Suffolk native gets recognition

Published 9:29 pm Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Suffolk native Joshua Mizzelle is moving ahead in the music world.

Josh Mizzelle

The Lakeland High School graduate and former Hall Place graduate is gaining traction in his entertainment career. He currently is recording an album due to be released this summer, recently was featured in Jet Magazine and will be one of several independent artists on the VH1 reality show “Breaking Through.”

But the 20-year-old Mizzelle, whose stage name is Josh London, is keeping modest and crediting God and his family with his talent.

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“God is the source of everything in my life,” Mizzelle said recently. “God gave me the ability to do this. He is the machine behind this.”

Mizzelle added his career has been inspired by his mother’s strength and his father’s musical style.

The December/January issue of Jet Magazine named Josh London as one of five rising independent artists to watch. Jet compared the musician to Prince and David Bowie.

Mizzelle described his excitement on the night he first saw the article in print. After a party in Virginia Beach that celebrated his appearance in Jet Magazine and the release of the single “Live It Up” for radio play in Los Angeles, Mizzelle and a group of friends stopped at a convenience store to pick up a copy of the magazine.

Mizzelle described seeing the front cover of Jet, picking it up and turning directly to page 36. He announced to 7-Eleven patrons that he was featured in Jet Magazine — and everyone gathered around him to get his autograph.

“It was very emotional,” Mizelle said. “I knew this was just the beginning.”

But the beginning actually was many years ago, when Mizzelle’s love for performing first grew in his church, New Testament Church in Portsmouth. He also performed every year in the F.A.M.E. Talent Show, held by Suffolk Parks and Recreation.

“It made a major impact in my life,” Mizzelle said. “It gave me somewhere to perform and display my talents to the public.”

His decision to perform professionally was confirmed through his studies at the Governor’s School for the Arts. But his career lately has advanced far beyond the state of Virginia.

He has performed with such notable musicians as Omarion, Foxy Brown and John Legend. Mizzelle is currently recording under producers Diggy and Kwame Holland, legendary 1990s rapper-turned-producer.

“I work really hard,” Mizzelle said. “You put in so much time and energy. You have to sacrifice a lot.”

Mizzelle’s daily schedule includes meetings and interviews, practices, 12-hour band rehearsals, exercising and time in the recording studio. He also performs once or twice a week.

“It’s more work than anything else,” he said. “I’m definitely a full-time and overtime artist. It’s a passion, so I don’t mind.”

Mizzelle said he is trying to live up to the standard that all the publicity has set.

“My favorite part is seeing the audience get into the music. I love taking them on a journey,” he said. “To be compared to David Bowie and Prince is a lot to say. Every day, I try to live up to that.”

“I’m just ready to change the music game this year,” he said. “It’s my time and opportunity to put old Suffolk on the map.”

Mizzelle does get homesick sometimes, he added.

“I miss Suffolk sometimes. That’s home. I don’t get the opportunity to come back often like I want to,” he said.

When Mizzelle performs, he hopes to inspire with his music and with his life.

“You can overcome anything, any obstacle; it just takes hard work and dedication,” he said. “There’s so many opportunities out there for you. Push through and make it happen.”

To learn more about Mizzelle, visit or read London’s Twitter account, imjoshlondon.