Justin McKee

Justin McKee

BandR&BHip Hop

Is it Hip Hop? Soul? Pop? You only stand to lose from labels. I don't classify myself, and I don't classify my music. It's a little bit of everything and better left ambiguous. It's complex, poetic lyricism over soulful grooves-stuff you'll want to move to, make love to, and think about.

Biography

After a single listen to "Diana/The Death Of A Hero", Justin McKee's first independent musical release in more than a year, one thing is certain: we're hearing a complex, poetic, and quixotic piece from a enigmatic artist. The track, released to coincide with the beginning of the year 2008, has been in the works for a while. "I've been hung up on a lot of shit, and I finally decided just to buckle down and get this out there. As far as my art goes, I work from my soul, and I don't put anything out unless I believe that it will deepen people in one way or another." His quest began as a child growing up in San Mateo, CA. He was an celebrated talent early on, spending most of his time acting in theatre, musical theatre, and independent film. In high school, he spent his time evading class and poured his energy into producing films, music, and theatrical productions. Upon graduating, he moved to Santa Barbara to live by the beach and his then-girlfriend's twin sister. Thirteen days into his stay, he had a prophetic dream. He immersed himself in the bohemian lifestyle and began exploring various mediums of art before discovering music as the most sincere for him at the time. He connected with musical sensation Richard Nickol and pianist John Florencio and began honing his chops to bring his act to the San Francisco club scene. Performing everywhere from neighborhood cafés to San Francisco’s finest venues, he quickly engaged the city in his musical quest, drawing recognition for his versatile performances and captivating personality.
With no formal instrumental training and little knowledge of theory, he wrote and composed his first full-length studio album, which he aptly titled Entelechy. "My process was/is really kind of ridiculous. I wrote that album in my apartment with a piano and an acoustic guitar. I really didn't know anything about music other than that it was in me. We tried to let some of the tracks on that album reflect that, with minimal production, true to how they were composed. Someday I’ll re-issue those tracks, but I wanted some documentation of the ridiculous simplicity I endured while writing this stuff. As far as the writing goes, it tells a story of a specific personal journey. I was simply trying to capture a succession of moments in a style that was somewhere between illustrative and organic. This was the beginning of my life as a working writer, and I was just beginning to find my voice. When I started playing music, it never phased me that I had no idea how to play a chord on the guitar, or that my masterpiece on the piano was still hot-crossed-buns. There was music I needed to play, and I just found out how to play it. I remember when I started to get interested in the guitar, I walked down the street to my buddy Dave Giannini. Dave and I had grown up together jamming to Springsteen in his garage; He was the guitar player, and I sang and made the best with whatever instrument I could get my hands on. Dave taught me three chords that day, thinking that would occupy me for a while. I came back the next day with four songs written using those chords. My desire was to write music, and I didn’t need to be a virtuoso in order to do it. As I started teaching myself, I would attempt to learn from music books. I would read the first page, learn a few new chords or techniques, and take off with those to write as much as I could. Even today, I’ll hear a song in my head and just move my hands around until I figure out how to play it. My desire was to write, and not knowing the musical landscape couldn’t stop me. If the desire is strong enough, you just make it happen."

After Entelechy was released as a CD in 2005, he witnessed low album sales as music became increasingly digital in form. "I was tripping on that for a while, because a digital world threatened me: people were just buying singles or ripping music and I wasnt profiting from my work. Moreover. I cared deeply about the album as a whole: the artwork, the liner notes. There's something I love about listening to music while sitting on the floor with the booklet in hand. That was special to me. But the world moves and youve got to move with it. I read an article about Lil' Wayne and was inspired to 'get (my) business right, smoke weed, and drink syrup all day'...or maybe just the first part. I knew I had to try to make it all work in the digital world. When I got past all the other stuff, I really embraced it-the artist can do it all now. The album is dead; singles make sense today. So I talked it over with Jon (Duman), called up Leo (Frappier), and got in there to lay it all down. I designed my own album art and liner notes, and now Im working on getting it heard. This is one piece that I knew had to be heard right now." Now is invariably a good time, as the joint has plenty to be taken in and appreciated. It begins with the tender and hypnotic "Diana," a portrait of two young people battling a deadly affliction. He builds with soulfu

Discography

Entelechy-LP (2005)
MarioKart-Single (2006)
Diana/The Death Of A Hero-Single (2008)

all music available at www.JUSTINMcKEE.com

Set List

Set list varies according to band arrangement.
Send email to justin@JUSTINMcKEE.com with inquiry.