May 6, 2021
Russell Howard, co-founder and head composer of Signature Tracks, joins Jason and Alex, filling in for Hilary, to talk about his rise in the music industry as well as his battle with substance abuse along the way. From an early age, Russ knew that music was his calling. He began writing raps and producing beats at the age of 12, and later, with the help of high school friend, Kobe Bryant, he found himself immersed in the Philadelphia music scene. However, as his career in the music industry became more serious, so did his drug use. Drinking and smoking weed were the start of everything, but eventually it evolved into ecstasy, GHB, speed, and cocaine as these drugs finally made him feel “free.” His drug usage led to paranoia, lying to loved ones, and waking up handcuffed, among many other things, and Russ finally got help when he realized the drugs were now controlling him and his life. Russ always asks himself, “free” from what when it came to drugs, and it was finding the answer to this question that helped him truly get to the root of his addiction. Today, after 19 years of sobriety, life is much better than he could have imagined and he uses his experiences to help those just beginning their sobriety journey by making them more comfortable sharing. He stresses that, although we are all unique and have our own story, we as people are much more similar than we think, and this relatability is what he tries to convey.
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