INTERVIEW: Justin Michael Williams

Hi Justin, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Awesome! It’s been an incredible whirlwind of a year – really honored to be interviewed on your site.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Here With Me”?

This song is the lead single from my album and is probably one of the most vulnerable and personal songs that I’ve ever written. I was literally crying in the studio – and I think you can hear and feel it on the record.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

Absolutely. My grandmother who I was very close to passed away unexpectedly from Cancer. Anyone who has dealt with this kind of situation knows how painful it is for everyone. One night before a big session in the recording studio, the lyrics to “Here With Me,” came to me in a dream. The next day, we wrote and recorded the entire song in the studio. It flowed through so quickly, I’m convinced my grandma helped us with that one.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

There’s a video out now that’s been getting some buzz on YouTube; It was really fun (and messy AF) to film. Check it out:

The single comes off your new album Metamorphosis – what’s the story behind the title?

The album is about transformation. We all have to go through so much, to become the people we know we were put on this earth to be. We deal with death, shitty relationships, heartbreak, illness, racism, and so much more; yet those of us who are willing to keep pressing forward despite life’s ups-and-downs are able to finally realize our dreams. Each song on the album chronicles all the things that hold us back from becoming our greatest self.

How was the recording and writing process?

Each and every song on this record is super personal. I wrote every song with my incredible Co-writers Thorald and Isaac Koren, and my producer Johnny What. We worked as a team on the entire album to bring forth some incredibly personal concepts, but make them feel universal. All the songs started with my voice and a piano, then we added the production after. We wanted to make sure that even if all the production was stripped away, there was still a great song at the core.

How conceptual is this record?

Entirely. The concept of Metamorphosis sustains the entire record from beginning to end.

What role does Yoga play in your music?

Yoga doesn’t play a huge role in the music itself, but my practice of yoga and meditation is what helped me to find my authentic voice and get to a place where I was ready and willing to unleash my art to the world. I used to be so scared. Yoga helped me find the confidence in myself, my voice, and my art.

How has your upbringing have influence your music and this record, in-particular?

I grew up in a poor neighborhood, surrounded by crime, addiction, and domestic violence. I don’t shy away from talking about this on my record. Take a listen to the song “Perfect Man” and you’ll learn a lot about me and my past. I revealed some things on that track that I had never told anyone before.

Any plans to hit the road?

I would love to! I’ve been doing some shows in LA & NYC, but my big goal right now is to hit the road as an opening act for an incredible artist.

What else is happening next in Justin Michael Williams’ world?

I’m preparing to release the next music video for the second single – it’s a secret though! Really excited about that.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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