Justin Lanning
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Justin Lanning

Beverly Hills, California, United States

Beverly Hills, California, United States
Band Rock Pop


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This band has not uploaded any videos




Justin Lanning
“Take My Breath Away”
(SMC/King George Records)

As an actor, he’s appeared on episodes of CSI, Boston Public and Wings, but he’s been writing songs since age 11. On “Take My Breath Away,” the first single from the forthcoming album Behind These Eyes, Lanning proves his talent as a writer and performer can stand right up there with the best of today’s new artists. The production elements are slick and tasteful, while the musical arrangement serves a perfect backdrop for Lanning's vocals.

"JUSTIN LANNING Taking Control of his Own Career"

By Albert Vega

For 21-year-old singer/songwriter Justin Lanning, there are two paths a musician can take: either attempt to sign on with a major label (an act he equivocates to “selling one’s soul”) or become an entrepreneur and own all the material one creates. While it’s rare that a dilemma like this is on the mind of such a young artist, one should take into account that Lanning comes from an entertainment family and has been in the industry since he was a child. An actor as well, the L.A.-native has been informed by “tumultuous experiences” with the industry, which ultimately led to the decision to start up a record label, own his masters, control his publishing and begin a budding internet program.

While he began his acting career at six years old, Lanning did not start playing music professionally until age 12. As a self-proclaimed “skater kid,” Lanning formed the hard-rock band Kulprit, an act whose journey culminated in an opening slot for a UK tour. It was in this outfit which Lanning describes his first run-in with less-than-trustworthy business people. “At the time, I was 15-years-old and I had a bad band management experience. I was fully dicked around by this guy and was taken advantage of.” Needless to say, the relationship did not last long.

It was also at this time that Lanning began embracing his desire to go in a different musical direction. “After coming back from the UK tour, I started re-examining things and thinking that I wanted to start more of a solo pop-rock project,” says Lanning. One year later, the former hard-rocker had co-penned his first independent solo release. Working with his producer at the time, Lanning’s self-titled debut enforced the idea that going the solo route was his true calling. Over the next four years, Lanning set about re-inventing himself as a pop-rock singer/songwriter.

For his next step, the multi-instrumentalist went about trying to find a label to call home. While he had already released material on a small, independent scale before, Lanning still felt that landing a major label deal was the proverbial next step. “I did the whole trying-to-find-a-label thing for two years,” recalls Lanning. “I came close with a couple of them and even had commitments from them, but they never came to fruition. I kept on believing that these negotiations would go through, and I kept on waiting for people to give me the okay to begin and give me a budget. But I shouldn’t have waited.”

Frustrated with the stalemate in his career, Lanning decided he could not stall any longer. He set about taking a proactive role on the business end of his development. “Finally, I just said, ‘Fuck it.’ I was not going to have label people tell me about my art, my business and my passion. I decided to go out and make my own record and get it distributed and quit sitting on other people’s decisions.” And while it may sound like the logical conclusion, Lanning is quick to admit that he was not as confident in his decision as some would believe. “In all honesty, it was a really big challenge to step into the unknown and not rely on anybody to take me to the next level. I had to quit thinking that I had to play the game with the majors, which wasn’t easy.”

But once he committed to going the independent route, Lanning took aggressive hold of the reins. Taking songwriting inspiration from Billy Joel, the Beatles and Beach Boys, Lanning eventually self-financed the recording for what he is officially calling his debut, Behind These Eyes. In the process, Lanning also set up his own label (King George Records) and made sure he retained control of all his masters and publishing. “I don’t want to be beholden to anybody,” says Lanning. “I’ve already seen a lot of sharks in the industry, so the best thing I can do for myself is own the most of myself as I can. And with the industry turned upside down the way it has been in recent years, you can really make waves and be an artist who owns his own material.”

It also did not take long for Lanning to establish a partnership for wide-scale distribution. Introduced to the folks at Mesa/Bluemoon Recordings through an old friend, the relationship instantly clicked and Lanning came onboard. “I was blessed to get paired up with an amazing indie label, which has distribution through Fontana/Universal. They believe in the project and are behind it full force.”

And with the results he has gotten so far, Lanning looks to continue expanding his career across different media and outlets. He already has a Web series called, Justin’s World, whose episodes are played via the artist’s MySpace site. “I have a director buddy and we just got together one day and did this little TV show,” recalls Lanning. “After that, I thought, with all this in our hands, I could have my own running show and I don’t need a network to have my own show.” A cult hit amongst his fans, Lanning does look to eventually get it on national television.

His forecast also includes working as a producer, as well as signing other acts to his record label. All this, after he gets his material off the ground. “I definitely see signing other artists and producing for other people in the near future,” says Lanning. “I really feel I have a lot of creative abilities that can help other artists, as well.”

In the meantime, Lanning hopes this bit of advice helps other up-and-coming artists, “You can do everything and more by yourself. You don’t even need a manager until you’re really hitting radio and getting to the masses. It’s a rough and competitive business, but there are ways to make money in it. Hone your craft, take workshops, keep a journal, do whatever you have to do to find your creative center and explore the hell out of it, because there is no room for mediocrity. Be innovative and never give up.”

’s all-ages record release party will be held at The Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood, July 11th, 9 p.m.

