Whether you live in the suburbs of the Ohio Valley or in the metropolises around the country, everyone listens to some type of music. Listening to music is not just a hobby to people; to some, it is also a lifestyle. In recent years, some residents of the Ohio Valley have tried to make music a reality in their lives. One of which is Josh Elias.
Josh “Elias the Profhit” Elias is an inspirational hip hop artist. Hip hop music has begun to soar in popularity in today’s generation, and many musicians, like Elias, have taken a fondness towards it. Like many, Elias’ interest in music started at a very young age. His music talent and career grew as the years went on. However, Elias’ climb to fame is unique. He resides in the Ohio Valley in Weirton, WV.
“I grew up here in the Ohio Valley; I have been here my entire life,” said Elias. “I came from a very hardworking home. My father spent 40 years on the railroad, and my mother spent 30 years in the mill. They loved what they did, and that inspired me to work hard at things I loved myself.”
Elias’ love for music began at a young age, and he knew that his dream was to become a musician.
“It all started when I began high school at age 14,” said Elias. “I went to Brooke High School and quickly joined the Young Writers for the Future Program. The program consisted of writing poems and lyrics throughout the school year. I did very well, and having experienced that program transcended me into wanting to be a music artist. I entered my first writing/musical tournament at age 15 at my church. I did not win and consequently, I beat myself up over it.”
Elias’ love of music was immense, but it was overshadowed by his feelings of defeat and his insecurities of his talent. Three years had passed, and Elias was now 18 years of age. Although he continued to write music, he was no longer performing. Everything changed after he thought of how he could help contribute to the Ohio Valley.
“Growing up in the Ohio Valley, I have always known the negative image that has been portrayed here,” said Elias. “The steel mills shut down, the drug epidemic has continued to increase, and the limited amount of jobs in the area seems to persist every year. I took these negative aspects as motivation to try and show the Ohio Valley in a positive light. I have seen how the valley has affected not only myself and my parents, but the community as well. And I have made it my life’s goal to try and make things better here, whether it be through music, community service, or work with the youth.”
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Elias acknowledges that his work alone will not fully change the image of the Ohio Valley, but he believes it is a start.
Over the years, Josh Elias’ music career has become a reality. Beginning in 2014, “Elias the Profhit” started to become a household name around the area. Elias has built a following on Facebook and Youtube, and he was the first ever West Virginia hip hop artist to perform at the major church competition, “Winterfest.”
“My success so far has been humbling, and I hope I continue to grow!” said Elias.
Elias’ other accolades include being named the #3 Superstar of the year for QMedia in Cleveland and Major Southern Georgia Independent Magazine the R Report 2014’s #10 Indie Artist of the year.
Elias’ music career is just beginning, and he shows signs of becoming a positive influence for the Ohio Valley.
However, Elias is contributing more to the valley rather than just his music. On July 31, 2016, Elias held a unity peace rally in Weirton, WV.
“Today, we made history in the Ohio Valley. We brought together people of the community, police officers, blacks and whites, and Republicans and Democrats. We brought these people together to show peace and unity,” speaking at the event Elias said . “If you want to see a change in the world, you have to be the change yourself and contribute. You have to be the example. I tried to do that today in my hometown.”
Elias’ public gathering succeeded with over 50 people in attendance that peacefully marched around Weirton’s city building.
The Ohio Valley, like every area around the United States, has its problems. It is easy to take a back seat and just live with the problems that inhabit an area. Josh Elias is trying to shed positive light through the Ohio Valley with his music and other community events.
“I don’t want to make loads of money. I want to be heard and to make a difference in the Ohio Valley,” said Elias.