Following the success of his debut album ‘Fantastic Voyage’, Justin Jay found himself in an enviable position. The Californian producer radiated triumph after receiving critical support for his record, releasing on top record labels like Dirtybird, Emerald City, and Freerange while completing multiple international DJ tours. Still, something wasn’t right.
Anxiety and stress caused him to pull his tour dates, retreat into his own mind, and move back into his parents house to regroup. Following a period of introspection and collection, he sat down with a note pad at his parents piano and began to write. He came to realize the Fantastic Voyage album was more a point of departure than arrival. These new explorations were a far cry from composing on a computer screen and led him to write songs, not tracks. His feelings spilled out onto the page and a new body of work started to appear.
These songs are personal and raw, many of the vocals were recorded on Justin’s iPhone due to lack of studio gear; ideas birthed inside his mind that needed instant recording to preserve. He deliberately left the tunes unpolished and raw, they were urgent expressions of feelings, their titles Stuck Inside My Head and Can’t Hang indicative of Justin’s then state of mind.
As the melancholy lifted, Justin invited others to participate in his process, recalling the collaborative energy of the musical collective he created a year prior in his dorm room studio. College had proved to be a vital petri dish in Justin’s musical maturation; sessions with jam bands, lo-fi psychedelic and punk rock all had shaped his evolving aesthetic just as indelibly as the house he made and spun on tour. This commitment to keep exploring led him to hand his diploma back after graduating to take more music education classes.
As much as isolation defined the genesis of Home, collaboration also emerged as a key tenant of the record. It was his experiences working with writing friend Josh Taylor on Fantastic Voyage that led Justin to sit down in front of the piano, and it was his willingness to embrace collaboration again that led to some of Home’s fullest moments. Production-wise, tracks like Flowers and Hey My Friends are complex, dynamic and full, while lyrically and technically they are uplifting.
Home embodies a monumental quest in Justin’s life as an artist, singer and songwriter. Justin attributes the album’s evolution to Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey. He emerges from his isolation to embark on a musical odyssey as a more fully realized artist; now more motivated and energized than ever.
Home out everywhere today.