I Auditioned for American Idol

March 02, 2021

Joshua Hollin (He/Him/His ) is Digital Associate for Born This Way Foundation where he executes digital content in service to the mission of building a kinder, braver world. In 2017, Josh initiated “Channel Kindness Radio,” a recurring podcast series featured on channelkindness.org, which centered around non profit organizations and people who are actively making a difference in their communities. Josh graduated with his Bachelors in Commercial Music Composition from Florida Atlantic University. In the future, Josh wishes to combine his passion for music, marketing, graphic design, and social media in a way that makes a difference. You can follow Josh on Twitter at @PAJAMAJOSH and on Instagram at @PAJAMAJOSH.

This story took place in United States

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Hello! My name is Joshua Hollin, known professionally as PAJAMA JOSH. Wait… let me try that again. My name is PAJAMA JOSH known professionally as Joshua Hollin, and some of you may know me as the Digital Associate on Team Born This Way Foundation. Something you may not know about me is that I’m also a classically trained upright bassist and got my degree in Commercial Music Composition in 2019 from Florida Atlantic University. You also may or may not be seeing me make an appearance on Season 4 of American Idol on ABC and you’re also probably wondering why I call myself PAJAMA JOSH… we’ll get there.

My American Idol journey began when I was in kindergarten. My mom purchased the Season 1 cast CD which I would take from her car visor and listen to on my Sony walkman. I learned all of the lyrics to the cast version of “God Bless The USA,” originally sung by Lee Greenwood and would scream, (and I do mean scream) the lyrics at the top of my lungs. When I got a little older, my brother and I even had our own American Idol karaoke machine and game where we would earn “star power points,” and compete against each other for who would “make it to Hollywood.” I suppose my destiny was somewhat predetermined.

I started writing music and teaching myself how to make my own beats when I was 9. While my training was in classical, I always knew that my interest was in popular music. I attended the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts in Hagerstown, MD where I continued my classical studies which carried me all the way through college, however in between classes I was interning for record companies and sharing my soundcloud to anybody who would listen. On top of taking 19 credits a semester, various internships, and making my own music, I also worked a variety of customer service jobs to support myself. During and after college I worked as a bookseller, barista, marketing associate, and customer service representative but through it all, I knew that one day, I was going to land my dream job with an organization that had already changed my life, Born This Way Foundation; a job that would embrace my creative mind, help me hone my skills to make the world a better place, and ultimately give me the freedom to pursue my dreams in music. 

Before landing my current job with Born This Way Foundation, I guess you could say I was in a really dark place in my life. The first thing they teach you in customer service is to smile, and if I’m being honest, I didn’t always feel like smiling. I was juggling so much, I was tired, and my creative spirit was running on E. I would put on my work uniform, and I instantly would feel stripped of my identity. It wasn’t until I would get back to my dorm room at the end of my shift when I would put on my pajamas, that I got back a sense of who I was, and thus, PAJAMA JOSH was born. This name and story caught the attention of a casting producer on American Idol and after a decade of auditioning for shows by my government name, and going nowhere, all of a sudden I found myself on a flight to Los Angeles.

I know I’m not alone in having a tough time. I hope that you, the wonderful person reading this, take time to put on a pair of pajamas and show love and care for yourself. The point of creating PAJAMA JOSH was finding space for me to learn and develop comfort in who I am. I encourage you to do the same because you are perfect the way you are. 

I am so excited to take you all on this journey with me, and while I have no idea if or when it will air, tune in to American Idol on ABC starting on Sunday, February 14th and we will watch together. Be sure to follow my social media @PAJAMAJOSH for updates!


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