by Josh Damigo
The history of popular music is full of stars who began their careers in the church only to find success in the secular world. Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and Sam Cooke all began their careers as gospel singers before bursting out from the choir into mainstream success. Amy Grant began her career in the Christian music genre before finding pop stardom. If Josh Damigo has his way, he'll add a different kind of chapter to the annals of church-bred musicians who find success in the secular world. While the above legends all found success in R&B and pop after learning about music in the church, Damigo is in the singer-songwriter mold. Born and raised in San Jose, Calif., Damigo grew up in a very strict household. Only allowed to listen to the KFRC, the local oldies station in the Bay Area, he found himself influenced by bands like the Beatles, The Beach Boys, and much of the old-time, lyrically driven style of music.
Damigo's initial introduction to music was fairly ordinary: In first grade, his mother signed him up for piano lessons. "I absolutely hated piano because my teacher kept giving me classical pieces," Damigo said. "I quit when I was in sixth grade." He only quit piano, not music. "At 16, I taught myself to play guitar... Two weeks after that, I had my first show. I was playing at churches. I was mostly singing - I was a much better singer than a guitar player." It was also at this time that he wrote his first song.
Flash Forward- Josh Damigo has now won multiple awards including San Diego H.A.T. Awards for Best Male Performer (2006), Best New Artist (2006), Best Male Singer-Songwriter(2006), and Best Male Vocalist(2006 & 2008). After more than 400 shows, Damigo has made a strong following for himself and is known as one of the hardest working musicians in Southern California.
Josh Damigo's latest achievement was winning the San Diego Music Award in the Best Acoustic category. (September 2010). He also won the 2009 San Diego Music award for his album, "Raw". Damigo hopes these accomplishments will help gain national attention, building on his already-strong resume. His shows includes performances with The Jonas Brothers Trio, Jason Mraz, Joss Stone, Jackie Greene, Kate Voegel, Matt Nathanson, The Zac Brown Band (twice), Jon Foreman(Switchfoot), The Green River Ordinance, Carolina Liar, Josh Gracin, Ryan Bingham (From the movie Crazy Heart), Daphne Loves Derby, The Format, Ari Hest, Sara Haze, Ernie Halter, Curtis Peoples and John West. He has been featured in The San Diego Union-Tribune, The San Diego Reader, The San Diego Citybeat, The Modesto Bee, the Fresno Bee, and North County Times, and was named one of San Diego's Up and Coming Artists by the San Diego Troubadour. His songs can be heard on Clear Channel stations and College radio and is a regular on San Diego's local music shows. He was the "Pick of the Week" on KPRI FM, has performed on the dozens of television stations and had the "Most Downloaded Song" in the month of April on the SanDiegoReader.com. He is also a regular on KRUZ 97.5 in Santa Barbara.
This year marks a new verse in Damigo's Music Career: hitting the road! Keep an eye out for national tour dates and tunes to be recorded for a new release later this year, as 2011 promises to be the biggest year yet for Josh Damigo.