About Justin C. Cross
What would you do if you lost everything tomorrow? The life you planned, the hope for the future, the social network you built, your belief system, your one true love, your personal empire, your reality as you know it. Gone. In a weekend.
Justin Cross — singer, songwriter, and composer — felt the depths of this misfortune.
Justin’s entire existence was based on beliefs tied to a fundamentalist religious upbringing that discouraged a career in entertainment and his favorite passions. A beat that sounded like rap? It was forbidden. Watch an R-rated movie? Not allowed. Holidays? Never celebrated. Politics? Military? Not allowed. Not even participation or a voice on the subjects.
As a teenager, Justin released his first EP, a low budget 5 song compilation of his own construct, where he performed bass, drums, and guitar. After mailing out just one copy to Maverick records, he received a phone call from an executive. Talks would continue for months. After careful consideration, he would ultimately decline a potentially life-altering record deal with a major label, for fear that a path in entertainment would be strictly opposed to his faith. A career path crisis ensued, that would haunt him for years.
These beliefs caused a division in Justin. Like a coiled spring pressed to the limit, pressure built over time. He would ultimately have to choose between family and friends or his love of music. In tune with the only culture Justin knew, he chose to end his pursuit of a music career.
Despite this sacrifice, life seemed really good. He appeared on the surface to have it all; the beautiful marriage, friends, family, security, custom built house, and a supportive religious community.
But something wasn’t right, and despite his struggle to continue in his strict religion, his doubts led him to make the difficult decision to walk away, and as a result away from his wife, family, the promise of his own family, and his friends. Now shunned, everyone Justin had ever known was lost to him; no contact allowed.
All that was left was an unfinished house where Justin slept for months without heat or air conditioning on plywood, laying lazily on exposed floor joists. He began contemplating how to build a life in harmony with his soul, and the challenge of navigating modern society from square one.
At a particularly low point, Justin spotted his guitar in its case across the room, which hadn't been touched in more than a decade. He picked the guitar back up and held the strings in his hand mourning the loss of his entire previous life.
In holding his guitar, something finally made sense, and he was flooded with relief knowing he was free to pursue his lifelong passion of music in whatever capacity he could dream, no restrictions. He rediscovered the freedom music has always allowed him and how it has influenced who he is. There would be no more shame in writing music freely.
Music now serves to help Justin make sense of what he’s lost and rebuild a brighter future for himself. His music is about overcoming absolutely anything, even the lowest times of life, staying true to yourself, and becoming the best version of you. He wants to heal with understanding and create an oasis away from the hatred of the world. His wisdom and positivity can be heard in every note, writing with the wisdom of an old soul.
Since reconnecting with music in 2014, Justin hasn’t wasted a minute. He released his first 5-song EP in 2014, which received national airplay on 37 stations in 32 states throughout the United States. His song “Let Me In” peaked at No. 4 in heavy rotation on San Antonio’s top 100 records played, ahead of Jack White and Beck. He’s headlined the SPARKcon music festival in Raleigh N.C., played the Hopscotch Music Festival, and regularly performed at packed venues such as The Pour House, Tir Na Nog, Snug Harbor, and Evening Muse. Justin will release his debut full-length album in 2016.
Justin’s music comes from the soul, a soul that has loved, lost and lived. It’s the feeling of connection music creates that's more important than all of the struggle. It's providing that experience to someone else who can use his music to escape their reality, even temporarily, or to be motivated or inspired. Justin has endured great loss, just like many before him. He found a way to rebuild himself through a world of music, and now he’s asking you to let him in too.
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