Culture and Cadence: An Interview With One of DC’s Most Talented Street Performers


Image Credi: Josh Blocker

Sam Kuramoto

Amongst the residual noise of the city, you might be able to hear the beautiful sounds of Josh Blocker, DC’s beloved street guitarist. Usually outside of metro stations or on the corner of M Street in Georgetown, you would think you were hearing a live Jimi Hendrix or Stevie Ray Vaughn performance on your daily commute. The other day, I left my wallet on the 33 Bus on M Street and had to chase it down the street which eventually led me to finding Josh, making my stressful endeavor even more worth it. After unintentionally finding his Tik Tok and Instagram (@joshblockerofficial), I knew I had to set up an interview to get a better understanding of his craft and talent.

Q: What got you interested in music/guitar?
A: I’ve been playing guitar for all of my life. I lost my brother in 2014 on my graduation night due to a police officer killing him by mistake. I played at his funeral and ever since then, I’ve been doing it for him, myself, and for everyone that told me to never stop playing the guitar. It will take you far in life. Plus, I grew up in a musically talented family, and like every good musician or singer, I grew up in the church. My grandfather listening to blues radio in the mornings had gotten me to fall in love with the guitar tones, and got me thinking that I could play something like that too.

Q: What do you like the most about street performance?
A: The thing I like the most about street performance is that I can make money practicing on the street. The best part is that I get to see people smiling and dancing in the street to the sound tracks I give to them. It’s also pretty cool because I know they don’t hear high fashion music on the regular. Just giving them that fun experience makes me happy when I see that they’re happy too. Hopefully the right person will hear what I’m playing and might want to give me a record deal or a nice opportunity to play somewhere bigger and help me grow in my career.

Q: What is the hardest part about it all?
A: The hardest part about it is not letting negative people get to you. For example, all the people that say you can’t be nothing in life or the haters that try to pull you down because they aren’t as smart as you will literally try to dumb you down. Don’t let the negative people get to you. Another hard thing is song writing, but it comes over time, with practice, and overall life experience. Being patient is pretty tough but you gotta have faith in the elder Gods.

Q: Favorite song to play?
A: My favorite song to play is probably Party Time or Scuttle Buttin’.

Q: What does the future look like for you?
A: Future looks pretty simple, I’m just another high fashion guitar player comin’ up.

Josh’s story is just one of the many stories that makes DC the incredible city that it is. It’s pretty rare to find someone with the amount of dedication and passion that Josh has, and his willingness to share it with the people of DC in such an accessible way. You can follow Josh at @joshblockerofficial on all social media platforms and Josh Blocker on all streaming platforms. Next time you see Josh in the streets, take a second to crack a smile, do a little dance, and throw him a tip. Keep it high fashion.

Josh’s latest single: