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Josh London takes the stage

When New York-based music tour manager Jeff Christie first heard of local boy Josh Mizzelle, Christie thought he was annoying.

“At first, I thought he was a pest, to be honest,” Christie admits. “He sang to me and he sounded like John [Legend], and I was like, ‘We don’t need another John Legend. We already have one.’”

Mizzelle, however, kept fighting. The 20-year-old Suffolk native’s favorite musical artist is John Legend, and he knew of Christie’s work with Legend.

“I did my research on Jeff Christie,” Mizzelle said. “I was really studying the artist John Legend, and I wanted to find out who was working behind the scenes with him.”

His hard work paid off. After moving to New York with hardly any money to his name, Mizzelle now is working on cutting an album — with Christie as his manager.

Now, the Lakeland High School graduate is preparing to go on a tour Christie is putting together with Big Daddy Kane, Montel Jordan and other artists.

“I’m going to tag Josh on there to open up the show,” Christie said. “We’ll get out the old and bring out the new.”

Christie said Mizzelle’s drive to succeed is what caused him to take him on as an artist.

“I think Josh is a natural, seeing how he sings and the passion he performs [with],” Christie said. “It drives me to do my job to the next level.”

Mizzelle’s importunity paid off, Christie said.

“I respect him because he pressured,” Christie said. “He was so relentless to make it happen. That’s what made me realize this kid is not going to give up.”

Mizzelle — whose stage name is Josh London — said he was driven by his confidence. He started recording songs at the age of 15.

“I’m very confident in knowing I’m going to be that artist that’s going to impact the world,” Mizzelle said. “No matter what trials and tribulations come, you’ve got to keep pressing.”

Mizzelle held a listening party in Norfolk on Thursday, which also happened to coincide with his birthday on Friday. Christie said Mizzelle’s music should be on the radio soon.

“I’d say within the next six months, you should be hearing something on the radio,” Christie said. “I think great things are going to happen for him. I can stake my 25 years on that — he’s going to be a huge artist.”