Breaching the Surface with Mississippi R&B Singer Josh Waters

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I Got A Story To Tell takes a look at emerging hip-hop and R&B artists, told through the words of guest contributor Louis Fagelson 

Hattiesburg has no lack of young talent; over the past couple years, artists such as Quavius Black, DecMaccc and Davante Liv3 have been debuting their music and making a name for their city. The artists have been touring throughout the southeast and gaining popularity for their home state, Mississippi. The next one on that list, Josh Waters, just dropped his debut album, 143.

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143 is a collection of emotions and experiences in which Waters uses his melodic tone to tell stories about love, depression and relationships from his past. “The album is a reflection of my love life at that particular time and the journey to me accepting and loving myself.”

The album features appearances from familiar names such as Smoke DZA, Domani Harris, and a track produced by Big K.R.I.T. His song “Choose Me” with Demani Harris features a groovy, tropical sound combined with a message of lost trust and the blessing of an unexpected surprise. Fans are hype to see what Waters has been cooking up – he had the whole crowd singing along at his album premiere party, thrown by Big Sant and Queen C at The Music Room in Atlanta. While we’re all excited to give his new work a listen, let’s take a step a back and learn about the artist behind the music.

Born and raised in Hattiesburg, Miss., Waters has always been interested in pursuing a career in music. “I’ve always been an entertainer; since birth, I’ve always enjoyed performing and bringing energy into the room, Waters said. “I marched in the band for two years (in college) but dropped out to do music full time after my sophomore year.”

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Waters credits his family as his primary source of inspiration to follow music. His father passed when he was 6 but his mother, Bonita Waters, is former singer and has always supported Waters’ career as a musician. When she had to give up her dream to support her family, Bonita promised to give Josh the opportunity to make a career out of his passion. Waters himself has a 1-year-old son, Josiah, who pushes Josh emotionally and creatively. “My son is the driving force to pretty much everything I do. I was going through depression before he got here .I was on the brinks of suicide. He literally brought me back to life.”

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Waters has been recording music for seven years; he recorded his first song “Loving You Ain’t Hard” at age 14. For the past three years, he recorded primarily with Quavius Black until his move to Atlanta this past February. “Quavius helped my writing go next level,” he said.  “He helped me grow tremendously as a writer and an artist.”

The love goes both ways in their collaborations; Josh is featured on a handful of Kway’s songs, and the duo’s ability to unify their talents brings the best of both worlds. On the track “So Beautiful,” Kway, Josh, and Devante Liv3 harmonize to create an intimate vibe at their live shows. It’s easy to tell that these artists are comfortable collaborating on and off stage.

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Lyrically, Waters is a magician merging heartfelt lyrics that describe his relationship and love for his family with a flavorful tone that creates an emotional sensation piercing the hearts of even the most stoic listeners. Waters has always excelled at using his voice to expand the horizon of R&B. When paired with some solid bars from one of his many rap features, Waters can bring an element of soulful love to any track.

King Louie reps East Tennakey with Super Saiyan swag. Dope instrumentals are great but I’m looking for lyrics that will tell a story. Wordplay and delivery are key. Hit me up on twitter @lfagelson.

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