I heard recently that true passion is when one loves what they do so much, that in spite of imminent pain or suffering, one continues to pursue the initial goal. I could not have gotten this far without the loving support of my mother, The Queen Mum, Nansee Lanning. I really owe it all to her. She used to drive me around to commercial and film auditions when I was 6 years old and I will always remember her telling me, ” you have to hear a couple No’s before you hear a YES. Never give up Justin, follow your heart. ” It really still rings so true and is the most poignant advice I have ever received. I always wanted to help people. I felt when I was down or when I needed to be inspired I would listen to The Beatles or the well written oldies songs and I felt revivified. It instantly put me in a wonderful state and I knew somewhere deep inside me that I had that ability too.
2. How do you feel about people downloading music rather then buying physical copies?
Its like saying how do I like recording digital VS analog. Analog is fatter and you can hear nuances that otherwise would be lost in digital, but you still get the song. Ultimately, I feel that the music listener has lost something in the experience of going to a record store; opening the jewel case and trying to find the hidden pictures or messages and listening to a record start to finish. People don’t usually make records like that anymore due to the “single” craze. I still buy records and love listening to them. At the end of the day, the marketplace is ever evolving and will continue to do so. There will always be purists, like myself, but the spirit of the music can never be lost.
3.How do you feel about the music industry today?
I love it! The big corporate record labels reeeeaaaaaally shot themselves in the foot. They knew what was coming but because of the monolith corporations they were not able to move swiftly and adapt to new business models. I love that the power is truly in the artists hands and we have the ability to directly connect to our fans like never before in history.
4.Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Touring the World!!! Making a Justin’s World movie. Signing, managing and producing artists on my label, Just Love Records. Enjoying flyin’ around the world in my private jet, skiing the slopes and jumpin the ropes. I was trying to sound cool at the end there and I am not sure it came thru properly…
5. Do you think singer/songwriters are the best interpreters of their own work or do you believe some cover versions can be better then the original?
I love to hear how people can interpret others music. I find it very amusing and appreciate a good cover song.
6.Who have you always dreamt of working with and why? How would you go about accomplishing this?
I have always dreamt of just working with great people who are down to earth. I feel that I have accomplished this. I am sure that I will work with others whom I have not yet met, but its not a matter of status for me. I would much rather work and write with a humble, but talented unknown, than a pig headed, BOGUSLY ego inflated yankee. No offense NEW York. I love big apples : )
I remember working in the studio on behind these eyes and my $#!&*head producer was trying to tell me to stop drinking water and it was ruining the sound. This guy worked with a lot of people, sold millions of records but boy was he a PUTZ. I ultimately told him to take a hike and I didn’t care who he worked with. I am me.
7.As you are starting out your career in the music industry what steps do you plan on taking to reach your goal?
Set goals and celebrate the small victories. Learning my craft better each and every day. Also, that each day that there is some forward movement towards those set goals.
Yes, things are not what they seem. It takes a lot of patience in times when things fall through or broken promises are made.
9. What is the greatest thing about working in the music industry? And what would you change if you had the opportunity?
All the great people that I have met. I love writing songs and playing music with really talented people and I have had the opportunity to work with some of the best, whom I consider the cream of the crop. I am very lucky and feel that I have had some great times in rock and roll.
10.If you could have asked anyone for advice when you were starting out. Who would you have liked to ask?
What would you have liked to ask?
What would be your answer now?
I feel that I have gotten great advice and had amazing mentors that guided me to where I am. I am very content with the people I have around me and I am very blessed.
11.From your experience in the entertainment industry what advice could you offer people looking to get where you are today?
Read. Become incredibly proficient in everything that is going on. Be able to have a conversation about the latest trends and go and have those conversations with all your friends and whoever will listen. Just really know what you are getting into and develop a love for whatever your doing.
12. What courses/classes would you recommend someone take if they want to be a professional in the music industry?
Drums. Learn rhythm. It is the only thing that can teach someone how to really let loose and be expressive. It is the backbone of all music and to me the beat is really important. If you have a good drummer, you got a good band.
13.How many years were you fighting to get to where you are today and what was that time i your life like?
I am still fighting. It is a battle everyday.. Music is a curse and I dont wish it on anyone. I am not happy unless I am playing music. I wouldnt do anything else really well. I love it with all my heart and have sacrificed friends and family on an altar to do what I do. Meaning that I have had to put a lot of time in to make it what I want… and its still not right. I am far too much a perfectionist and It has hindered my art in many ways. I gotta let go of that and just be.
14.From your experience so far, what have you found to be most challenging? And how are you dealing with it?
Life is most challenging. Whatever we apply ourselves in, we will find some kind of strife involved. For me personally, its been organizing my time properly. I have so much going on at any given moment that I forget to take a moment and breathe.
15.Share with us your proudest moment in your career so far?
I cant name just one moment. I love performing in general and have a blast just about every time I’m on stage. I really am a ham and just let loose. I always kinda chuckle to myself about how I said this or did that. For example, I was playing a school concert that was with a couple of other artists and they were saying stay in school and do your homework… I just said to the kids, “who wants to be a millionaire? who wants to be a billionaire??” It was totally inappropriate and silly, but I think all the kids loved not hearing about staying in school and getting good grades for once, you know?