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@School: Josh Walters

Josh Walters says he's come to appreciate life on St. Croix.For the first few years that Josh Walters lived on St. Croix, he just wanted to get off this “God-forsaken rock” and go back to the states. That was until he picked up a guitar.
Within 10 minutes, he was playing “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple, and the rest, as they say, is history.
And that made life better for him on St. Croix.
Five years ago at the age of 12, Walters moved with his mom, Linda Miller, to St. Croix from Chatham, Va. When he arrived, Walters was in the middle of seventh grade, which he admits can be a tough time to make changes.
He said his change in attitude took a while because of the lackadaisical attitude on St. Croix. According to Walters, attitude can be a reason for a lot of teenagers’ problems here. There is a lot of freedom for kids with time on their hands, and laws aren’t strict, says Walters.
The personable young man, with music-industry looks and striking eyes framed by thick, black lashes, is now putting his time and energy into music.
Currently a senior at AZ Academy in Orange Grove, Walters says he writes his own songs and lyrics.
“I get a sense of pride in performing and working on my writing,” says Walters, who’s taken private guitar lessons from J.J. Rocks and now has "a little jam band" with three of his friends from the island.
Walters says he had a little musical training playing the clarinet, which he didn’t care for in marching band back in Virginia. He was waiting to get the saxophone position because he loved playing the blues.
“Blues comes from feelings and passion,” Walters says. “I see music with a point of view.”
His taste in music runs from Carlos Santana (his favorite musician) and Led Zeppelin to Creedence Clearwater Revival and AC/DC.
He had a stroke of luck recently with some local music connections. Walters says in music, “connections can make a difference.”
Gary Springer, his art and music teacher at AZ Academy, knew how much Walters loved music, so Springer set up a career-week project for Walters with Padraic Coursey at Aqua Sounds recording studio.
That week went so well, Walters is starting an internship Monday at Aqua Sounds. He said Coursey, the studio’s owner, was more than happy to have him in the studio from 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
“I am so ecstatic about getting the chance to help in a state-of-the-art studio, right here on St. Croix.” Says Walters, who’s setting his sights on Full Sail University in Orlando, Fla., to become a recording engineer/producer.
“It isn’t all about making money,” Walters says. “I just want to live comfortably.” If a music career doesn’t pan out for him, he has a back-up career plan in air conditioning and refrigeration.
“With competition the way it is in music, I don’t know where I will end up,” Walters says.
For now he is happy with where he is and how things are working out for him. And he’s changed his tune about St. Croix
“I can’t take this island for granted. Everywhere you turn your head here, you see the beautiful ocean or sky,” he says, sitting at the fort in Christiansted harbor and spreading his arms out to include the whole the view of harbor.
Walters’ mom says she raised him as a single parent, and that created a strong bond between them. “He truly has a big heart,” Miller said. “He genuinely cares about his friends.”
She added he is a very good guitar player, too.

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