Austin Crute
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Austin Crute

New York City, NY | Established. Jan 01, 2016

New York City, NY
Established on Jan, 2016
Solo Pop R&B

Calendar

Music

Press


"Meet Austin Crute: The 'Black Justin Bieber' of FX's 'Atlanta' Steps Out With 'Ungodly' Song - Premiere"

Austin Crute, a 21-year-old NYU student from Atlanta, can reasonably be described as ‘Black Justin Bieber’—which has nothing to do with the rising singer-songwriter’s sound, and everything to do with a hilarious cable TV guest spot. Last fall, Crute starred as a black pop star named Justin Bieber on Donald Glover’s hit FX comedy Atlanta, schooling Paper Boi in a charity basketball game and performing an undeniably catchy (and very fake) single titled “Whatever I Did.”

In reality, Crute is writing, producing and recording arresting R&B music built around dribbling beats and an impressive vocal range. After releasing his debut mixtape Play last summer, Crute returns with “Ungodly,” a meditation on sexuality and self-discovery launching exclusively on Billboard.

"This song is about conflict and evolution — that inner battle between the familiar and the uncertain,” Crute tells Billboard. "Whether it be moral, sexual, intellectual, I know many people relate on a deep level. This is for them.”

Written and produced by Crute himself, “Ungodly” previews Deutschland, a new mixtape set to be released on Apr. 28. Conceived after studying abroad in Berlin, Deutschland is Crute’s first new project since appearing on Atlanta last September. - Billboard.com


"Black Justin Bieber has His Own Mixtape, and It's Pretty Good"

On the most recent episode of Donald Glover's fantastic new show, Atlanta, Justin Bieber showed up. It wasn't actually Bieber, of course, but it was perhaps one of the most interesting moments of Atlanta so far. As part of Glover's commentary on the incessant whitewashing found particularly in Hollywood, Justin Bieber is portrayed by a black actor in the Atlanta universe. As it turns out, Atlanta's Bieber makes music himself, and it's pretty good, too.

His real name is Austin Crute, and he released a self-produced mixtape called PLAY this past summer. While it doesn't sound like Bieber's music itself, it does toy with the idea of pop across its eight tracks. Blending hip-hop, R&B, and pop, PLAY is a solid debut project, thanks in no small part to the excellent single "Data." The 20-year-old singer-rapper-actor is originally from Atlanta, and currently attends NYU's Clive Davis Institute, somehow finding time to appear in a critically acclaimed show and release his debut project.

Listen to the project below. - Pigeons and Planes


"Austin Crute's "Ungodly" is the beautiful struggle between right and wrong"

Austin Crute's Deutschland EP is something of a manifesto for the newcomer.

The freshly released project does a great job at depicting the struggle that we've all gone through in deciding between what we know and what we feel.

The EP's lead single "Ungodly" is the epitome of that struggle as Crute paints the picture of his moral transition as he contemplates his experiences with an addictive lover.

The Atlanta native handles the production on this track as he does for the entire Deutschland EP.

Quotable Lyrics

Wait I see your shirt in that pen light
And I see you’re back on the floor, the floor
Cause see I gave you that feel right
And you’re coming back for more. - HotNewHipHop


"POP FIVE"

Austin Crute – “Ungodly”
Crute is the guy who played black Justin Bieber on Atlanta. On his debut single, he sounds closer to Bieber’s mentor Usher Raymond. It’s some impeccably produced and performed mainstream R&B of post-Drake, post-Weeknd vintage. - Stereogum


"Meet Austin Crute, the Actor/Musician Who Brought "Black Justin Bieber" to Life"

Our ongoing love affair with FX's Atlanta hit a new high last week with the show's fifth episode, "Nobody Beats the Biebs." Actor Austin Crute—from Atlanta originally, currently a student at NYU—stole every scene he appeared in as "Black Justin Bieber," expertly skewering our willingness to forgive a white Canadian pop star for his bad behavior.

