I am beyond honored to introduce the FRNDY LMRN community to the insanely talented Alternative R&B singer-songwriter, Justiine. Her sound emits nothing but positive and radiant auras. The 22-year-old budding sensation’s unique blend of R&B, Hip Hop, and Pop has already made her a fan favorite in her hometown of Atlanta. Now, Justiine is poised to reach a global audience with the release of her Project Twenty Two EP.
JULIEN: What’s up! Welcome to the FRNDY LMRN fam, Justiine. Where exactly did you grow up in Atlanta?
JUSTIINE: *Laughs* well I’m Justiine. I’m from Alpharetta, which is pretty much the suburbs. There’s just a lot of high class drug addicts and drunk housewives—It’s really pretty, though! Growing up was interesting to say the least. I could write a book about all the great times and a sequel to it about all the horrible times. It has been a very long time coming, but I’m extremely excited and humbled to be where I am.
JULIEN: What’s an average day like for you?
JUSTIINE: I’m for sure an example of the cliché musician. I go with the flow. I typically wake up around noon and knock out my yoga for the day. Once I feel inspired, I might then go cook or pick up some food. I make sure to save time to play with my dog, and then I’ll go in the studio and make a beat or try to write to one of my producer’s beats. If some magic starts to flow, I’ll be in the studio for 8-9 hours. At some point, my team will force me to go to sleep. I wake up, and finish that song first thing in the morning.
JULIEN: Can you explain your creative process?
JUSTIINE: Candles and sage are an absolute must to set a vibe in my studio. Colored lights are a necessity. I make sure to set them to the vibe of the song that I’m working on. It sounds crazy, but it’s 100% necessary. I need to have my notebook, pencil, and sharpener to write down lyrics. Lastly, I must be alone during the entire process.
JULIEN: What drew you to the music industry?
JUSTIINE: I’ve been singing my entire life — since preschool, actually. I performed in musicals and all that gross stuff. My brother, Chandler, started rapping when we were in high school. I followed his lead and followed my passion. The rest went down in history.
JULIEN: Who are your biggest supporters of your career?
JUSTIINE: My mom. My dad. He’s been there for me since I quit my job and decided to make a career out of music. I’m really lucky to have them as parents. They support all of my dreams and believe in me more than I believe in myself sometimes. My friends. Coke — better known as Coca Vango. I’m proud of his success and appreciate him for being a great CEO of Energy 7, the record label I’m signed to. He tells it like it is and has been helping me navigate through the industry since the very beginning. Oh, and my PR team is the best! My support group is fire.
JULIEN: Your last sonic offering was called ‘Project Twenty One’ and your latest is coined ‘Project Twenty Two’? Is there a hidden meaning behind the correlating titles?
JUSTIINE: Well, my first EP ‘Project Twenty One’ was released when I had just turned 21. It’s one of my favorite numbers as well. This year, I decided that it’s only right that I put out ‘Project Twenty Two’ before it’s too late when I turn 23! The plan is to have an age trilogy, kind of how Adele did with her albums. Love that.
JULIEN: Do you like to collaborate with other artists? What is that process like?
JUSTIINE: I love collaborating with other artists. Collaboration used to give me anxiety. I would get intimidated, but after recording with Nessly and Salma Slims, I have appreciated my gift a bit more.
JULIEN: Have you ever dealt with anxiety due to a creative block?
JUSTIINE: Every day of my life. It’s hard getting stuck in the hole, and then you have to think about how you're in a hole. And then you have deadlines and fans that are waiting. It really makes you want to say fuck it! But it’s all worth it when you release a track it and everyone loves it. It’s always worth it.
JULIEN: What do you want to accomplish within the next few years?
JUSTIINE: I just want to be a better version of myself. I want to work with more artists, shoot more videos, travel everywhere. There’s so much I want to do, I could write a short story.
JULIEN: Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
JUSTIINE: Thriving, living in LA, on a song with Drake.
JULIEN: What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten from someone?
JUSTIINE: Ever since I was a kid, my mom has told me, “a part of finding out who you are is finding out who you don’t want to be.”
JULIEN: What advice do you have in general for young girls regarding self confidence?
JUSTIINE: Stop trying to be like everyone else. If you look different, that’s a good thing. A lot of these young girls put so much effort into looking the same. I used to do it, too. But no matter how hard I tried to fit in, I was still different. After a while, I embraced it and became more comfortable with myself. I don’t know. Being young is hard, but being a young girl is the worst. Just don’t be scared to be who you are.
Written by Sir Julien George