paul joshua hyman (formerly greenshields)
AGE + DOB
33 + 8 august 1981
PLACE OF BIRTH
nashville, tn + new york city, ny
RELATIONSHIP STATUS + SEXUALITY
single + fluid
joshua greenshields (55; father, incarcerated), jolene ramirez (50; mother), nora hyman (27; biological sister). warren hyman (56; adoptive father), caroline hyman (50, adoptive mother), warrick hyman (2, adoptive brother).
enfp ("the campaigner") + enneagram type 4 ("the individualist")
Jolene Ramirez was seventeen when she discovered that she was pregnant. Seventeen, living in a trailer park with her too-old boyfriend, a high school drop out – she was hardly suited to be a parent. Regardless of readiness, Paul Joshua Greenshields, named Paul from the Bible and Joshua after his father, was born on August 8th, 1981. His mother was inattentive and abusive, addicted to a slew of drugs and incapable of properly managing any of the behaviours that Paul exhibited. He was loud and curious, two traits that did not mesh well with the destructive characteristics that his parents exhibited. He got into trouble frequently, oftentimes for minor indiscretions, and learned at a young age to keep to himself. His younger sister and only full-sibling was born shortly after his sixth birthday, and the addition of a new family member didn’t allow conditions in the Greenshield’s household to improve.
Directionless and disinterested in most things, Paul attached himself to his elementary school teacher, desperate for the affection he wasn’t receiving from other avenues of his life. He participated actively in his school’s music program, and gained a few small, minute connections to other children. Talented with an instrument but never with a book, Paul’s grades were abysmal – and as they continued to get worse, social services got more and more interested in his case, curious about how he could show up to school so obviously unthought of and then shine when given the opportunity. The six months between Paul turning ten and eleven were tumultuous at best – his father, having been a low-level drug pusher, was sentenced to time in jail and his mother was immediately deemed unfit to be a parent. Pulled from their home, Paul and his younger sister, Nora, were taken into the custody of the system and slotted into a foster home in a matter of weeks.
Given the reputation his parents had garnered and the trouble that they had endured at home, Paul and his sister’s second foster family was in Nashville, Tennessee. Things immediately started to get better – though Paul was still prone to outbursts and behavioural issues, his life with the Hyman’s was blissful. They were caring and doting, glad to have children to look after as they were unable to have their own. The Hyman’s served as foster parents to many children throughout the time that Paul was in their care, though he and his sister were the only two that they adopted. They fostered development in him that would have otherwise been neglected. Paul’s first guitar, considered his most treasured possession, was a thirteenth birthday gift. Given the troublesome beginnings he had faced, life in Tennessee seemed idyllic - and Paul was finally offered the chance to flourish.
And he did, to some extend. His interest in music expanded but school still fell by the wayside, Paul’s grades never better than C’s save for in classes that fostered creative development. Around fifteen, Paul met his future bandmate and started to write his own music, craving expression. The pair stuck through high school together and became close friends, continuing to play into young adulthood. In 2001, they formally started a band, selected a name and were determined to “make it”, so to speak – and Paul’s adoptive parents, having taken full legal responsibility for him after he turned fifteen, were supportive of the decision. After that, things moved quickly. Paul and his bandmade made an EP and were signed to a small, independent label in Los Angeles called Alive. Three months later, they recorded their first album The Big Come Up. Though the first album was not a financial success, it attracted a very strong cult following and attention from music critics, and Paul and his bandmade were then signed to Fat Possum Records.
From there, Black Water Bayou advanced and advanced, winning their first Grammy Award in 2011 for Brothers, the duo’s sixth album together. From there, the music they were making continued to gain traction – they headlined Coachella for the first time in 2012, and have continued to be festival regulars in the years since. In 2013, Paul’s adoptive parents, though quite old, adopted a third child named Warrick, rounding out their family in the more legal sense. Though Paul is frequenly busy and often out of town, he makes every attempt to be an influence in the life of his baby brother, and maintains close contact with all other members of his family, including some of his foster siblings who have come and gone.
Personally, Paul’s life has been moderately quiet. Though renowned for his womanizing, he has only been in one long-term relationship and prefers to stay unattached. There are frequently murmurs about his sexuality which Paul steadfastly refuses to address, and he stays quiet about his personal life to an extent – but he does love the drama of occasionally allowing something to slip.
AS BLACK WATER BAYOU
TURN BLUE (2014)
EL CAMINO (2011)
ATTACK & RELEASE (2008)
MAGIC POTION (2006)
RUBBER FACTORY (2004)
THE BIG COME UP (2002)
AS PAUL HYMAN
KEEP IT HID (2009)
• A devout reader of the Song of Ice and Fire
series (though admittedly not a fan of the television show), Paul and his bandmate chose Black Water Bayou as a shout out to Blackwater Bay
, with a little Southern twist to represent their heritage.
• Though Paul will openly admit that he has been adopted, he has a great deal of trouble discussing his biological parents in any amount of detail and generally dodges the subject. Paul visits his father, who is currently serving fifteen years for possession, on a semi-regular basis, but hasn't spoken to his mother in nearly four years. He refers to his adoptive parents as mother and father.
• Has a passion for street performance, and as a result, plays in public places for money on a regular basis. He always does his best to disguise himself, and performs only covers or instrumentals - never his own material. Any money he's made has been donated to Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
• Paul doesn't consider himself skilled at much other than singing and playing guitar, but he has a passion for rebuilding old motorcycles and working on their engines. In the same vein, he doesn't own a car - rather a motorcycle, which stays parked in Nashville. Otherwise, he takes cabs or rides the subway.
• Intentionally living a very low-key lifestyle, Paul's apartment is the smallest in his building and his home in Nashville is a well-decorated shack at best. He doesn't own many 'things', but does have an impressive collection of guitars, synthesizers, and a treasured baby grand piano.
• Has never attended a music lesson and is entirely self-taught. As a result, Paul has a bit of difficulty reading sheet music, but can play back, with fairly good results, almost anything he's heard.