Crute's a musician himself, though he didn't have a hand in writing the song performed at the end of this week's episode. He did, however, share the story of how he ended up on the show, what it took to be Justin Bieber, and whether Atlanta is doing a good job of representing his hometown.


How did you land the role on Atlanta? What was the audition process like?

My then-agent sent me an audition for the show as he would any other audition. The sides got sent to my email and I recognized the name from whisperings of a Donald Glover show based on the city, so I was like, “Oh yeah, I’ve got to be on this.” I was in NYC, so I went to tape my audition in the designated casting office. They had me sing for the audition, but looking back, I don’t really know why. It was a pretty standard process.

Were you a Childish Gambino fan before the show?

I was and am an admirer. I’m not going to sit here and lie and say I was out here with every album, bumping every song in my car on the way to school. But as far as artistic vision and execution is concerned, I can say I’ve always admired him. Community had me in tears for months of my freshman year of college. And his music videos have always been so iconic. As a duo, he and Hiro are a problem. That "Oakland" video? That mug gave me chills. And I really hopped on the music wagon when the STN MTN/Kauai tape came out.

What was your reaction when you found out you were playing Justin Bieber?

I was in the middle of my “Morality in Childhood” class, and I get a call from my agent, so I stepped out as if I was going to the bathroom. After the pleasantries, he said, “Pack your bags. You’re going to Atlanta. You got the gig.” Bruh, when I tell you I teared up like…the happiness I felt in that moment was overwhelming. It’s my first ever TV gig so I was elated. Then I had to go back into class and act like nothing had happened.

What kind of direction did you get to act like Bieber?

So at first, I’m here thinking that I’ve really got to be good. Like, a pop star would. I learned choreography and everything for the press conference scene where Justin performs his apology song. But after seeing me dance on stage, Hiro literally runs up to me and goes, “You’re almost too good. When you dance, we should almost think, ‘Why is he a star again?’” And as for my line delivery, their direction to me was to basically be an obnoxious, childish brat. So, I turned up the ignorance and there it was.


Where did you record PLAY? What's your songwriting process like?

I recorded and produced most of the tape in my bedroom in Atlanta. The rest was in NYC. Usually when I start a record, I start with the beat or a sound from the synth library. One good synth can create a whole song for me. One sample can set the tone for the rest of the song. Sometimes I think of melodies or syllables or hooks apart from the beat, but rarely do I ever think of them without an idea of the accompaniment beneath them.

Then comes the writing. It depends on the song. Concept almost ALWAYS comes first for me. Then one of two kinds of songs are made: Vibe to Story or Story from Vibe. If I create a beat that gets my face is scrunched up like I smelt somethin’ heinous, and I’m rocking with it, I get so overwhelmed with inspiration that I just have to get it out. So I’ll set up the mic in front of the workstation (I rarely ever go in booths) and just go from the brain. I’ll record one line. Then another. Then another. Until before I know it, I have a full verse and/or chorus. I catch the vibe, then it just so happens to become a story or a full song.

Then there’s Story to Vibe. For songs like “M I A,” it’s harder to do the quick-record thing because much more metaphorical thought goes into the story telling. In this case, I’ll take the story that I want to tell and funnel it into the context of the vibe. In both processes, though, the vibe and the story become married in a beautiful way, and that’s my favorite part about songwriting. Melodies and lyrics together are so magical man.

How did the "Justice" song come about? Were you involved in the songwriting with Donald?

Okay so the line originally was something like “…that’s why I wanna sing this song…” or something. Then at the end of one of the takes, Hiro runs up to me and says, “Say it’s from your upcoming album Justice.” And as for the song, I didn’t help with that at all. They sent it to me to learn, so I was over here thinking I was gonna have to sing it on stage. But the gag is lil nigga just lip-synced to the track. Hilarious. It was stuck in my head for days after that.

Do you think Atlanta is doing a good job of representing Atlanta, the city?

