Justin Smith has spent the last five years diligently working towards his passionate career in hip-hop. His life experiences spark inspiration for his lyrical content which seem to create an intense connection with his fans. 2019 saw great growth for Smith, releasing five singles and amassing over 500,000 Spotify streams for his album Trust Issues and Broken Promises, which released in November 2019.
2020 is proving to ramp off with even more success than 2019 for Justin with the release of his single, “Fantasy.” What started off as a story quickly turned into an emotional number once personal elements were incorporated. Posed as the “other man” Smith is put in a predicament when the woman he loves is continuing to have a relationship with another man.
It’s clear that Justin is not afraid to pour his entire heart into his music and leave nothing unsaid. And despite lyrics that may be filled with anger at times, his voice maintains a calm, melodic tone throughout that makes for an easy-listening experience for those who may want to begin to dip their toes into the world of hip-hop/rap.
Justin Smith took the time to chat with Indie Band Guru to further give us a look into who he is an artist, you can check that interview out below!
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First off, tell us about your moniker Justin Smith Music Money?
Well actually the name I release music under is my my real name Justin Smith. Music Money or Music Money Brand is a clothing brand I have associated with my music. We wanted to use my initials (JS) for my logo and my buddy Keif suggested making the J a music note and an S a dollar sign. Thats how Justin Smith Music Money came about. They’re two different things but directly related and I want them to consistently be associated with each other.
How would you describe your sound?
I would describe my sound as real laid back. I have a “lazy flow” but thats by choice when I really want to turn it on I can but lately I’ve been doing more singing. I want people to be able to hear what I’m saying. I am very lyrical and those lyrics are very thought provoking.
Which artists would you say have had the biggest influence on you?
Without a doubt the artists that have had the biggest influence on me overall are Lil Wayne and Eminem. Lil Wayne is the reason I started making music and Eminem was the first hip-hop artist I ever listened to. More recently though Drake, Russ and P&B Rock have had more of an influence on my sound. Listening to more of their music is what helped me finally find my voice I’ve been looking for.
What is it that draws you to create music?
Well first and foremost Im drawn to creating music because I excel at it. As soon as I realized how good I was I always started writing even when I wasn’t releasing music I was always writing. On a deeper level I love creating something that people can relate to. I love people telling me my music saved them or got them through a tough time. I love when people DM me and want to talk or ask for advice just based off hearing my music or seeing one of my posts. That’s the most gratifying feeling ever.
We know you had some issues to get through over the past few years but what was the catalyst for this recent outburst of focus and new music?
Well like I said I’m always writing. So even through all those issues and struggles I kept on writing honestly because it kept me sane and because I knew one day it would pay off. I had a bunch of material in my phone and booked like 20 hours of studio time and went to work on it. It looks like it definitely paid off. I have a lot of material recorded and ready for release. I’m just trying to put together a good release strategy before I drop it.
Your newest track “Fantasy” and the accompanying music video seems to dive into some real emotion. What can you share about the story of the song?
The song just started as a story really and when I started it I knew I had something great. I knew I had something people would relate to and boy was I right. The further I got into the writing process I started adding things that were more personal to me and it ended up getting really emotional. I love making music that puts people in their feelings. When your music does that your really on another level from basic artist who only write about materialistic and unrealistic lifestyles.
What advice would you give other artists that need that push to get moving on their music career?
Without a doubt the biggest piece of advice I can give other artists is to not give up and to stay patient. Also be sure to stay learning about every aspect of the music industry. Most importantly don’t be afraid to invest in yourself. If you’re too scared to invest in yourself how can you expect someone else to feel comfortable investing in you?
Where do you see the career of Justin Smith going in the future?
I think the simple one word answer to that is UP. I’ve been spending a lot more time building up my catalogue and more importantly my fan base. The sky is the limit. I have no ceiling on how far I can go.