Precious Kid
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Precious Kid

Whittier, CA | Established. Jan 01, 2016 | SELF | AFTRA

Whittier, CA | SELF | AFTRA
Established on Jan, 2016
Band Alternative Indie




"Under the Radar: 5 Artists You Need to Hear Now"

Justine first popped up on our radar when she wrote and performed “Best Worst Day Ever” with her sister Kerris Dorsey for the movie Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Since then, she’s continued to hone her craft, perform shows in the US and Europe, and released the heartfelt, lovesick song “Cliché.” She’s currently traveling and playing shows around Europe while working on her album. Read our interview with her and Kerris, and be on the lookout for more to come from the singer. -


It’s been a very busy year for the Dorsey sisters. Justine has been focusing on her album with the kick-off of her latest single “Cliché”. While Kerris Dorsey is working on her EP after recently securing an upcoming feature in People Magazine. She gained recognition in Moneyball (Sony Pictures) for her performance of the song “The Show” in that film also. - Robmoro

"American Songwriter Daily Discovery-Justine Dorsey's Cliche"

"Justine Dorsey's Cliche is one of our Daily Discoveries" - American Songwriter


Justine Dorsey's Cliche was exclusively released on Mike Ragogna's blog at the Huffington Post. - Huffington Post

"‘Music is the closest thing to magic that we have’."

Justine Dorsey’s crisp voice possesses an angelic beauty that is spiced with an intriguing hint of darkness. Her lyrics play vividly in your head like little three-minute movies. Last week it was announced that Justine and her sister, Kerris Dorsey, were the Overall Grand Prize winners in the 19th Annual USA Songwriting Competition for their song "Best Worst Day Ever". This Saturday, December 27, Justine will be making a rare New York City appearance to perform in a free, all-ages concert at the famed Caffé Vivaldi. Also on the bill will be Chanele McGuinness, Regina Zaremba, Juliette Goglia, and her sister. The event is called Painting with Songs.

AXS recently had a chance to talk with Justine about the magic of music, her growth as a person, the upcoming concert, and her plans for 2015.

AXS: Can you give me a little bit of background on you and your sister?

Justine: When I was really little, I started acting in musical theater. Kerris had been watching me do it and she caught the bug too, so both of us have basically been doing music and acting for our whole lives. As we’ve grown older, Kerris has been more drawn towards acting and I’ve been more drawn towards music, but we both dip into each other’s worlds. She is such a talented songwriter and she’s starting to record her own material, but I do think we have different personalities and different creative voices.

AXS: How so?

Justine: Even though we do have a lot of the same references, obviously -- because we’ve grown up listening to the same music and watching the same movies -- at the heart of it, we are different people, so our different voices show through whether it’s in songwriting or in acting.

AXS: What is it about music that speaks so strongly to you?

Justine: I ask myself that all the time! I think it’s the intangible aspect … There’s just that love that you have for your favorite artist or for your favorite song and it’s like a kind of magic. It’s not tangible, it just kind of exists. I think it’s a hard thing to describe because music is the closest thing to magic that we have.

AXS: I agree. The instant you hear a song, you know if it’s meant for you.

Justine: Yeah! Exactly. It’s just so weird. I feel like the songs that we love are almost like soul mates or something because you just feel a connection immediately!

AXS: I’ve been interviewing songwriters since 1992 and I don’t think anyone else has ever made that comparison before during an interview ... but it’s so accurate! You have a way with words.

Justine: Cool, thanks!

AXS: Listening to your music from your earlier days till now, there’s been a change in what you write about. In the beginning there is a lot of wonder and magic in your music, but your more recent material is picking up a slightly darker edge.

Justine: That is so funny that you picked up on that! I’m in college and I’m transferring and one of my essays is literally about that transition! It wasn’t a conscious thing, I didn’t sit down and say, “Okay, now I need a darker edge,” but afterward, you look back and you can see a pattern. I was always the girl who grew up with fairies and sparkles -- and I’m still that person -- but maybe it’s just a part of getting older because I’m more aware that the world cannot be only that. Also, I’m realizing that you can take even the smallest, most seemingly mundane moments and blow them up to find that they have this exciting, strange magic all their own. I’m currently writing what I think are some of my best songs yet. I’m recording them now and I’ll be releasing them next year, but listening to these new songs, it’s obvious that I have changed as a songwriter.

AXS: Which means you’ve probably changed as a person, too.

