At first glance Joshua Dowdle, most often dressed in minimalist clothing in head-to-toe black, doesn't exactly exemplify his hometown of the Gold Coast. Although he grew up there and spent most of his life in the area, the only thing he really has in common with the postcard idea of his background is that he still finds time to surf.
With his family home in the Tallebudgera Valley, a forrest-lined hinterland region away from the glitz and glam of the Queensland coastal city, the model and musician found his own pathway through self-discovery.
“I just think the internet's great. It's the only thing that can open a window to the rest of the world, really. The internet was definitely a straight-up source of inspiration and influence. I taught myself to play guitar by ear. Just listening and playing,” he tells us.
Joshua’s affinity for music is a family trait, these days he spends most of his time in the studio or touring the electronic duo he shares with younger sister Amy. The naturally stylish siblings, who star alongside each other in our U-Nique campaign, not only share a musical gene but also an aesthetic one.
With five year age difference Josh often finds his love of black and minimalist styles rubbing off on his younger sister, he says, “I think she doesn't like to say it, but she definitely gets a lot of it from me.” But that might be starting to change, “I actually think now that she's starting to get older, she's picking out a lot of cool stuff, and I'm like, ‘Oh, that's actually pretty cool.’”
The back and forth flow of their relationship comes with the territory of being siblings but now it also runs through their relationship as creative partners. But the two balance the duality well, giving credit to their family and the calming surrounds of their home which seems to inform their zen-like approach to creativity. Places have always held a special meaning to Josh in particular, “I get inspired by places because I like to write a lot of music where I can feel like I'm in that moment. I really like envisioning where I am, and then putting myself in that place, and then hopefully, by making something like that, someone else can feel that way.”
With a potential move to Melbourne on the cards, the places might soon be changing but the approach to creativity will no doubt remain the same. It’s a reminder that for all of us our surroundings inform everything we do, often without us realising. Whether it be picking an outfit, making music, or even just finding the time to surf.