Justin Hines
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Justin Hines

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"Justin Hines: How Sweet The Sound"

Canadian singer and songwriter Justin Hines tells us about his passion for music, his love of life, and his views on romance.
You have probably heard his hit song “Wish You Well” on the radio, or perhaps you’ve been lucky enough to experience one of his memorable performances. Either way, Justin Hines’ sweet and soulful voice has captured the hearts of listeners everywhere.
Friendly and down-to-earth, the 26-year-old Hines’ gentle disposition has been embraced by his fans. With life bringing him so much joy, this musician is living his life with a “glass half-full” perspective. “There are just so many positive influences in my life,” he shares. “I have too many things to be excited about, that it’s actually difficult for me to stay in a negative space.”
A true testament to his gracious spirit and awe-inspiring talent, Hines’ album Sides is a heartfelt account of life lessons and personal relationships. “I just tried to abandon any trends and do what I love to do,” he says on the making of his album.
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When asked to choose his own personal favourite, Hines feels it’s impossible. “I can’t do it, they’re all my babies,” he laughs. “I like the stories behind certain songs, like “Wish You Well.” Hines has received many conflicting interpretations of the popular tune’s meaning, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. “I’m always afraid to tell people what my songs are about, because I don’t want to shatter what it means to them,” he says. “I want them to feel it however they want to feel it, and not feel pressured to know what it means.”
Despite his poetic lyrics, the recently married Hines is reluctant to call himself a romantic. “I definitely have a lot of romantic notions and thoughts, but I think in a lot of ways I’m kind of shy to act on them,” he says. “But I dream a lot, and I think that life is bigger than what it seems, so I guess in that sense, maybe I am!”
Throughout his own life experiences, Hines says that the most profound lesson he has learned is that there is always hope at the end of every dark situation. “Although it doesn’t seem like it at the time, there’s always something beautiful waiting right around the corner for you,” he tells.
Hines says that his love of music was fostered at a very young age. As a youngster growing up in Newmarket, Ontario, Hines would listen to classic tunes on his father’s jukebox, and imagine himself becoming a singer one day. Drawing inspiration from musical idols such as James Taylor, Cat Stevens and Carole King, he created a sound that was all his own.
The musician’s big break came when he was selected to sing the national anthem at a Toronto Raptor’s game when he was just 14-years-old. “I got a taste of the professional side of music from that gig,” he says. “It seems that things kind of snowballed from there.”
And with a new album already in the works, the ball is still rolling for Hines. “I just want to keep making music and connecting with the people around me as much as I can.”
Hines’ unwavering faith and zest for life help him cope with his rare genetic joint condition, Larsen syndrome, which keeps him wheelchair-bound. “I was born into my situation, so I don’t know any different,” he explains. “I don’t find my life a struggle … I feel pretty blessed.”
Determined to help others who are disabled or feel trapped in some way, Hines is actively involved in various charities, including his own, Justin Hines Foundation. Through this foundation, Hines shares his remarkable story with children and adults who feel trapped or hopeless. www.justinhines.com - City Life Magazine


"A Night with Justin Hines"

Justin Hines, from Newmarket, Ontario, managed to spread his name around the world, in support of his debut album Sides 2007. His tour across Asia and North America with his initial release, paved the way for his recently released sophomore album Chasing Silver, and Hines chose to hit Hugh’s Room in Toronto before taking his band across Canada.

Hugh’s Room proved to be a low-key and relaxing venue with everyone seated at candlelit tables around the room and surrounding the stage. Hines support band consisted of a guitarist, a piano player, a percussionist and a bass player that switched between a hefty stand-up bass and an electric bass guitar. The set list for the evening featured twenty tracks (including the encore) and featured a couple of colorful covers, such as “Solsbury Hill” by the genius behind the band Genesis, Peter Gabriel, and “Wild Flowers” by Tom Petty. The song “April on the Ground” presented guitarist Justin Abedin switching his style and playing a mandolin while the rest of the set he strummed an acoustic guitar. The track “Wish You Well”, which was the third song of the night received a tidal wave of applause from the audience as Hines humbly showed his appreciation by saying, “thank you”, for the first of many times.

