If you miss music you can really dance to, you might be in luck.
The up-and-coming Just Loud is taking the music world by storm with his debut EP, Episode 1. The rising star doesn’t confine himself to one singular music genre, either — his sound is an infectious blend of inspiration from all eras dating back to the ’70s, from funk to soul to rock to R&B.
The Electrified singer was signed to the Five Seven Music label in May 2018 and is already dominating the airwaves with multiple hit singles, including an original song entitled Soul Train, which features none other than Debbie Harry of Blondie.
WATCH BELOW: The smash-hit debut radio single, Electrified by Just Loud
Just Loud had a heavily religious upbringing that began to consume his life. He left the church (and home in Virginia) at 15 years old to pursue a music career in New York City. His rebellious and inquisitive nature shines through in his music, and he wants to ensure his debut self-titled album shows it too.
Global News caught Just Loud before a gig in Toronto. He humbly shared his thoughts on coming to terms with his almost-immediate success, his diverse outlook on music genres and why it’s important that his material documents where he’s at with his life.
Global News: Your debut album, Just Loud, will be coming out in March. Do you want to tell us a little bit about it?
Just Loud: It was originally supposed to come out in November, but that’s just the music business, right? Gotta make it the best you can. In terms of what it is, I believe it’s simply a good introduction to who I am.
So how might you describe who you are?
I think that I am a rebellious soul with integrity.
How does it feel to have such a good reception for your first EP?
It feels good. No one can ever prepare you for this. I’ve been so busy that I’ve had to find time for myself to just sit down and soak it all up. It’s been happening so fast. Things are changing right before my eyes.
What’s the biggest change that you’ve noticed so far?
The people for sure. Whether it be family, friends, co-workers or colleagues, I think that for myself I always thought I had what it takes to be a rock star, but sometimes it takes the people around you a little bit longer to figure it out. But the ones who know are all very proud of me. I think it’s because I’m very secretive and private in general. I didn’t share too much information regarding what was actually going on with my friends and family.
Exactly, I can’t hide it now. [Laughs]
To be honest, I have never heard it on the radio. It’s playing on the radio… constantly, but the only record that I’ve heard so far on-air was Soul Train. A lot of people direct message me video clips of Electrified and my other singles on the radio. But, again, I’ve been so busy, that I haven’t been able to react to it yet. [Laughs]
Soul Train was the funk song you recorded with Debbie Harry, right? How did that come about?
That’s correct. I was away in L.A. while she was recording Soul Train in New York, but she said a few words to me that I will hold close to me for the rest of my life. The record was something she said she really believed in. She said I have the ability and the “it” factor to make some noise in the business. I’m really grateful she was a part of it all. She actually invited me to her show with Blondie in Brooklyn at the Vans House too.
WATCH BELOW: Just Loud’s funk explosion, Soul Train, featuring Debbie Harry of Blondie
Where did the inspiration for your music come from?
This is my genesis record, and I really want people to know that. It still feels like I just dropped on this planet and a lot of people don’t know that I’ve been working on this for many, many years. About one-third of it was the rebellion that we were talking about earlier. But while writing the record, I faced a lot of my personal demons, so it’s a timestamped record. Every record will be centered around what was happening at that time in my life.
I feel honoured by it and I definitely feel humbled, but I think that once people can get in tune with who I am, they’ll realize that I don’t compare to Prince or Michael. I’m just me. [Laughs]
You have such a varied sound. Could you pin yourself down to one genre?
My music is music. I honestly don’t believe in genres. It’s just a concept that has been created to keep us separated. Whether it’s hip-hop, rock or country, music uses the same chords in every song. I feel like come 2030, that generation is gonna look back and say, “Why were they separating genres? That just doesn’t make sense.” It’s just music.
That sort of explains why you wanted to cover a song like Creep then, right? Were you anxious at all to share your take on such a historical song?
I honestly did not know the track before I recorded it, which I know is crazy. Radiohead are huge. My guy kept saying that he “had the perfect song for me.” I learned it about an hour before I had to sing it in the studio. I literally sung it about 60 times and they kept my first take. But, I was just like, “Damn, this record was written for me.” That’s how I feel every day. I think it’s an anthem for people like me, who are a little different. I’m left-handed, so I think with the opposite side of my brain. I think it’s for us; people who are weird.
So what are your plans between now and the album release in March?
I think between now and then I’m gonna do as much as I can — although I know some artists are machines and I’m not one of them. This is my life, and I love performing, I love writing music and I love encouraging people through my music, so I will take any opportunity that comes my way.
Finally, if you had the opportunity to collaborate with anybody, who would it be, and why?
Tina Turner, and I say her for a lot of reasons. From an African-American standpoint, I believe that even our community didn’t really embrace her when we should have… until much later on. I think that her sound was so raw and so powerful. You can always hear the hurt and the pain that came with her lyrics and voice. I think we have some similarities and that people will understand that as time goes by.
As of this writing, there are no upcoming Canadian tour dates, but Just Loud said he would love to return to promote his debut album.
Just Loud will be released in March 2019. It is available to pre-order through Five Seven Music.