Drew Smith x Doc Hero / Spring Nights
Joshua Howard, Shawn Smith, Kevin Woods & Friends
1527 Cecil B. Moore Ave
Philadelphia, PA, 19121
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM
This event is 21 and over
Watch & Listen
“But I’m ready. So, come find me.”
For Philadelphia born singer songwriter Joshua Howard, making music is about much more than the number of people listening. At the core of every project is a journey of self discovery and a desire to see people connecting with a meaning far deeper than flashy lyrics and engaging hooks. Joshua’s music thrives on raw content, reflective of the thoughtfulness and unapologetic honesty of a musician searching for purpose in the process of creating, rather than self promotion.
Joshua has been surrounded by music his whole life. Growing up to the sounds of his father spinning records from artists like James Taylor, Stevie Wonder, Carole King and Joni Mitchell, Joshua developed a deep love for story telling in song writing. His father got him started instrumentally and later helped him discover his own voice. Though Joshua’s roots originated in Gospel and R&B music, his own sound is influenced by a diverse array of talented artists.
Being inspired by so many different genres of music, it took some time for Joshua to set into his own style, blending his soulful voice with a folk-rock, singer-songwriter sound. But even still, with each project, Joshua’s sound evolves. The desire for each project is to communicate hope and speak grace over some of life’s greatest difficulties. In the end, the goal is good music. Whatever eclectic sound best partners with the heart of the song is what you will find on each track.
His current project Forgive My False is a six song EP which has been in the works for four years. “When I began putting this album together, I thought it was a record about asking for forgiveness from those people I have hurt in my life. But what it became was an opportunity to forgive myself. To accept that the things I’ve faced in life have made me who I am today. This is a record about self-discovery, self-acceptance and realizing that although we make mistakes, they don't have to define us, and we can choose to be better.”
The first single to drop from the album is a song entitled Lost Boy. Joshua started writing this song while spending some time out in L.A. where he was a participant on NBC’s hit TV series The Voice. In the midst of that process, he began to develop this song around the idea of how he saw himself; “I wasn’t proud of who I was or what I was doing”. So he returned home to Philadelphia and in a ‘Prodigal Son’ inspired piece, he wrote Lost Boy. “I was ready to break out and discover more of myself through my music and life”.
Creating the rest of the album has been a long process of digging through known and unknown emotions to discover the purpose of his music. The opening track entitled Waterfall revolves around destinations and the idea of searching for something to make you new. This track guides the project into the journey of discovering the sound of self understanding and healing after heartache.
“My music is my voice. I feel like I’ve always tried to find my purpose in someone else’s story. But now I’m beginning to really search and learn about myself through my faith and my music.”
The closing song on the project, Ode to Mom, encapsulates everything Joshua has set out to do through these songs. While it was the most difficult for him to write, it may be the most powerful. “This is not a tribute song. I realized a lot of my issues in life started with my mom. However, this song is the process of me forgiving her and realizing in the end she’s still my mother and I love her”. The track finishes with a sample of a voicemail left by Joshua’s mom asking how he’s been.
“I never really answer her calls. It’s just hard sometimes talking to her. Maybe after this, I can be better at it. I'm searching for my purpose on this earth and allowing the things I've been through to be a part of it. They make me who I am. Even my self inflicted wrongs, I can choose to let those things make me better not worse.”Joshua’s desire for this and all future projects is that you the listener would connect with the music in whatever way is relevant to your story. The hope is for you to find reassurance in the chaos that you are capable of greater things and not letting anyone tell you otherwise. This is the story Josh is living.
“I’ll set aside my pride to admit my wrong. And after what’s said and done I’ll be moving on”
I started out calling myself Young Savage, but recently decided it was time for a change and Shawn Smith was a more authentic representation of who I am today. Got my start from cyphering in the streets. Before I knew it, I was on YouTube spitting my best verses for the whole world to see. All I ever wanted was for my generation to look at me like I looked at my favorite Philly rappers on the DVDs I snuck out of my steppop's bedroom. Fast forward to months after that start, my videos started to gain unbelievable views. I'm talking thousands on thousands man. I remember doing Cosmic Kev's radio show and spitting for 20 minutes straight. Having a voice in my head telling me, "Don't stop until they tell you to." That video now has over 1,000,000 views -- you should check that out.
then went on to open up at Power 99's Powerhouse Concert, performed at the B.E.T. Music Matters concert at SOB's in New York, The Kimmel Center, the Theatre of Living Arts (TLA), and so many more places along side Rick Ross, Jeezy, Ty Dolla $ign, DMX, the Diplomats, Ice Cube, Wale and many more. I have had cosigns from artists like Meek Mill, Cassidy, Ice-T, platinum producer Hit Boy, Dj Drama to name a few. I've evened been cosigned by a hip hop legend; Melle Mel of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.
I've also been featured on WorldStarHipHop.com, The Source Magazine and website, Thisis50.com, XXL magazine and website, and all of the biggest hip hop blogs to date. During that time, I released a series of "Savage World" mixtapes that were all online successes, thus building thousands and thousands of more views via streaming and video. Still continuing, I plan on reaching heights only God can unveil. With a style of witty punchlines and thought-provoking content, I plan on impacting the youth and becoming more than a household name -- an inspiration.