Hines took a break nine songs into the set and gave the crowd a brief intermission before debuting the new music video for the song “Courage (Come Out & Play)”. Following the video, Hines and the boys picked up right where they left off by charging into their second set. Before playing the forth song, “While You Are Out There”, Hines took a moment to dedicate the delicate track to his mother. Upon completion, the band received a standing ovation as the audience exploded with applause. Hines led his band into the final two numbers of the night and wrapped up his performance with the tracks “The Troubadour” and “What We Had”.

Hines’ voice sounded exactly like his recordings, proving that he doesn’t employ the use of Auto-Tune vocals and comes across very naturally as a singer. Before he left the stage the manager from Hugh’s Room presented him with a framed portrait of his last performance at the venue. It was signed by many members of the audience to commemorate his efforts to return to the venue. - FAZER Online


"March of Dimes supporter Justin Hines releases second album"

Justin Hines, a long-time March of Dimes supporter, has released his second album, Chasing Silver, available on iTunes and at Walmart stores across the country.

Over the years, Justin has been happy to support the fundraising efforts for March of Dimes, including performing at two Rock for Dimes events in Toronto and at a conference for stroke and polio survivors. Justin’s music resonates with everyone who listens to it, but has particular significance to March of Dimes staff, consumers and supporters. Justin has Larsen's syndrome, which requires him to use a wheelchair. His story is truly an inspirational one: despite the challenges that he faces, he is determined to follow his dreams and pursue the career that he always desired.

Justin is quickly becoming a household name lending his powerful voice to a television ad for Tourism Ontario which is running on stations across the province. The success of his single "Wish You Well" from his first album Sides is being repeated with the first single off his follow-up album, Chasing Silver, titled “Say What You Will”. It is already receiving major radio play and includes a video that will soon debut on Much More Music. Justin is currently playing shows and doing promotions for Chasing Silver.

Justin was recently featured on Global TV's 16:9. Click here to watch the show online. - marchofdimes.ca


"Justin Hines Goes Over The Edge"

Oct 09, 2009 – On FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16TH, JUSTIN HINES headlines KIDS INCLUDED TOGETHER’S CONCERT FOR COURAGE at San Diego’s BIRCH NORTH PARK THEATRE at 7:30 PM. At 9 AM the next morning, SATURDAY, OCTOBER 17TH, in an event never before experienced in Southern California, the popular Canadian singer-songwriter will make a 33-story rappel in his wheelchair to descend the MANCHESTER GRAND HYATT’S 357 foot Harbor tower in support of the prominent San Diego based non-profit organization. Tickets for the Concert For Courage are $23 and can be purchased through overtheedgeforkit.com. Register to support Justin’s rappel at the same address.

Justin Hines conveys a powerful message of love to a growing legion of fans around the world in concert and on his best-selling albums SIDES and the recent CHASING SILVER. Possessed of an unflagging spirit that allows him to flourish with the rare genetic condition, Larsen’s Syndrome, he is just about to release SEASON’S GREETINGS, an 11-track album of holiday favorites and original songs, including his previous seasonal hits “How I Love This Time” and “I’ll be Home For Christmas”. Last month Justin was honored with the RICK HANSEN AWARD OF EXCELLENCE for his work as an advocate and role model for people with disabilities. He has also received the ROGER ABBOTT AND DON FERGUSON EASTER SEALS AWARD FOR ACHIEVEMENT IN THE PERFORMING ARTS, a YTV ACHIEVEMENT AWARD for Best Performance or Host in a Variety Program or Series, , a GEMINI AWARD nomination and is the current FACTOR (Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent on Record) BREALTHROUGH ARTIST OF THE YEAR. - PRLog


"He's More Than A Commercial Success"

It's safe to say Justin Hines is a glass half-full kind of guy.

"Life never stops providing inspiration," the Newmarket-based 27-year-old musician said yesterday.

Sometimes it's the inspired who inspire.

