With that in mind, Joe moved to New Jersey to take on his music career, and upon arrival he immediately began to make connections in the industry. He eventually signed with Polygram Records in New York, and in 1993 released his debut album, "Everything." Since then, Joe has never stopped recording...and his latest project, "The Good, The Bad, The Sexy," (released Oct.18) is more notch in his impressive R&B belt.
In getting close up and personal, The Informer wanted to know Joe's thoughts on today's music industry, his latest project -- and of course, where he stands on love.
The Informer: Your career has spanned many years, how has the process for making music changed?
Joe: One thing that has changed is the lack of collaboration, the vibe. Mariah [Carey] and I actually did a session when we recorded "Thank God I Found You". You don't get that today. Now that I have my
own label, I am excited again.
The Informer: You write beautiful love songs. Have you ever been in LOVE?
Joe: Love...that's a tough thing. I want to be in love. The kind of love that is unconditional, with romance, I have never experienced that.
The Informer: Where did you get the title, "The Good, The Bad, The Sexy?"
Joe: I'd like to take credit for the title; it's such a great title. However, management came up with the title while I was focusing on completing the project.
The Informer: If you could have a conversation with ANY iconic singer of the past, who would it be and what you talk about?
Joe: I would want to talk to Michael Jackson. I would want to ask him what inspires him. He has so much energy, what keeps him going...it is mystical. He a had mysterious talent, he was a perfectionist.
Currently, Joe is on tour with stops across the country as well as in Africa and Australia.
Joe (aka Joe Thomas), 39, is a native of Cuthbert, Georgia, who later moved to Opelika, Ala. He is an accomplished vocalist, having produced a string of smooth and sultry R&B hits.
On occasion, he has produced some hip-hop beats, and his extensive music background -- which includes gospel -- has also allowed him to produce his own albums.
As the son of two preachers, Joe spent much time in church singing, playing guitar and even directing the choir.
Although he was influenced early on by gospel stars like the Winans, Commissioned and Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Joe grew to love soul legends Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye, as well as more contemporary stars such as Bobby Brown and Keith Sweat.
After graduating from high school, Joe continued to sing and write music while working occasional temporary jobs. Finally, he traveled to New Jersey, hoping to make connections in the music industry. It was while working at a gospel record store and continuing his music education through a local church, that he met producer Vincent Herbert and recorded a three-song demo tape.
That led to a contract with Polygram Records, and in 1993 Joe released his debut album, "Everything."
Joe also appeared on the soundtrack to the movie, "Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood," before moving to Jive/RCA for his second album, 1997's "All That I Am."
The single, "Don't Wanna Be a Player," hit the Top 40, thanks to its exposure on the soundtrack of "Booty Call."
While "All That I Am" went platinum, Joe remixed a duet by Tina Turner and Barry White, "Never in Your Dreams," and also produced and wrote for the debut albums of Ideal and Deja Groove.
In 1999, he appeared on Mariah Carey's single, "Thank God I Found You" (from "Rainbow") and caught yet another break from a soundtrack appearance -- this time with "I Wanna Know," from the movie, "The Wood."
Released as a single that fall, "I Wanna Know" languished in the lower reaches of the charts, until suddenly catching fire in early 2000. The single reached the R&B Top Five in March, setting the stage for Joe's next album, the multi-platinum, "My Name Is Joe."
Despite having yet to achieve that level of sales again, Joe's releases throughout the remainder of the decade – "Better Days (2001)", "And Then... (2003)", "Ain't Nothin' Like Me (2007)", "Joe
Thomas, New Man (2008)", and "Signature (2009)" -- were solid full-lengths.
Each one reached the Top 10 of the R&B chart, with his first release in 2010 being "The Good, The Bad, The Sexy," which featured four productions from Brandon "B.A.M." Alexander.