In Session: Justin Charles
SARATOGA SPRINGS – A lot of times, using words like “inspiring,” especially in the creative and arts’ world, can be a writing device that is so cliched that it borders on exhausting. That being said, sometimes there’s just no other sufficient word to get the job done. For example, take Saratoga County native, Justin Charles, who’s just announced he’ll be taking part in the Boys of Summer Tour, this year. With a strong entrepreneurial spirit – he’s successfully promoting his craft on all online platforms – and at just 18 years old, Justin is quickly making a name for himself.
It was my pleasure to get a chance to sit down with this budding pop artist as we navigate his big announcement, as well as his musical inspirations and future plans. To catch our discussion, continue reading the article. You can support Justin by following the link at the end of the article!
Lucas Garrett: Hello, Justin, and thank you for sitting down with us tonight. Pretty big news that you’re announcing. Why don’t we talk a little bit about that; how did that happen?
Justin Charles: Well, I had reached out, probably three years ago now. I said, “You know, if you ever need anyone to open for you, I’d love to do it.” Recently, I was just, it was just a normal dinner night, I was eating dinner, and I look at my phone, and I got a DM and it said, Hey, would you like to join us for a few cities? That’s awesome. Yeah.
LG: That’s awesome.
LG: So, tell us about how you got started.
JC: I’ve always, you know, loved music since I was a little kid. And I taught myself how to produce music when I was 10 in fifth grade. And then it all kind of stemmed from there.
LG: What kind of music do you like to listen to?
JC: I love pop music. I mean, I love to listen to any music, but pop music is really my favorite.
LG: Now, producing yourself can be quite challenging, in my opinion. So, how much learning curve did you experience when you first started? It’s a big task to take on.
JC: I first learned on my iPad. And then I went – it was a gradual progression for me to my computer. I didn’t really view it at the time as producing because honestly, I wasn’t even sure what that meant. So, you know, it all just kind of fell into place naturally over time.
LG: What are you producing on right now?
JC: I use Logic Pro on my MacBook,
LG: It’s fairly intuitive – I feel. There’s lots of great stuff out there, now. When you’re writing a song, how do you start? What is your beginning process?
JC: Usually, something will just come to me. Some kind of melody, or maybe, you know, a chord progression in my head, and I’ll record it on my phone. And then I’ll sit down at my computer and maybe draw out the chords, or try and figure out kind of what I want the drums to sound like.
LG: Do you find the process gets easier or more difficult, the more you do this? I think sometimes we – I know for myself – we get into patterns that we’re used to. Right? So, sometimes, for me, when I’m making new stuff, it’s hard not to do something I’ve already done. You know what I mean?
LG: Do you find that for yourself?
JC: Yeah, I can get stuck in the same kind of sound. Maybe for one week, I’m really into 80s music. So, all my music sounds like it’s made from the 80s. Haha. I have to break the pattern, you know, and challenge myself a little bit.
LG: Working by yourself – you know, you’re juggling a lot on your own. I mean, decades ago, when new artists came out, they had a whole team behind them, I feel now we’re doing it all on our own. Do you ever feel like that is overwhelming?
JC: Yeah, to a certain degree. Of course, producing music and singing and writing is something that I find enjoyable. And it’s never something that’s a grueling process. But, then at the same time, trying to figure out how I want to market it…
LG: I feel that’s the harder part.
JC: Yeah, it is the hardest part, because, musicians really weren’t made to market their own stuff. I don’t think.
LG: No, we were not. No, at least for myself. I find it really weird to talk about my own art without feeling like I’m panhandling, sometimes. You know what I mean?
JC: I completely agree, A lot of the times I’m closed off about accomplishments or things because I just don’t want to seem like that kind of person.
JC: But sometimes in this kind of music world, especially now you have to be open to it.
LG: I feel like you need to have a certain level of cockiness. It’s really hard to reel that in, you know? Like, how cocky is too cocky?
JC: Yes, haha.
LG: So, you got some shows in the summer. Really cool. What else do you have going on?
JC: Well, I’m always working on new music, of course. So I have that going on. And I’m really excited for my next single that’ll hopefully be coming out sometime after the tour. On the tour I’ll have some exclusive merchandise that I’ll be selling that I’m really excited about.
LG: Nice. What else would you like to talk about tonight? Did we cover everything?
JC: I believe we did, yeah! I’m really excited to be on the road. I’ve done that one other time. Now it’s on a larger scale than it ever has been. So, I’m just excited to be a part of that.
LG: It’s my opinion that when one of us does well, we all do well, and we’re all very happy for you. I can’t wait to hear what you got in store.
JC: Thank you.
LG: All right. Have a great night!
JC: Yes, you too.