In a time where urban music is getting more aggressive and diverse, Justin Hamilton blends his R&B influences with hip hop in a sound reminiscent of the likes of Kanye West, Childish Gambino and Lupe Fiasco – Distractions is a smooth driven song with clever lyrics split in such a direct and classy way by Hamilton.
Hi Justin, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Hey guys! Thanks for having me. I’ve been good. Busy as always, but definitely good.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Distractions”?
“Distractions” is a song I wrote about just being 21 and trying to make something out of myself. A lot changes when you finally turn 21, so I took what was going on in my life and made a song out of it.
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
I don’t really think that the song was inspired by one particular event. It’s kind of a snapshot of what my life has been like since May. Being able to actually explore different scenes has been interesting to stay the least. I found myself going out way more than I intended, and I was starting to lose track of what I was supposed to be doing in my life. It’s fun, but more or less a reminder to myself that I need to stay focused on what’s actually important.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
As of right now, I plan to release some sort of video for every song on the EP. I think it would be cool to have visuals for everything. We haven’t started a video for Distractions yet, but if things continue to go as planned, there will be one coming soon!
The single comes off your new EP Wasted Youth – what’s the story behind the title?
Well, as I said earlier I just turned 21. And like a week after my birthday, I was talking to one of my friends and we were talking about how much we missed being younger. And I heard it all the time, but I never really realized how fun those days were. Way less responsibility, way less pressure. So when I was listening to everything that I had made for the EP, I felt really nostalgic. My producer and I talked about how much time we had wished away, and that’s how I came up with the title Wasted Youth.
How was the recording and writing process?
The writing process was a lot different than my process usually is. Typically I have what I want to write about already in my head, and I just find a way to express what I’m feeling. This time I had to actually live through certain situations and events. I didn’t know what I wanted this project to be about until right before we started the recording process. Recording was pretty ideal though. We set up a studio in my house, and I was able to record whenever I wanted to, which was pretty dope. I was able to make sure everything was exactly how I wanted it.
What role does Nashville plays in your music?
I think Nashville has so much to do with my music, but so little at the same time. I was born and raised here. All of my friends live here. My family is here. This city made me who I am, and I’ll always love Nashville for that. On the other hand, I don’t really draw a lot of inspiration from Nashville. Its just like any one else’s hometown. We love it, but we can’t wait to leave. I owe Nashville so much, but I am really excited to see what else is out there for me.
What aspect of your personal experience did you get to explore on this material?
Everything that I make comes from one personal experience or a group of experiences, so this project is pretty much my life. I got to talk about more mature and grown up topics, because I’m finally old enough to do those things. Not that I wasn’t doing everything before I was 21, but actually being allowed to do them is a completely different story. A lot changed for me since I released my debut project, so this EP is catching everyone up to where I am now.
Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
The lyrical content of this project ranges from direct conversations to ideas of me venturing out of my comfort zone. The project is about growth. Letting go of toxic people is something that I’ve had to do recently so I touch on that. I feel like its all very relatable, typical stuff to go on in the life of someone in their 20’s.
Any plans to hit the road?
I have a few things in the works right now, but nothing has been set in stone just yet. I’m really looking forward to being able to hit the road with this new project. I play with a full band, so our shows are always different. Hopefully everything comes together and we can get on a tour.
What else is happening next in Justin Hamilton’s world?
Just continuing to work on music. The full EP is set to drop in January, so between now and then we still have a lot to get done. I’m getting close to graduating from college, so I’m trying to maintain focus there too. The next few months are definitely going to be hectic, but I live for times like that. I’m just taking things as they come… getting ready for whatever life throws my way.