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, composer experienced this in a most peculiar way.
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 “Rebellious”? Forbidden. R-rated movie? Not allowed. Holidays? Never celebrated. Politics? Military? No participation or voice on the subjects.
As a teenager, Justin released his first EP, a low budget 5 song EP of his own construct, where he performed bass, drums, and guitar. After mailing a copy to Maverick records, he received a phone call from an executive. 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 upbringing. A career path crisis ensued, that would haunt him for years.
These beliefs caused a division in Justin. 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 at 19.
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 community.
But something wasn’t right. 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, Justin was not allowed to contact any of his friends or family.
All that was left was an unfinished house where Justin slept for months without heat or air conditioning. Plywood and a sleeping bag on exposed floor joists would be his nightly bed. He began contemplating how to build a life to reclaim his soul, and how to navigate modern society from square one, socially.
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. When he picked the guitar back up, years of art and expression come flowing back.
Guitar in hand, 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. His music is about overcoming absolutely anything, even the lowest times of life, staying true to yourself, and becoming the best version of you.
Since reconnecting with music, Justin hasn’t wasted a minute. He released his first 5-song EP, 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., headlined the Hopscotch Music Festival, and regularly performs at packed venues from Boston to Los Angeles.
He’s enjoyed scoring a full length indie comedy scheduled for release in 2017, & co-writing a theme song for the same film which will be released by MGM records in 2016.
His music has recently won “Best Original Music” at the 2016 Portland Comedy Film Festival, and is nominated for 6 awards at the upcoming Austin Comedy Film Festival.
Justin’s music comes from the soul, a soul that has loved, lost and lived. He found a way to rebuild himself through a world of music, and now he’s asking you to let him in. If you’d like to receive some of Justin’s music, enter your name and email below…