One take can change a singer’s life, just ask Justin Garner.
Since 2013, Justin Garner has released album after album of radio-ready R&B, neo-soul, and even a little bit of pop.
But while recording vocals for the new single “Love Strikes Twice,” all he needed was one take to show fans his talent.
“I recorded the song in Darrow at Zone Music Studios,” Garner said. “I had released tons of music, but I wanted people to hear me, what I sound like. I thought the best way to do that was a straight up-and-down love ballad, definitely inspired by Adele and Ed Sheeran.”
Garner got to work with producer Shaun Andrew and guitarist Dominic Bazile. As they created the song, the melodies came to Garner. One vocal take later, Garner had his newest single, and the public is catching on.
Last Friday, Garner released “Love Strikes Twice.” The music video is already in rotation at MTV Jams, VH1 Soul and MusicChoice. The track is the first off an upcoming album out this summer.
The singer, who was born in Plaquemine, makes no bones about his love of pop music. However, he admits that the upcoming album is his most personal project yet.
“Usually, when I write, I aim for radio or try to go for a certain sound,” he said. “This time, I wanted to do me. I’m in that space, definitely feeling the subject right now — just enjoying life and love.”
Garner was surprised at the response to “Love Strikes Twice.”
In just a few days’ time, the video has racked up nearly 5,000 views on YouTube.
“Out of all the songs I have released, this one is spreading like wildfire,” Garner said. “I think it’s because it came from an intimate space. I was shocked by that response. These days, you don’t hear love ballads. It was refreshing to know that people are giving this music a chance.”
Garner’s released his first album, “I Am,” in 2013, then quickly followed it up with two more, “7” and “We Only Have Forever,” both in 2014. He has seen his work top the iTunes charts in Japan, beating out Beyoncé. He also won on an episode of “Copycat,” performing songs from Usher on the MTV show.
“We tried a lot of stuff,” Garner said of his back catalog and early career. “I definitely had more urban songs. There were some hip-hop songs. I tried more trendy-type songs. But I said, ‘Let’s stop, and go to square one. Let’s go back to why I wanted to do music in the first place.’?”
By listening to that voice, Garner has found success and a new lease on his career.
“I’m really married to my music,” he said. “I can be stubborn when it comes to how I’m portrayed. I want to be 100 percent comfortable with making a decision musically. Basically, this is how I want to sound. That’s why it’s successful.”
Follow Matthew Sigur on Twitter, @MatthewSigur.