Josh Rice (J Rice as his friends always called him) grew up in Spanaway, Washington listening to artists like Take 6, Boyz II Men, Brian Mcknight, Wynton Marsalis, Kenny G and many other
R&B/Jazz greats. He lived in a simple house where his parents taught him to work for everything he wanted, and he’d usually spend his hard earned cash on Video games. At about age 11 he was running a paper route, that his mom Elizabeth would drive him around for 2-4 hours once a week. This $35-50 bucks a week allowed him to pay for his first trumpet. He began practicing 2-4 hours a day, and in 8th grade was in 6 different bands, ranging from his Jr high, to the Sr high Jazz band, and two community bands. It wasn’t until he was 17 that he really sang in front of anyone other than his little sister Erin(who also sings and goes by the artist name Erin Nicole) and a few of his closest friends. “I didn’t even sing in front of my mom because she was an accomplished Opera singer in my mind, and I didn’t know if she’d like my voice, so didn’t risk it lol. I’m glad my friends Lori and Rocky, who overheard me humming, in Jazz band encouraged/forced me to sing at an assembly, which gave me the confidence to pursue it more.”
In High School, he started taking his singing seriously and built his own studio in his bedroom. Equipment was expensive so he had to improvise with dental floss stapled
to the ceiling holding up the mic and a cool whip lid with a hole in it and nylons stretched across for the spit guard. He released two independent albums The Intro and So Close, but couldn’t make enough money to survive off them, and felt he needed to be closer to where everything happens so he packed everything he could, and drove across the country to New York City from his home in Spanaway, Washington with his best friend Daniel. “We had a great trip, took a slight 18 hour detour through Vegas, broke down in Iowa, and 8 days later made it to NYC.
When he arrived in NYC, he immediately started meeting with any writers/producers he could, but none seemed to be the right fit.
Josh started honing his songwriting and recording craft, and soon began getting noticed by music industry A&R's. Unfortunately, he also caught the attention of underground R&B blogs that released leaked music from hacked A&R's accounts. The hackers would send phishing emails to these A&R’s, get their logins, and place hidden filters on their accounts so anytime they received ANY attachment it would automatically be forwarded to the hackers account. This allowed every song J wrote to be leaked within days or weeks, causing the songs to become "dead" to any potential artists, as they would view the songs as already released…
But then something unexpected happened. One of his songs "Thank You For The Broken Heart" was posted to youtube and started going viral without his knowledge. It wasn't until he started getting emails about the song from fans, that he realized what was happening. So, he decided to take it as a positive and cultivate the moderate youtube success by posting more songs, and eventually covers and parodies. A youtube user who went by the name Debonair contacted J and shed light on some of the Youtube “Secrets” that had helped other music artists rise to fame. “This guy never asked for anything, and didn’t just help me, but countless other youtubers. I remember when a group of us Youtubers were together Iman Crosson asked the group who had received tips/help from Debonair and almost the entire group raised their hands. I really respect people like him who help others without motive and try to pay it forward whenever possible.”
It didn’t happen overnight, and J still had to work 9-5 jobs for the first 3 years of trying to make it on Youtube, such as painting houses, door-to-door sales, Ventilation cleaning, and Best Buy Home theater salesman. “I pretty much sucked at all those jobs and hated each one more than the last. I have never been great with following orders or lying to people, and those jobs required a lot of both, except the ventilation cleaning which I quit after I had to work inside a local jail cleaning the main exhaust system filled with black sludge and probably asbestos/hepatitis. I never forget those jobs, and use their negative memories to fuel my drive. As soon as I made a little bit of money selling my music online I never went back to the 9-5 and pray to never have to again.”
Since then, he has received over 700 Million views and amassed around 1 million subscribers between his J Rice channel and newer MineworksAnimations channel.