How did you get started? Tell us your story!
My name is Josh Waters. I’m from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, a small-town home to about forty thousand people. I’ve always been around music and musicians. My mom was a vocalist, who played around the city, and my brother was a percussionist and just always had his hand in something. I was the one always trying to entertain the family or crowds in general. I discovered I could make real records one summer with my family. I was fourteen at the time and cousin of mine told me if I wrote a song he’d take me to record it and put it on a CD, so when I went that summer, he kept his word and I’ve been in love ever since. I was always inspired by soul music, my mom would play artists like Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, India Arie, Tank, Joe, Jasmine Sullivan, etc. My favorite was always Usher; you couldn’t tell me I wasn’t him at one point in life.
Throughout middle and high school, I was entertaining in some way, did all of the talent shows, would sing at different shows and events in the city, and people always supported me. I went to Alcorn State University in 2014 on a band scholarship. I marched in the band for a year and a half before gaining enough courage to drop and fully pursue music. While I was at Alcorn, I met my manager John Griggs and we started making waves doing shows on campus and the surrounding areas. I moved back home to Hattiesburg when I dropped out, started working, and just moving around the city with my music, linked up with my brother Quavious Black and a wise brother by the name of Shaka. I started to develop an understanding of creating records and honing in on my skills. In 2017, I eventually moved to Atlanta, GA, and started building with the right people. I had some of my most humbling experiences and dug into the mission. Had the opportunity to work with artists like Big K.R.I.T, Smoke Dza, Domani Harris, eventually signed with super producer, WLPWR, and the BNDWTH family.
What is your experience in the music industry? Do you have any formal training or schooling? If not, are you self-taught and how did you learn your craft? What is your learning style? What are your favorite educational resources (ex. college, Youtube, etc.)?
I see the industry for what it is...a business. My love for music is one thing, but understanding the business and how it works is what keeps me afloat. As far as being a recording artist goes, I was self-taught and had a lot of help from those around me. I started vocal lessons for the first time last year and the growth has been unreal. I’m more of a hands-on learner as it was all about repetition and consistency for me.
What are some credits and achievements that you have? Who have you worked with? Who have you collaborated with?
I had the luxury of working with Big K.R.I.T. I opened up for him on his 4EVA IS A MIGHTY LONG TIME tour when he came to Jackson, MS. He also produced and wrote on my first body of work "143." K.R.I.T was the one who made the Smoke DZA play for me. Domani and I met randomly, ended up doing a session, and we’ve been rocking ever since. We’ve done a few shows together. I had the opportunity to go on tour with J. Holiday and do so writing for him which was a pretty dope experience. Also, signing to WLPWR opened me up to so many opportunities. Working with him alone made a huge difference, from my sound to my overall growth and development.
Who are your biggest influences growing up and why? Who do you like to listen to now and why? Who’s on your playlist right now?
Usher was my greatest influence along with Musiq Soulchild as far as r&b is concerned. The way Usher entertained and serenaded the women was unmatched until Chris Brown hit the scene, and of course, Musiq’s tone and melodies were to die for. I’m bumping Curren$y, Smino, Don Toliver, J.I.D, Lucky Daye I’d offer in rotation along with sir.
What are some of the biggest obstacles you’ve encountered or faced in this industry?
The usual. Not having the money to pull some things off music wise and just in my personal life. Homelessness and sleeping in my car for a very small period of time. Just the usual resistance that we get met with when trying to pursue something outside of the norm.
How would you describe your sound and style?
That’s always a tough question for me because it’s always being developed and worked on, but we can go with soulful for a description.
What are some of your goals this year?
To complete the release of my fifty-two singles this year and gain some more exposure.
Who are the top 3 artists, producers, engineers, videographers, or others you would want to work with that you haven’t worked with yet?
Curren$y, Smino, and Alex Isley. I’m signed to BNDWTH Atlanta. We have the greatest producers and photographers so that part is there.
What is your creative process like?
It honestly depends on the day and space we’re in, our motto is just "get it done," but the process is always different for me.
What’s your favorite go-to order?
Salmon, asparagus, loaded mash potatoes, and a red bull 😂