Horsham singer’s powerful song about women’s safety named BBC Radio 1’s Hottest Record in the World

A Horsham singer’s new song – which fights rape culture and promotes women’s safety – has been named the Hottest Record in the World.

Thursday, 24th June 2021, 11:05 am

Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac named Josie Proto’s I Just Wanna Walk Home her hottest record on June 10, saying the song had sparked an ‘enormous reaction’ from listeners.

Josie, 20, was interviewed by the DJ ahead of the show – which played her song three times in two hours.

The singer, who grew up in Lower Beeding and went to college at Varndean in Brighton, said: “It’s mad. I’m just still getting over the fact that Annie Mac played it. It’s just really, really insane.

“I was so nervous for Annie Mac to call me. She was so nice.”

Josie wrote I Just Wanna Walk Home amid a huge movement promoting women’s safety following the rape and kidnap of Sarah Everard.

She said: “I just started talking to anybody male in my life. What I noticed was most of the guys in my life didn’t know about all the things women were doing [to stay safe].

“I didn’t think anybody believes women did it.”

She paid tribute to her producer Ben who helped her write the hit.

In the song Josie lists how she is careful to show her face on CCTV, makes jokes to bouncers so they remember her and pretends to speak to a parent on her phone even if it’s dead.

She said: “I can’t walk past a stag do without feeling uncomfortable.

“I’m so glad that this song has been picked up. It’s the song that needs it.

Josie Proto's new song was named the Hottest Record in the World by Radio 1

“I’m so glad it’s got the exposure it needs. It’s genuinely changing people’s opinions.

“I’m not asking for a lot – just some sexual harassment legislation and some education on how privileged you [men] are not to walk home worried.”

Josie said she wants to see men calling out inappropriate behaviour in their friendship groups in a bid to stamp out rape culture.

She added: “People think it’s just a dark sense of humour. A dark sense of humour is not joking about rape. That culture needs to be stamped out.”

The artwork for I Just Want to Walk Home by Josie Proto

But this isn’t the first success for Josie, who has a huge social media following including more than one million likes on TikTok.

She released BTEC Lily Allen last year with the a video of the song being watched nearly half a million times on TikTok.

Josie said she has written more songs and an album will hopefully come in the next few years.

She added: “Big shout out to my number one fan my mum. But also a massive shout out to my dad. He feels a little bit left out as I’ve mentioned my mum in two songs and he’s not been mentioned in any yet.

Follow @josieproto on TikTok and Instagram, @josie_proto on Twitter. Listen to I Just Wanna Walk Home here: https://josieproto.lnk.to/IJustWannaWalkHomeTW