Country singer/songwriter/producer Justine Blazer revealed her latest single “Pioneer Soul Shaker” on March 8th.
Written by Blazer herself and Chuck Thomas, the self-produced single offers a powerful and inspiring message. “The song talks about trials and tribulations and persevering through challenging times. I wanted to inspire others to keep going no matter how hard the road may be,” explains Blazer. With this latest single, Blazer is becoming a voice of empowerment for people and especially women.
The Nashville-based artist has shared the stage with numerous artists such as Lonestar, Lee Brice, Kathy Mattea, Jason Aldean, Regis Philbin among others. Fusing elements of country and rock ‘n’ roll, Justine Blazer has designed a powerful and authentic sound.
“Pioneer Soul Shaker” is now available everywhere.
Introduce yourself - where are you from?
I am originally from Canton, Michigan which is a suburb of Detroit. I was born and raised there. My dad worked for Ford motor company for 33 years.
What's your story?
My story is I am a gal who is just trying to shatter through glass ceilings, push thresholds and take chances. Never look back. Always driving for a better version of myself.
Could you tell us a little bit about your childhood?
I grew up in a suburb of Detroit. My dad worked for Ford Motor Company and my mother owned a dance studio. I was literally raised in a dance studio, surrounded by the performing arts. I started doing dance lessons, pageants and singing competitions at a very young age. My mother put me in to singing lessons when I was around 5 or 6 years old. And the rest is history. I have been studying music, entertaining people and doing the performing arts pretty much my entire life.
Any favorite memories?
Some of my favorite memories would have to be the dance competitions that I would compete in. I love the competitions and the social aspect of that. There was a group of girls that I competed with. We’d always have slumber parties the night before and go out to eat after. It sounds basic but it was so much fun! A lot of these competitions were road trips so well. So we would spend a lot of time with these people. They became very good friends of mine. We laughed so hard, had inside jokes and it was a truly amazing experience. It also helped me understand myself better and put myself into a competitive world and feel comfortable at that for my adult years.
Do you remember your first musical memories?
I do remember my first musical memory. I remember it was the first time I ever competed in a singing competition. I was about 6 or 7 years old and I remember singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow." And I got 2nd place. I know that I wanted to do this for the rest of my life. I loved being on stage and singing for everybody because it made everybody happy.
What or who introduced you to the musical path?
I always loved music. It was something that I felt was just inside me from day 1. However my mother being in the music business she saw that I had a gift and decided to help grow that period she put me in lessons and started putting me in two competitions. But it wasn't a pushy mom kind of thing. I wanted to do this!
What got you to country music?
It's funny because Detroit wasn't a huge mecca for country music till later. We actually did not have a country station for the longest time. I loved singers like Reba, LeAnn Rimes, Shania Twain, Patsy Cline and many more. I would learn their songs for the talent competitions I would compete in. I felt their music and their voice resonated to me. So naturally I started gravitating towards the country genre. Even though being from Motown, that was more of a rock and soul driven. However, I personally love country music, especially the females because they all could sing so good and I wanted to be like them.
You recently released your new single "Pioneer Soul Shaker". What's the story behind this song?
The story behind "Pioneer Soul Shaker" is I wanted to write a song that empowered people. Especially women, that may be experiencing tough times or challenges. I had no songs like this in my past. I felt it was time to touch on that subject. The song talks about trials and tribulations and persevering through challenging times. I wanted to inspire others to keep going no matter how hard the road may be.
What made you want to release this particular song as a single?
I wanted to release this particular song because I have taken on the challenge of becoming a female music producer in Nashville. Which is not common at all. The song relates to myself and my journey and hopefully it can resonate to others. I could have played it safe and written about something predictable or not push myself to another level but I I decided differently. I wanted to become a music producer and continue my journey as a female recording artist as well.
What appeals you the most about music?
What appeals to me the most about music is it’s ever changing. Before I started producing music I was sort of at a crossroads as to what I wanted to do next. But being a music producer now and combining that with my artistry as a singer and it's been so amazing. I feel excited about being in the music industry in 2019. It's very empowering and liberating.
Could you describe us your songwriting process? Who are your working with?
I have written with many great songwriters that have had many hits, rom Doug Kahan to Rick Tiger to Chuck Thomas to Glen Mitchell and the list goes on. I love co-writing with others because it helps merge ideas. You can kind of piggy back off of someone else and vice versa. You may have an idea but they may help create the lyrical structure and rhyme for that or vice versa. The songwriting process varies from song to song. Sometimes I may start with a beat or a chord progression or an idea or some sort of rhyme or theme. I really piggy back off of whoever I'm writing with and we try to come up with a common ground and create a great song!
What keeps you motivated?
I say motivated by continuing my goals striving for bigger things. I have become comfortable with being uncomfortable. I don't usually sit in a complacent state. I try to always strive for the next thing. I mean don't get me wrong, I do have days where I do not feel like it. But I have to push myself because the reward is always so great once a project is done. I love working with other artists. Because I’m producing them and doing artist development, I have to lead the example. I have to set the tone as well when I'm working with other artists.
What's the hardest part about being an artist? And what's the best part?
The hardest part about being an artist is the criticism that you receive all the time. Especially in the day and age of social media. Anyone with a computer or a phone can pretty much write whatever they want with zero consequences. So that part kind of sucks, having to ignore all of that. However the best part would be is I get to do what I love for a living. Not many people can say that. I love making people happy through my music and the songs that I sing. I get to wake up every day and have a blank slate and an opportunity to create whatever I want. That is super exciting to me.
What message do you want to deliver to every woman in the music industry?
The message I would want to deliver is that you don't need to sacrifice who you are, your morals and values to get ahead. If you work hard, persevere and stay in control, you can make a lot of things happen. I think a lot of times a lot of women can fall prey to people of “power" but at the end the day we all have the same opportunity, the same 24 hours in the day to make something happen. It's up to you to see to show how you want to move forward with that. Challenge yourself. Learn more skills. Learn the industry inside and out. Knowledge is power!
What advices would you give to young singers?
My advice to young singers is try to create your sound. I hear all the time as, "I want to be the next Carrie Underwood, the next Miranda Lambert, the next Taylor Swift.” The truth is there's already a Carrie Underwood, a Miranda Lambert and a Taylor Swift. Work on creating the best version of yourself. Create your sound, your brand and your a style of music. I have no problem with having those people as influences but try to be your own persona and not be a clone of something else.
How do you want to be remembered for?
I want to be remembered as a girl who never gave up, never backed down, never took crap from others and continued to push myself to the next level. It's been a long journey but I would not change it. It creates depth, authenticity and a story for the next person. I hope someone one can read my story and be inspired for the next generation of singers, songwriters and producers.
In your opinion, what would make the world a better place?
To make the world a better place is we need to focus less on judging others and more about praising the people that are doing good. I think we spend too much time comparing to others and trying to be jealous of somebody rather than being happy for them and being inspired to do something good as well. I think people give up too easily and therefore it creates animosity and jealousy towards others. Versus just staying positive, looking ahead and creating your own domain. It's a ripple effect. I think it would make over the world a better place this way.
What biggest lessons have you learnt as a human being and as an artist?
The biggest lessons I have learned is maintaining relationships with people that matter. Sometimes it is OK to let go of certain people because they can be toxic to your world. But the people that create value, I cherish them and go all out with them. I believe in helping others and not expect anything in return. I think that is super important. People sometimes only want “What do I get out of the deal" versus just helping somebody. I used to think like that when I first got into this business years ago but now it doesn't matter. Just help people and they will help you back, that's more important than anything. Make people feel good and positive.
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