Oh yes. The accuracy is so spot on. Even to how the white people are with the low key racist remarks. I didn’t truly realize how racism-laced the vocabulary in suburban Atlanta was until I came to NYC. It’s so funny. The white dude in the pilot who said “nigga” because he thought he and Earn were cool like that? Then switched it up around other people? I was rolling. They represent Atlanta and its respective conversation so well, especially within the broader context of America as whole. They have the dopest writing team, and I feel so honored to be a part of this. #ATLHOE - Pigeons and Planes


"'Black Justin Bieber' makes his debut"

You may recognize Austin Crute from Childish Gambino's FX series Atlanta.

He made an appearance on the show's fifth episode, an episode centered practically around him as he took on the role of a black Justin Bieber.

Crute, a musician when he's not on screen, is packing in a lot more talent than the show let on (aside from some impeccable acting chops), and last week, following a string of low-key releases, the Atlanta native unveiled his sophomore project Deutschland, a genre-bending work of art that puts Austin Crute's versatility at the forefront.

An artfully-documented chronicle of the battle between faith and flesh, the project comes complete with hypnotic production and enchanting harmonies to match.

Produced and written entirely by Crute, my only critique of the 5-track effort is that it ended much too soon. - HotNewHipHop


"Austin Crute – “Down Low / Should’ve Known”"

Austin Crute is still getting a lot of buzz for his portrayal as Justin Bieber on “Atlanta” on FX. But, as he told Hip Hop Vibe during our interview, Austin Crute is a rising artist and his music is good. Among the music he released this summer was “Down Low / Should’ve Known,” a track that has performed well. - Hip-Hop Vibe


"New Song: Austin Crute – ‘Down Low / Should’ve Known’"

Atlanta-native Austin Crute has released a two-part single titled “Down Low/Should’ve Known,” as part of his Summer Singles series.

Produced and co-written by LANA, the song starts with smooth production while Crute croons about a love forbidden.

“I’ve been thinking ’bout you day and night / Am I wrong if it feels right? / You’ve got a boyfriend but I don’t care / I mean I do but let me be clear, I / want you but I don’t want you to be scared,” he sings.

Crute is also set to make an appearance in Donald Glover’s upcoming television series, ATLANTA, premiering this fall.

Stream Austin Crute’s new single “Down Low/Should’ve Known” below. - Rated R&B


"Austin Crute – “Antarctica”"

Austin Crute is one of the more-promising rappers in the game, as he has shown his star potential. Most may know him best for being on TV, but Austin is working hard to change that. The change begins with “Antarctica,” his latest single.

Listen to “Antarctica” by Austin Crute below: - Hip-Hop Vibe


Discography

Deutschland (Mixtape) [Released April 2017]
    1. Peter Parker
    2. Mercedes
    3. Ungodly
    4. Game Go
    5. Signs

Antarctica (Single) [Released November 2016]

Down Low / Should've Known (Single) [Released July 2016]

SRS (Single) [Released July 2016]

PLAY (Mixtape) [Released May 2016]
    1. Phenomenon
    2. Play (Run It)
    3. Data
    4. On the Low / Doctor
    5. M.I.A.
    6. Spend It
    7. Don't Stop Now
    8. Vacation

Photos

Bio

Austin Crute is an up-and-coming singer, songwriter, producer, and actor from Atlanta, Georgia.

After starring as 'Black Justin Bieber' on Donald Glover’s Golden Globe winning TV series Atlanta, Crute has become well-known for his undeniable talent and electrifying personality, as he continues to exhibit and develop his multitude of skill and artistry that span across music, film & tv, and musical theater.

The 21-year-old NYU student is a former contestant on The Hub’s reality show Majors and Minors, and dropped his new mixtape Deutschland this past May— which is available to stream and download on all music services. Entirely self-written and self-produced, the tape was praised by the likes of Billboard, Stereogum, HotNewHipHop, and more. 

Just before his role on Atlanta, he played the role of Seaweed in an Off-Broadway production of Hairspray.

Band Members