Issue 105

Monthly newspaper and online publication targeting 18 to 35 year olds. The ultimate guide to the hottest parties, going out and having fun. Music, fashion, film, travel, festivals, technology, comedy, and parties! London, Barcelona, Miami and Ibiza.

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Page 34 of 59

Tell us something about you that no one else knows? I'd say I am quite shy, I don't think a lot of people know I'm shy, I think they think I'm antisocial, cause that's how it comes across, but that's only because I'm quite shy. Let's take it back to your roots. What area do you come from in Leicester? It was called Braunstone, yeah not the best area, but definitely had a very strong community vibe. It wasn't very affluent or anything, it was a council estate, but you make the best of whatever situa- tion you're in really. There was a strong sense of community in that area though. So you come from a family of six, you must have some mad stories? Yeah there's too many. I'm in the middle so I got an elder sister, then I've got four brothers, so I'm literally in the middle. I think there was one occasion that I recall were me and my brothers ordered a pizza and we ordered it for a flat two doors down because no one was living there. Long story short we got a free pizza. We ate really well that night. But my mother didn't know so we just ate it in my brother's room. There were some hard times growing up. It's one of the funny stories that we have, that we just joke about now. What made you up and leave Leicester to go to London? Oh I've always wanted to move here. I think it was mainly when I went to uni in Leicester, we had a lot of students come down from London and I made a lot of friends in my church that were from Lon- don. So when they moved back I wanted to go to uni in London, but I didn't get to go to any, so in the end, I stayed in Leicester. But then afterwards I was like mate "I need to move". I just wanna take singing seriously, definitely something I needed to do. But it just took so long, I felt like it was taking me a long time to get there. I think everything works in good timing. It was two years ago eventually, I just said, "I'm just not applying for more jobs in Leicester. This is it." I was unem- ployed for like five months. For me it was a big step not working, cos I'm very independent, and I like to provide for myself. But I knew I had to make sacrifices, so I came to London for an interview, took the job and then moved down, so yeah that's how I got here now. Tell us about your recent EP 2AM? My thoughts and feelings went into all the songs on the EP, I think we communicate better when it's written down. I don't think I'm the best speaker, and I'm not really good at expressing myself or ex- pressing my feelings, writing has been a great help and I think 2 AM is very personal. Yeah it was very scary actually, because people that know me, know I don't really talk like that in person, so I think for them listening to my songs it was just like wow, it was like looking at me in a different way, it was very nerve-wracking, because that's not one of my strong points, but yeah I definitely feel more confident expressing myself these days. Was the EP inspired by a lot of your personal experiences? Yeah definitely. Before I was writing a bit more abstract, so I couldn't always relate to what I was singing and I think that affect- ed how the song was performed, I think people like it when you connect with your music because then your audience connects with it too. With 2 AM they're definitely all aspects of myself in different settings kinda things. 'Chemistry' is one theme in 2 AM and is very much how I am at the beginning of a new relation- ship, but all the songs are like my thoughts it's not me saying it to the guy, or me saying out loud, it's just what I'm thinking but obvi- ously he doesn't know cause I'm not saying it. 'Walls' is another recurrent theme as well because I'm quite guarded if I don't really know you I hide and that's another thing I sing about in 2 AM. Sometimes you put on a brave face or I put on a brave face. I think a lot people think I'm quite humorous at times, which is another side to me that some people don't see. 2 AM is a way of letting listeners know that there different aspects and sides to me. So what's been the highlight for you so far? Creating 2 AM was definitely a highlight of mine, but I feel like I'm always gonna be striving for new highlights, so I don't wanna be stuck on one, but for now the EP is definitely a highlight for me, just in terms of not being part of a label, I'm doing it all independently, I've funded it myself, the concept, everything. So what do you think you bring that's special? I'd definitely say the whole relat- able aspect and yeah I think like certain artists sometimes just sing the song or they get it written for them or whatever, but I feel it's coming from me, and whenever I've let people listen to it, they feel that it's really relatable and they get it, so sometimes you have to be fearless to be you. So what's next for you? I'm currently in touch with another producer to do another EP, that hopefully will be out next year. also. INTERVIEW JUSTENE 2017 / ISSUE 105 31 HIP HOP & RNB " SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO BE FEARLESS TO BE YOU. " UK talent Justene has made a comeback with her sophomore EP 2 AM, the London based singer/songwriter has been described by critics as a breath of fresh air due to her unique and contemporary approach to RnB. Guestlist had a chat with the songstress about her new EP, pizza robberies, being independent as she gives us further insight into her innermost thoughts on 2 AM. Claudia Rivas | Guestlist

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