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Joseph

Members

Joseph:

RIYL

Tonex, MC Hammer

Influences

Stevie Wonder, Kirk Franklin, James Brown
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Linda Perry might not be the only pop star to emerge from the streets of San Diego. In the late ’80s, the ex–4 Non Blondes singer was a homeless teen in Balboa Park. Two years ago, Joseph (he asked that his last name and the name of his father’s San Diego church not be included in this story “because I don’t want to cause any more controversy between he and I”) had a taste of that life as well after his father, a local preacher, kicked him out of the house following a disagreement.

“I was homeless for about seven to eight months.” Joseph says he crashed on a high school pal’s couch at first and then had no place to go.

“I stayed on the street for about a week,” he says. “I was calling and looking on the internet, trying to find a place, trying to find if there was any help out there, trying to get myself on my feet without telling anybody. I was embarrassed about it.” Some of his survival strategies included feigning drunkenness at parties and crashing at the host’s house. “Stuff like that.”

Eventually, Joseph drifted into the Storefront, an emergency shelter for homeless teens in the Hillcrest area. He says he lived there for six months. One of the educational programs offered at the Storefront was music lessons.

“I was already playing music when I came in there. I had more experience than a lot of the kids in there, so I was more like a teacher than a student.”

Joseph, who grew up singing in his father’s church choir, was brought to the attention of Storefront fund-raiser Jeffrey Sitcov. Sitcov included a segment of Joseph’s singing in a new Storefront promotional video. Later, Sitcov arranged for Chris Goldsmith (Blind Boys of Alabama, Chrissie Hynde) to preview the video. Sitcov emailed that Goldsmith “told me he had never heard an 18-year-old sing like this before.”

Twenty years old in 2009, Joseph scored a place to live, a manager, and announced plans to record his originals.

What would Joseph like to tell his estranged father now? “The only thing that I would say to him is that I’m sorry. I’m sorry. And the reason for being sorry is that [my parents] are good people and I love them dearly and I’m sorry that I caused them any pain…regardless of being who I am. I wish we could come to some kind of closure about this,” he says, “but we don’t talk.”

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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