You may have already seen him in the latest Ontario, There's No Place Like It television commercials, in which he belts out his own powerful version of the terrific Tourism Ontario number.

It has certainly captured people's imagination. When I asked in my Saturday column, "who is this guy" dozens e-mailed to tell me he's one of Canada's hottest musical talents, Justin Hines.

It was his voice that caught my attention. I did not see the commercial the first time but just heard it on TV. I was struck by his amazing pipes.

Then when I saw the energy and passion in his performance I quickly understood why this kid is on the rise.

The truth is his journey is the stuff of movies or at least certainly a stop with Oprah Winfrey as you will see if you go on the torontosun.com and watch the terrific video put together by editor Kurt Larson and photographer Alex Urosevic.

He just wants the audience to like his music. I have listened to a lot of his material since being told who he was.

It's original, soulful and in the spirit of the 1960s and '70s singer/songwriter set.

He's a passionate songwriter with a beautiful tenor voice. But he also has that star quality you can't teach.

The last time I felt a buzz like this about an artist, three months later he had sold six million albums.

That was in 1992 when I first met Billy Ray Cyrus in Richmond, Va. People were telling me different but I felt something big was going to happen with him.

I feel the same way about Justin, who is about to break out in a big way. It's a different media world today (there was no YouTube, BlackBerries or even much Internet back in 1992) but I feel I have stumbled upon another star. And this one is from right here in the GTA.

The audience gets to decide and time will tell how Hines will fare in the fickle world of popular music. But, like Cyrus, what I notice about this guy is his big voice, stage presence, passion for performing a song and perhaps most important, how the audience reacts to him.

I had several people tell me they have seen him play live and he works the stage so well, you can't keep your eyes off of him.

In an interview, Hines tells me his edge might actually be his special mechanized wheelchair. "My wheels are my legs," he said. "And they go where they go depending on how I am feeling while singing a song."

He was born with Larsens Syndrome which involves the breaking and dislocation of joints -- but with a smile he passes it off as "not as painful" as it sounds and not a factor at all.

"It's all I really know," he said. "I see it as a positive thing. It has drawn some attention when one of the hardest things is to get noticed."

But Justin wants more and provides more. "I think it's my job as an artist to keep people's attention," he said. "It's one thing to grab it and another thing to keep it. That's where the music comes in."

As for spending almost two full years in the hospital when he was born, he just shrugs his shoulders. "I was too young to remember it anyway."

Hines is a glass half-full kind of guy. And his glass is full right now.

In fact today, his new album on Orange Lounge Records, Chasing Silver, has been released to the stores.

If you go into any Wal-Mart location across the country you may see the album right up by the cash. "It's surreal," said Hines. "It's a dream."

And the first single off it called Say What You Will, which he co-wrote with manager Aubrey Winfield and Damhnait Doyle, is getting loads of play on radio stations across the country and on video shows and Internet sites.

Shot in Dundas Square, it's an emotional roller coaster of asking people what would they say if the next words out of their mouth were their last.

It's interesting the different answers people wrote on a marker board and you can participate yourself by going on http://wyw.inmusic.ca/creat-a-video/ and pass it along to a friend or loved one with your own personal message.

It's a beautiful song with Hines soulful, folksy voice providing what in my view will be a hit song -- which if it is will be his second radio smash. The first, Wish You Well, from the album Sides in 2007 received loads of air play. This new song though is coming along at a time when people in a struggling economy are in need of a little pick me up and reminder that it is all about whoever is close to you.

"I feel like a very fortunate person," he said of his life, which includes his loving wife, Savanna, and his mom, dad, brothers and sisters.

A perfect day for Justin, he says, is every day.
- Toronto Sun


Discography

Sides (Wish You Well, April on the Ground)
Chasing Silver (Say What You Will, Courage)
Season's Greetings (And Then There's Christmas)

Photos

Bio

Chase silver, and you know you’ll catch gold. These words of wisdom planted in the lyrics of the title track of Justin Hines’ remarkable new album Chasing Silver reveal the philosophical profundity that the singer and songwriter from Newmarket, Ontario weaves into his magical melodies. “I always try to write something relatively meaningful,” Hines admits. “For me it has to saying something and not just be ear candy.”

