Justin Garner is one of the most original R&B/Pop artists of his time. So it just wouldn’t be fair to call him a copycat… Unless you just so happen to be referring to MTV’s new show “Copycat”, because in that case, Justin is the ultimate copycat.
This year Justin became the series’ first ever winner after transforming into Pop / R&B star Usher. Dressed in Usher’s clothing and competing in the finale against a male Ke$ha, Justin sang and danced his way to victory.
But that’s just one of Justin’s many victories.
On Feb. 12, his album I Am had debuted on iTunes Japan R&B/Soul charts at #19. By the middle of that same day, it had surpassed Beyoncé’s self-titled project to grab the #1 spot. “It speaks volumes when you have an entire country that believes in you and your music that much, to where you’re number one,” says Justin. “That in itself is just completely unbelievable.”
But with Justin’s talent, nothing really is unbelievable.
From the moment before the small town, Plaquemine, LA born singer steps onstage, the audience can feel that something big is going to happen. His stage presence beckons the crowd to sing and dance along, while he croons with a crisp voice in a variety of pitches. With a vocal prowess influenced by singing in the church choir and studying the harmonies of musical greats as a child, Justin captivates listeners. “I want people to see and feel who I am - a singer, songwriter and musician. When I’m on stage or in the studio, I can just be myself - I just want to make great music.”
Making music is in Justin’s genes.
His father, Ernest “Oldie” Garner, performed as a percussionist with the soul/funk band The Rockin’ Imperials. Ernest passed when Justin was only two years old, but he left to his son the gift of music and determination to continue his legacy. Justin has been a tribute to that legacy ever since, especially when he returned to his hometown to perform a special concert in the old rehearsal space of his late father’s band. “My dad passed when I was two, and all that I was left with were photos and old recordings of his band. This concert served as a chance for me to connect with him musically, by standing where he stood, and performing music where he once performed.”
Holding a Bachelor’s in marketing, Justin has been able to work the ins and outs of the music industry. His knowledge of business coupled with his musical ability has landed him many mainstream opportunities, including highly coveted chart positions on iTunes and other storefronts. He has performed around the United States as a supporting act for recording artists Trey Songz, Big Sean, Fantasia, Keri Hilson and many more.
Other huge accomplishments for Justin have certainly come from his marketing skills, as he has been able to expertly place his voice in all the right places. From YouTube, he received millions of views for his series of covers and remixes to songs by Beyonce, Katy Perry and other top artists. The success of his cover videos led him to creating original music, leading to a bevy of musical achievements.
In 2012, Justin was listed as Amazon.com’s Artist on the Rise and as New & Notable - triumphs typically reserved for artists signed to major labels. Through the social media network MySpace, Justin was a featured new artist, catching the attention of music enthusiasts and industry heavyweights. In 2013, he was listed as New & Noteworthy and Artist to Watch on iTunes.
Justin has two full-length albums, I Am (2014) and Year One (2013). His next project 7, a seven-track EP, will be released in the spring. “I wanted to record seven songs in seven days. I locked myself in the studio and just wrote about everything that came to my mind. Instead of focusing on industry sounds, I went in a more organic direction and incorporated live elements. Lyrically and vocally, I wanted this body of work to be more passionate, heartfelt, and soulful.”
With no intention of slowing down, Justin intensely records and performs with only one priority – his fans. Justin’s evolution as an artist, songwriter and vocal arranger is remarkable. His drive and ambition for creating music is unrelenting.