Contact Erik Stein,

- Music Connection

"Justin Lanning @ The Roxy"

Magical. That’s the only word that comes to mind when writing about this particular experience. I have seen many, many acts in this town over the years but I have to admit, Justin Lanning simply sets the bar for an entire new dimension in live performance.

Opening the night with the powerful and infectious tune “Voices” the crowd of fans and onlookers (ages 10 to 60 mind you) quickly inched up to the stage to catch a glimpse of Justin and his band up close and personal. With his charismatic personality and heartthrob looks Justin had the crowd singing and dancing along within minutes.

Fueled by an incredible band of seasoned musicians Justin blazed through several tracks off his just newly released debut “Behind These Eyes” including the fun and quirky “Closer to You,” Upbeat and harmonious “Hold On,” and the hit single and radio worthy ballad “Take my Breath Away.”

Other notable songs I enjoyed were piano laden “Fingertips” and the title track of Justin’s CD “Behind These Eyes,” another ballad that cuts to the core while conveying a deep and meaningful message about self esteem, growing up and supporting your inner-child. Simply moving and mesmerizing.

Make no mistake about it Justin Lanning is a breath of fresh air the local music scene has been desperately in need of, a commercially viable artist with the whole package. Check him out online and catch a show near you soon, you’ll be glad you did.

www.justinlanning.com - All Access Magazine


2007-Behind These Eyes-King George Records



If you had to label singer/multi-instrumentalist Justin Lanning with just one word, it’d be “positive.” It is his indomitable spirit that defines him and his music. Lanning is not just confident about his future and the effect that music can have on people’s lives; he’s so self-assured that it is absolutely infectious. This optimistic spirit permeates his debut CD Behind These Eyes.

Behind These Eyes references many of the twenty-one year-old Lanning’s idols: the glossy, power-pop sheen of Bryan Adams; the storytelling prowess of Billy Joel; the classic harmonic sophistication of the Beatles and the Beach Boys; the youthful exuberance of James Blunt; and the energy of blink-182. But like those musical heroes, Justin is his own man, and his personal songs come from a deep emotional well that is unique to him.

The debut single “Take My Breath Away” perfectly captures the innocence of finding a new love and the overwhelming allure of female beauty. More universal issues are tackled on “Voices,” where Lanning takes the listener along his search for meaning in the cosmos, highlighting the depth of his spiritual consciousness as the simple melody gradually builds to a multilayered peak centered on an urgent guitar riff. The album’s title track encapsulates Lanning’s uplifting message of self-esteem, personal growth and championing your inner child.

But don’t mistake Lanning’s honesty and positive vibes as inexperienced or unsophisticated. Los Angeles born and bred, Lanning exudes ‘California cool,’ and while his speech is peppered with new age aphorisms like references to spirit guides and light healing, he is a shrewd businessman in full control of his career and destiny.

Self-taught from a young age on a variety of instruments, including guitar, piano, bass and drums, Lanning not only writes and performs his songs but also owns the publishing rights and masters and acted as his own A&R rep. Lanning even co-produced two tracks along with seasoned veteran Jeff Bova (Michael Jackson, Billy Joel, Joe Cocker) and acted as financial backer for his upcoming album, which features additional songs produced by Steven Miller (Dave Matthews Band, Pink, Mandy Moore) and will be released on Lanning’s own King George Records with promotion and distribution through Mesa/Bluemoon Recordings. King George Records is “named after my father,” says Lanning, “for his loving support when I was a young kid, paying for acting classes and driving me to auditions... which, essentially, gave me the jobs that helped to fund my record!”

While finishing the recording of his self-financed debut release Behind These Eyes, Lanning came up short on funds for laying down a few additional vocal tracks. Rather than leaving the record as simply “good enough,“ he took his Chevy Trailblazer to the pawn shop, and 15 minutes later walked out with just enough cash to finish the tracks. When asked about what he’s going do for a car, Lanning joked, “I’ll just drive my Mom’s for a while or I’ll sell a bunch of CDs.” While he might have to borrow a car for the time being, he is satisfied that his creative vision has been fully realized.

Betting his car on his future was a calculated risk for any performer, but Lanning is insistent on maintaining full creative control. The young singer/songwriter puts so much of his heart and soul into the music that he is unwilling to let anyone else water it down. Lanning turned down lucrative offers from several major labels in favor of establishing his own independent label.

Lanning sees himself as a multi-media artist as well. A visit to his MySpace highlights the various episodes of Justin’s World, webisodes that feature the life and times of the enthusiastic sprit of Lanning as he heads through a variety of Left Coast adventures. Justin’s World has already gathered a cult following, with tens of thousands of viewers watching each and every episode.

To the delight of those online fans, Lanning plans to take his live show on the road in the spring. His electrifying presence on stage is bolstered by his experience as an actor with over 20 commercials and TV shows to his credit, including winning MTV’s “Score” with Ryan Cabrera and a recent role as a murderer on “CSI: Las Vegas.”

Looking towards the future, Lanning is supremely optimistic. He’s made a record that he loves; he has a single shipping to radio; he’s assembled a crack band of players for an upcoming tour in the spring; and surrounded himself with a business team consisting of industry insiders who he now considers friends.

Can you think of any better reason to be optimistic?