A YOUNG musician says she has been “overwhelmed” with support after her song about women’s safety was named the Hottest Record in the World.

Josie Proto’s song I Just Wanna Walk Home was written in response to the tragic death of Sarah Everard earlier this year.

The 20-year-old’s emotional track details the ways in which women try to protect themselves when travelling home alone.

The Argus: Josie's single cover for I Just Wanna Walk HomeJosie's single cover for I Just Wanna Walk Home

Josie, who grew up in Lower Beeding near Horsham, says the song grew out of a conversation she had with her writing partner and producer Ben Matravers.

She told The Argus: “After Sarah Everard’s death there were so many conversations going on around my groups of friends and family - just people having good conversations and talking about thinks like women’s safety.

“And what I noticed was that a lot of the males in my life weren’t aware of the lengths that women go to keep themselves safe, or they were aware but thought it was a joke.

Loading

A post shared by Josie Proto (@josieproto)

View on Instagram

“I got questions like ‘you don’t actually hold keys between your knuckles’ and then I started explaining some of the things I’ve been told to do since a very, very young age.

“They were all shocked and I just thought ‘why don’t people talk about this’?”

The song has had more than 33,000 plays on streaming platform Spotify and was recently named Hottest Record in the World by Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac.

Josie says she hopes the song might help to change people’s opinions and encourage people to listen to women who share their own experiences.

She said: “The conversation that arose after Sarah Everard’s death wasn’t a starting point, it was more of a catalyst for people to build on conversations about women’s safety that have been happening for years.

“It’s still happening and it’s more that these were already frustrations that were just amplified.

“I think people are happier to believe an artist writing a song, an author a poet or a politician. I don’t think I realised how important music is in politics until I released this song.

“I realise that people are obliged to listen to a song from the front to the back and listen to the words and take them as true, otherwise it wouldn’t have been true.

“I think people relate to music and it can be incredibly powerful – I’m only just learning that now.”

Josie wrote her first song at the age of 13 and while studying at Varndean College in Brighton, she started busking in Brighton’s North Laine and performing in pubs including The Rec Rooms in Horsham and The Plough in Lower Beading.

But Josie says she has only recently decided to pursue a career in music.

She said: “I started writing music when I was really young and I did really academic classes at college because I was so focused on going to university.

“I started singing in pubs just because I enjoyed it and it earned me a bit of money and people liked listening to me.

“Then some big cheese in London heard one of my songs and he got me writing loads more songs.”

Josie is hoping to tour the UK in September.