Country star Josie on the story behind her ode to truckie dad

If you’ve turned on a country music radio station in the past few months, you’ve probably heard the song Freight Man by Townville-based singer Josie.

The tune, which was inspired by Josie’s truckie dad Allister, is the 21-year-old’s second single – but has gained even more traction than her first release, Down Here.

It has racked up over 280,000 listens on Spotify and attracted a cult following on TikTok, where there are a surprising number of truck enthusiasts.

“I really didn’t expect the song to blow up like it has,” she told Big Rigs.

“I said I’d try putting it up on TikTok and see what happened. All of a sudden, it was getting hundreds of thousands of views.”

The song was written in collaboration with multiple Golden Guitar winner, Travis Collins, at the Academy of Country Music in Tamworth.

“It was the first co-write I had ever done, and for that to be with Travis Collins – I mean, that was pretty daunting,” she said.

“I was 15 years old, and I was so nervous when I walked into the room.

“He asked what I wanted to write a song about, and I didn’t know, so he told me to tell him about my life.”

Josie spoke to Collins about her childhood, growing up around trucks with her dad, who now carts fuel for Woodham’s Petroleum but used to run a freight business in Far North Queensland.

“He was jotting down notes about what we used to get up to, and then he just goes ‘So, your dad’s your Freight Man?’

“I said ‘yeah!’ and then the song just kind of fell out on the page. Easiest song I’ve ever written!”

Josie has so many happy memories from being out in the truck with her dad, from hiding in the bunk eating popcorn to collecting bull dust from the tyres in some old Tupperware.

@josieofficiall Wow🤯🤯 THANK YOU! New music on its way VERY soon…👀🧡 #freightman #countrymusic #catchyaontheflipside ♬ Freight Man – Josie

She references some of these nostalgic moments in the lyrics to Freight Man, and they seem to have struck a chord with fans, many of whom have messaged Josie personally to share what the song means to them.

“People have thanked me for the song, and said they can really relate to it,” she said.

“Some people, their dads or their mums used to drive trucks and they have since passed away, and the song brings them back to their childhood.

“This is my story, and growing up I never really felt like I had anyone who could relate to it, but now I have been able to share so many special little moments with people.”

Josie unearthed real footage from her childhood for the video for Freight Man. Image: Josie

Other lyrics from the song make reference to truck-related lessons her dad has taught her, from how to change a flat to how to haul a load.

But her dad’s influence didn’t stop there – he’s also been a big inspiration to her when it comes to facing challenges in her life.

“In my final year of high school, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease,” she said.

“I felt like my world was crashing down, and that I was never going to be able to do anything.

“But there’s a lyric in the song, about dad teaching me that ‘There’s always someone else in a tougher place than mine.’ That’s definitely a motto that I live by.

“I’m in medical remission now thanks to an infusion I get every eight weeks, and I’m so grateful for that.”

Josie said her dad Allister is her biggest fan. Image: Gavin Bain

The music video for Freight Man features real footage from Josie’s childhood, contrasting father and daughter then and now.

“It took some time to get all the old clips together, but I’m so glad we did because it just added so much emotion to the music video,” she said.

“It feels raw and authentic, and that’s exactly what I’m about.”

Allister’s C509 Kenworth also played a starring role in the video.

“Dad loves that truck,” Josie added. “It has a really cool sticker on the back that says: ‘Catch you on the flipside’.

“That’s something my dad always says, and it’s another lyric from Freight Man!

Josie’s dad Allister is very proud of his C509 Kenworth. Image: YouTube

What’s next for the rising star?

“I’m on the Country Fest QLD lineup with John Fogerty and Morgan Evans at the end of March,” she said.

“That’s kind of a ‘made it’ moment for me, that’s insane.

“I’m also working on a bit of a sequel to Freight Man – you heard it here first!”

For more updates from Josie visit josieofficiall.com.

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