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Meet Joshua ‘JQualiT’ Thompson of JQualiT Music in Long Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joshua ‘JQualiT’ Thompson.

Joshua has shared his gift of music since the tender age of eight. Growing up with humble, Gospel roots, Joshua began his journey through the Drums playing in his local community churches in Fresno, California. After picking the saxophone for the first time, he felt as if it spoke to him and spiritually confirmed his calling. As he nurtured his craft growing up in Lancaster, CA, he became exceptionally versatile in a variety of styles and trades including classical, jazz, gospel, and arranging and orchestration for his high school marching band and jazz collective. As one of the top musicians in his city he was fortunate to perform across the country with some of the top regional bands, and made his way into the industry, emerging as a young artist by arranging and producing his first Gospel Jazz album at 16 years old.

His distinct tone, musical vernacular and approach to live arranging in multiple genres has allowed him to not only showcase at some of the most pristine venues in Los Angeles but to be noted as one of the best upstanding class entertainers in both the private and public sector.

As an Alumnus of California State University, Northridge, he studied under the direction of leading Jazz instructors Gary Pratt and Rob Lockhart both as a Music Industry major for his first two years of his undergraduate career. His experiences in event development, brand management, publishing, and Entertainment Law not only shaped his business acumen but diversified his brand and furthered his growth aspiring industry entrepreneur.

He has been blessed to open and share the stage with some of the Industry’s finest musicians and word-class DJ’s such as Ari Lennox, Eric Benet, Andre Crouch, B Slade, Avery Wilson, DJ Camper, Amber Priley, Terrace Martin and others. Additionally, he has garnered TV commercial credits and contributed his sound as an instrumentalist and songwriter for Rostrum Records’ 90’s Drip Library. In addition, he has worked with Grammy-nominated artists and producers including Sak Passé, MyGuyMars, and has written for artists including Doug E Fresh, Big Daddy Kane, Biz Markee and others.

He currently performs and tours with the SoulfulofNoise collective and with his own r&B/jazz fusion group ‘The Pocket Prophets’.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Being an artist and an entrepreneur is by no means easy. It comes with the mental, financial, and professional ups and downs of life. For me personally I’ve had to make hard decisions and sacrifices. Before I started playing heavily with SoulfulofNoise I was set on going to law school and was working at a good firm out in the OC, but I wasn’t happy. When I finally decided to get back to using my gift, I started to see things shift dramatically. Last Summer the same day I worked on the Top Shelf 1988 Project for Rostrum Records, someone hit my car, and the next day I lost my job.

However, the entire Summer, God provided an endless amount of gigs and performance opportunities. After I did the Long Beach Jazz Festival, someone broke into a car I was renting and stole my horn. The same horn I’ve had for over 15 years, I was ready to let go. The next day at 6am I got a call that my horn had been found on the sidewalk untouched (Thank God for leaving business cards in the front pocket).

I believe when God makes room for your gift, nobody can touch it, and doors will open that no one can close. You have to have faith and work hard and celebrate the small victories along the way. I’ve cried tears no one has seen and dealt with bouts of depression and anxiety that only few people have seen me go through. But when you look back at all that you’ve gone through, all things still work together for good no matter the stitches, glue, rubber bands, and janky things holding those things together the fact is it will all work for your good because you have a higher purpose.

JQualiT Music – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I’ve been in music since I was eight growing up in church. But I’ve been a working artist since 13. What I’m most proud of as a musician, producer, and entrepreneur is I get to be versatile in different avenues to build my brand and connect with different people. I’m blessed to have multiple networks of people either within the industry or through different affiliations that either have seen me perform or want to work in different business endeavors. I would say what makes me different is that I don’t give anything less than ‘QualiT’ music, performance, or service in all that I do. Outside of my music, I also mentor and teach young men through my fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi and I’m currently building my own event and brand management company Young True Gentleman Collective to help artists and creatives expand their brands beyond the stage and the studio. If you’re not serving others to become and do greater things than you, then you’re not living out your purpose.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I believe success isn’t a defined moment, but it’s the progressive realization of a worthy value or goal. For me, I define success in being able to foster healthy and positive personal and industry relationships and being able to provide value to somebody even if it’s not musically related equips me to become so much better as a person. Having integrity, being consistent, and showing strong character and honesty will always come back to you tenfold. It’s not the things you do yourself that bring success, it’s the blessings and successes that come THROUGH you.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
@SoulfulofNoise, @dgflix, @blylesphotography

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1 Comment

  1. Gh

    September 26, 2019 at 23:43

    ! Well done Josh!! Forward always!

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