Singer-guitar player gains popularity for musical talent on Internet
Madeline Williams, Assistant Sports Editor
May 4, 2012
In a matter of weeks, 22-year-old art major, graphic design minor and singer-songwriter Josh Herbert has become a YouTube sensation.
Herbert has quickly become famous on YouTube, doing covers of “One Thing” and “What Makes You Beautiful” by the popular boy band One Direction, “Payphone” by Maroon 5, and “Leavin’” by Jesse McCartney.
More famously known is his cover of “Boyfriend” by Justin Bieber, which has well over 275,000 hits and many site comments from teenage girls gushing over his good looks and smooth voice.
Although he said he writes a lot of his own music, Herbert has yet to put any of his own songs on his YouTube channel.
“I’ve only uploaded my covers of popular songs so far,” Herbert said. “Covers are new to me, but I’ve been putting my own spin and vibe into each song though, trying to make them my own. Once I get my name out there, I’ll start to put some of my own stuff up for everyone to hear. I’m sticking with covers for now, but originals are on the way.”
Herbert taught himself to play a little on the guitar before he started taking guitar lessons in 6th grade at Guitars Plus in Pittsburgh.
“I took lessons from a cool guy named Wayne Bartley,” Herbert said. “He was a total metal rocker and he was crazy good at guitar. He really taught me a lot and got me started.”
In 7th grade, Herbert and his three close friends, Dave Belliveau, Dan Ruffolo, and Beau Bergman started a band called Restraining Order.
Years later, his longtime friend, Belliveau, created Dibs Music and became Herbert’s music producer.
“Josh and I have been working together for a long time now, and it’s almost surprising that he’s just starting to get noticed now,” Belliveau said. “The kid was made for music. He has an amazing ability to write a catchy melody in seconds and a full song in literally minutes. Once you hear him sing, you’re hooked.”
Herbert attended North Allegheny Senior High School, where in 2007, his hockey team was the PIAA state champion.
Outside of school and music making, he is also kept busy by playing ice hockey for SRU’s team.
Although he loves singing and playing guitar, Herbert said being involved with music is very costly, especially being a typical college student.
“The music industry is definitely a huge investment,” Herbert said. “I’ve accumulated nearly over $3,000 worth of electronics and instruments for recording and performing all my songs.”
His roommate, senior exercise science major Tyler Heidelbaugh, said that Herbert puts a lot of time into his music.
“Josh is always up in his room working hard on his tunes, usually late into the night,” Heidelbaugh said. “He has created a fan base that he has to please, and that requires a lot of time and effort on his part. I know he’s going to do big things.”
Herbert said he is very grateful for his grandparents, Gerry and Patrick Scullion, and gets a lot of his musical motivation from them.
“My grandpa played drums and sang in a polka band before going off into the service, and I get a lot of my inspiration from him,” Herbert said. “My grandparents are my biggest supporters, and I can’t thank them enough for everything they’ve done for me.”
Herbert really appreciates everyone’s support of his musical dreams and said he plans to continue releasing music online for everyone to enjoy.
He also encourages everyone at Slippery Rock to check out the other music on his YouTube page – www.youtube.com/joshherbertmusic, and to follow his Twitter account @joshherbert11 for upcoming music releases.
His music is also now available on iTunes.