We had the good fortune of connecting with Joshua Jones and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Joshua, Let’s talk about principles and values – what matters to you most?
Authenticity and perseverance matters most to me. So many people try to replicate what other people are doing instead of staying true to themselves. Be “authentically you” and don’t allow people to enter into your realm and cause you discomfort. Be 100% you if you know for a fact that the moves you are making are the right moves and you are indeed on the right track. It doesn’t matter what the world thinks of you or how they perceive you because emotions change in an instant but your authenticity can remain stable forever if you do not waiver. Be passionate about what you do and take time to do it well. Don’t live your life looking out the rear view mirror because you will crash and burn. Be hopeful for what is ahead of you. Though you fall then again you rise open your eyes and realize that pain is only for a season.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
It wasn’t easy at times. There were moments of self doubt and other artists that put me down and made me doubt my craft but I’m thankful I had a team of people around me that didn’t allow me to give up. My response to the self doubt and hatred was to keep making art. I have been lucky to have my work (poetry, photography, writings) featured different places and to even perform in open mics with well known poets. People have told me my voice is captivating and I feel it has at times set me apart in some places. I strive to have people in their feelings worse than Drake or Boyz II Men when I perform. Many of my poems focus on racial issues, love, beauty, and perception. One of the poems I’m proudest of is on my friends Youtube channel Frye Studios called “We are People Too”. I speak about the protests that had taken place in 2020 and take time to remember those that have lost their lives as a result of racism and police violence. The biggest struggle as a black artist is realizing the space I occupy and trying to present myself as something more than a statistic which I fight against practically everyday. One thing the world should know about me is like my poem “My Declaration” say, ” I wear my heart on my sleeve because to get to know me I feel this is an acceptable presentation.” I am who I am by the grace of God and the people He’s allowed to be in my life. I’m Josh Jones writing these words, taking these pictures, and cooking up these poems and I’m gonna keep kicking flavor until He calls me home!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
People that haven’t been to Inglewood or Los Angeles before I tell them to try Dulan’s on Manchester and Market St. I tell them this not just because the food is good but because the environment at times is amazing. When that older gentleman is back there singing while he’s making your plate the energy makes the food taste that much better. It feels like coming home. I show people around that area. Take them by the Forum and around Century by the old racetrack. I generally stay in this area to eat. Then I take them around Westchester/Culver City. There is a lot to do over there depending on what the person is looking for. You have The Fox Hills mall, The movie theatre/restaurant area “The Bridge” as many still refer to it as. The beach isn’t far from there depending on whether someone wants to go to Santa Monica or Venice. All these places are must go to places when you visit LA if you want to have fun and go on adventure. The people in these areas know how to have a good time. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I wanna give a shoutout to all my mentors and professors. Eric Drake, Chris Roberson, Donald M, Mike Sonksen, Dr. Reuben Ellis, Dr. Rossen all my communication professors at Woodbury University. It is due to these people and many more that I am on the right track striving to be a better man, better poet, and better writer. It is with their wisdom and guidance that I have been able to achieve a lot of the things that I have achieved thus far. They keep me humble and honest and have given me the tools to be successful.
Joseph Frye Jack M and Oscar Jones