Blessed with a slightly graveled tenor voice, reminiscent of a hybrid Jim Croce and Cat Stevens, and an articulately poetic eloquence that shines in such songs as the first single, the thoughtful Say What You Will, the strident Courage (Come Out To Play) and the autobiographical The Troubadour, Hines is definitely not spouting ear candy. And even when he bears his heart with a romantic streak that nearly outshines his indomitable spirit, Hines is never cavalier nor flippant: the tender strains of You With Perfect Eyes or the playful organ-driven It May Be Too Late, divulges a depth approaching the artistry of some of his most revered influences, including the aforementioned Croce, Stevens and fellow songwriters James Taylor and Carole King. “Writing’s a weird thing,” Hines concedes. “You’re writing for yourself, but you’re also writing for other people without even knowing it. So it’s kind of a strange thing in that sense. But if the singer and songwriter comes from a place of sincerity and honestly, I think people can connect and resonate with that. I think my goal ultimately is to be that kind of artist.”

The 11 original songs (excluding two remixes and a potent cover of Solsbury Hill) on Chasing Silver easily fulfill that mandate. Justin Hines pours his heart and soul into an album that marks a steady evolution from his 2007 Orange Records debut effort Sides: Chasing Silver (plus two remixes) chronicle a life and experience that has stepped outside the boundaries of what even Hines could have imagined. Wheelchair-bound due to a rare genetic joint condition called Larsen Syndrome, Hines has never restricted or abandoned his goals to pursue the best that life has to offer. Even the whirlwind that occupied his life shortly after the release of Sides -- and the success of his radio hit Wish You Well -- found him traveling to destinations that he never dreamed were possible, as he touched and inspired people in China, Dubai, Scotland, the Persian Gulf and all across Canada with his music , his optimism and his outlook.

“For most of my life, I’ve been relatively home based. I didn’t branch out too much as a kid because of my physical situation, and now that I’ve got to see the world a little bit more, it’s certainly shaped my perspective somewhat. You go to places like Dubai and China and you see the differences, but you also see the similarities in all of us, the humanity in people. That’s actually been the greatest thing about traveling: understanding people from faraway places and coming to the conclusion that we’re really not all that different at all.” Hines says Courage (Come Out To Play) is a direct result of that experience. “That particular song is actually a song that encompasses my last couple years, in terms of totally branching out and dealing with new challenges that I haven’t faced before, and facing them with dignity and courage,” he admits.

These lessons serve as the apex and touchstone for 11 of Chasing Silver’s dozen songs: the sole non-original lone wolf being a spirited cover of Solsbury Hill, Peter Gabriel’s declaration of independence. Using acoustic-driven, folk-influenced pop stylings as a palate and producer Justin Abedin’s finely honed arrangement sensibilities, Hines took the Chasing Silver songs he sketched out on his keyboard and transferred them from his head to a sonic canvas that’s a little more expansive than his debut album. “I think I stepped out a little bit of my comfort zone, but in a good way,” the 27-year-old Hines explains. “It was a really liberating experience and I’m really pleased how it turned out. On the last record, I didn’t really want any electric guitars or anything like that. I wanted to keep it pretty stripped down. This time around, I decided to play with more layers. It’s still organic, but a little more evolved. I wanted to take it to the next level.”

Although the keyboard is the instrument with which he expresses himself as a songwriter, Hines confesses that songs germinate in his mind long before he articulates them. “For some reason, my brain can hold a lot of ideas, so I find myself constantly writing,” Hines explains. “Most of the time, songs form in my head a long time before I even get to the keyboard. I like them to fester in my brain and sleep on them for a while.”

“Somebody gave me some really good advice a long time ago: They said, ‘If you’re writing a song in your head, you fall asleep, you wake up and you still remember it, it’s probably worth remembering.’“ Indeed, Hines says his bigge