., native has taken on a variety of roles, from performing in a local production of The Sound of Music to appearing on Grey’s Anatomy last year.

At the top of 2020, he signed a recording contract with Warner Records, which will make the announcement official on March 27, Billboard can exclusively announce. The news comes a few weeks before the slated release of Bassett’s debut single, “Common Sense” — a polished version of the demo that initially attracted the Warner Records co-chairs — that will appear on digital streaming platforms on April 17.

Since the premiere of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, Bassett’s fan base has grown exponentially: He has racked up over 1 million Instagram followers, and his first TikTok post — which arrived mid-March and teased his original song “I’m Still in Love With You” — has over 2 million views. An official debut project, as well as season two of the Disney+ show, are both in the works, though the release dates are pending due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Albert says Bassett is “obviously rising because of the show, but there’s all this depth in his work that people are yet to discover. There’s this whole other level.”

This article originally appeared in the March 28, 2020 issue of Billboard.

THE BILLBOARD BIZ
SUBSCRIBER EXPERIENCE

The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.


To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.