So to start off our brand new series here at NAKID called NEW MUSIC FRIDAYS, we thought we would head down south in honor of the upcoming music festival SXSW that we will be at this year. One artist who has had plenty of experience with SXSW is Justin Bell, a.k.a Jus-Stone, and is one of North Texas’ fastest growing names in electronic music. On the grind and in the game for 10+ years now, he has made an impact locally on everything from Trap to Hip-hop, Bass House and Moombahton, not to mention collaborations with other artists such as PLM artist Supervision and his sometime teammate Jay Fresh, both of whom we will be featuring in ISSUE II: SPRING out in May. Both DJ and Producer, Jus-Stone has found a niche and style that is all his own. Through 1000’s of parties, shows, and plenty of studio time, it’s no wonder the likes of Louis Vuitton, Rolling Stone, Bud Light, Grey Goose, Red Bull, and even the Dallas Cowboys have come calling for his skills on the decks. With his amazing open format live shows, and mixes (which we have an exclusive from him just for our readers!), to his style, presentation, and creative eye, there is no doubt that he is someone to watch as this machine that is electronic music becomes more and more relevant in media and entertainment today! We got the chance to catch up with him in Dallas and find out what he thinks about the industry, what sets him apart from everyone else, and what’s next!
So Justin, how did you get into, and how long have you been playing/creating music? How would you define your style of sound, and how’re you trying to set yourself apart from all the other DJ/Producers currently out there?
When I was in High School I was a drummer in a couple of punk and indie rock bands with my friends. They would often break up and re form and it just got frustrating. On my 17th birthday I went to a rave. I was mesmerized by DJ’s and what they were doing, plus I didn’t have to rely on other people and bands that would break up! After DJ’ing for a couple years, I wanted to take it a step further and learn to produce. I went to Full Sail University for Audio Engineering, and have been producing ever since.
My style is taking different elements of multiple genres and essentially creating hybrids. Probably my biggest influence though is Hip Hop… There will always be some element of hip hop in any track I make.
What ultimately sets me apart is my diverse influences and my live DJ sets. I have been Dj’ing for 13 years open format in clubs. So, I’m a veteran at party rocking and crowd reading.
What’s the biggest project you have going on this year with your music?
This year I’m going to release my first EP under my alias Jus-Stone. I think I have finally found the sound I want to focus on, and its a great feeling to find yourself as an artist. I also have some collaborations in the works. Expect to hear some hip hop and festival trap collaborations coming this year!
There seems to be so many people jumping on the electronic music train now a days, and it seems more and more prevalent in entertainment and media where it never existed before, how do you feel about the direction electronic and EDM music is going now? Does it affect what you are trying to do or do you have a set plan for what you are trying to do?
Man, electronic music and EDM has just gone so viral it’s insane. When I was growing up it was such an underground scene, and now its exposed to the masses. I think the pros are that everyone is becoming more open minded and willing to explore different sounds. I think the cons are the saturation of DJ’s and producers. Its more competitive than ever, and difficult to get your music heard with the sheer number of people making music now. But, I think its exciting to see people coming out of nowhere with some really creative and impactful music.
What’s one festival or venue you would love to play one day and who with?
I think Austin City Limits would probably be a dream festival to play. Being from Texas, its always been one of the biggest festivals in the state even before EDM was popular. And, if I had to pick some people to be playing with… I’d probably want to play with a legendary hip hop group, like A Tribe Called Quest or Wu Tang Clan.
What’s your spirit animal?
My spirit animal is a lion. I was born into it. My grandfather has lion decorations and art all over his house and office. Plus, I’m very protective of my family and friends.
What’s more fun for you, producing a track or DJ’ing?
I really enjoy collaborating with other producers. I think that is the most fun thing for me. It’s great to hang out with like minded people and combine creativity, ideas, and techniques.
What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
I’ve actually moved around a lot and lived in many of the Southern states and in the U.S. like California, Arizona, Colorado, Texas and Florida, just to name a few.
What is a crazy tour/show story or moment?
So, one time on the road our tour manager let his intern drive. This intern happened to be very hung over and tired. I was passed out, and abruptly woke up to very loud grinding sounds. Those sounds were the grooves you hit when you are going off the road. This kid had fallen asleep at the wheel and was driving into a ditch! Super sketchy! Luckily, we woke him up before catastrophe, but we didn’t let him drive again. Scary stuff.
What upcoming projects do you have going on this Spring and where can people catch your next show?
Definitely look for my debut EP coming out early this year! Has some great features from upcoming artists! If you want to catch me on the regular… I have a dope weekly Friday night residency I’ve been doing for almost 3 years at a place called The Dram, in Dallas, TX.
Catch up with Jus-Stone online for updates on music, shows, and what he’s up to here:
Look for more on SXSW and our new Series NEW MUSIC FRIDAYS in the weeks ahead!
Photos courtesy of Dustin Hollywood