Joanna "Jo" Smith
Born on April 13, 1984, the Norwalk, CT recording artist Joanna Eliza Raphael Smith, is previously known as Rain Raphael. She changed her former pseudonym with her 2020 marriage to P. Smith, Jr.- an upcoming music producer and philanthropist- currently reserving the name “Rain Raphael” for her books, alone.
Jo, as we now call her, had a moderately successful music career in the early 2000’s. Though never signed to a major label, she has released three studio albums (one of which was recorded in the Murder Inc. Studios, where multi-platinum artist, Ja Rule made most of his hit records).
As Rain, Jo has worked with many successful musicians, including Will Smith, with whom she collaborated on a group project that was disband after eight months in Burbank, California. She was selected as a finalist for The Real World twice (in cycle 20 and 21), and casted for a reality show pilot called Da Grind, led by Murphy Lee of Nelly’s St. Lunatics. Both projects fell through, but Jo remained consistent with her stage performance and opened for countless shows. Some of her most notable openings are for Lil Mo, Ne-Yo, Jagged Edge, Kurtis Blow, Juelz Santana, and Ja Rule. Her hard work and pleasant demeanor earned her a BET 106&Park Wild-Out Wednesday win and a second appearance on the show as a Favorite Performer. Yet, after such a high, life seemed to get the best of Jo and she lost her home in a three-day eviction due to her management team’s financial trouble in 2009. So, Jo focused on school and new motherhood and graduated with an AA in 2011, while eight months pregnant.
In 2018, Jo published her first book under her musical alias Rain Raphael. The book was the result of a spiked social media following. Social media turned Rain from a music artist to the sister so many people wished they had.
Her sincerity struck a warm chord with her supporters and it seemed that inspiring others, was more and more of what Rain was being asked to do. This growth and vulnerability took Rain on a journey that eventually landed her right back where she started, music. As a songwriter, Jo has a relatable lyrical gift. Her phrases are the things listeners love to say, with or without music. So, when she partners with P. Smith Jr.’s cinematic production, the two, become awesome storytellers. Their name, The BlackLoveSmiths, is a multi-definition of their purpose as a team and marriage ministry. To read Jo's full Testimonial Bio, click here.