Justine: Well, I mean, I’m only 19, so I’m still kind of figuring out who I am (laughing). But I do feel so much fuller as a person and it makes songwriting so much more exciting!

AXS: Tomorrow you have your concert at Caffé Vivaldi in New York City, how did that all come about?

Justine: We were coming to New York for Christmas and two of my best friends were going to be here -- one is from Ireland and one is from Long Island, and they are both super talented songwriters -- and then I found out my friend Juliette [Goglia] was going to be in town and she’s also a really talented songwriter and singer and we just thought it would be criminal not to do a show together when we were all here. So my friend Regina, she’s the one who lives on Long Island, contacted Caffé Vivaldi and put together the show. I’m really excited to play with them, it’s been over a year!

AXS: Do you have anything else lined up to do while you’re in town?

Justine: Mainly, I think I’m just going to be eating my way through the city. (laughing)

AXS: I just had this image of you as a giant Pac-Man eating your way through New York City!

Justine: That image might be closer to the truth than you think! Before calling you, I was sitting on the couch making a list of things I wanted to do while I am here... and I just looked down at my list and everything on it is a restaurant that I want to go to! (laughing)

AXS: The other big thing in your career right now is winning the USA Songwriting Competition. That must feel pretty good!

Justine: It does, it’s really cool! And what makes it even more special and mind-blowing is, outside of a song we wrote for my Dad’s birthday -- called “Cargo Pants Dad” -- “Best Worst Day Ever” was the first song that Kerris and I wrote together. The fact that people responded so well makes us want to write more songs together.

AXS: We’ve talked about everything from the magic of music to eating your way through New York City, is there anything that we missed that you’d like to bring up in closing?

Justine: It would be great if you could include a link to my YouTube channel. I’m going to be posting a video for each song I release next year and those are all obviously going to be on YouTube. I think the first one’s going up around January 20.

If you’d like to be the first to hear Justine’s new music, make sure you subscribe to her YouTube channel. It wouldn’t hurt to visit her website, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Instagram and Twitter, either. And, if you are in New York City tomorrow (Saturday, December 27), be sure to catch her free, all-ages show at Caffé Vivaldi from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. with Chanele McGuinness, Regina Zaremba, Juliette Goglia, and her sister Kerris Dorsey. - Allen Foster - National Beat Writer/Music & Live Events

"Watch Justine Dorsey's video: Cliche"

Justine Dorsey, 19, just dropped her video for the song "Cliché." Before you watch it, let's learn the backstory, shall we?

"I wrote 'Cliché' a few years ago, when I was mooning over a boy who was too old for me," Dorsey said. "I realized that crushin' on someone is not just the giggles-and-butterflies fest that everyone says it is. I wanted the video to capture all of these feelings, and this one specific idea would not leave my brain. I would tell you what it is,'s sort of a surprise."
Read more at - Artist Direct

"A Conversation with Justine Dorsey"

A Conversation with Justine Dorsey

Mike Ragogna: Justine, both you and your sister Kerris--who stars in
Alexander & The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day--contribute "Best Worst Day Ever" to the soundtrack. This must have been quite a stretch being associated with such a thing since you and your sister--in real life--probably have never, ever had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Right?

Justine Dorsey: Oh, it was absolutely a stretch. Everything ALWAYS goes well for me. No. I'm definitely kidding. My worst day is perhaps too embarrassing to recount, but I will say that it started out with me getting gum stuck in my hair and ended with the dress I was wearing literally breaking. This was recent, by the way.

MR: Okay, fine, we all have them. What about your best day....can you remember what that might have been? Maybe when you won the Malibu Music Award?

JD: That was indeed a very good day! But my favorite days are always the quiet, unexpected ones. My favorite day involved a lot of listening to music while driving with my sister. Our drives are my favorite thing in the world.

MR: What was your musical training like and who influenced you as a singer
and who as a writer?

JD: I grew up doing musical theater and taking voice lessons, so my training was pretty hardcore when it came to singing. I learned how to pick up harmonies and how to take care of my voice. Guitar I started later. I've taken lessons on and off but it's been pretty unstructured; I mainly play so I can write. I love the second part of this question because singing and writing are two totally different animals. I think the style of singing I learned when I did musical theater--really emotional, really dynamic--was a subconscious influence for me. But at the same time, I was listening to these singer-songwriters like KT Tunstall and Ingrid Michaelson, whose voices had this beautiful balance of strong and delicate. KT and Ingrid were definitely influences for me early on. You can sort of hear them in my Under Construction EP. But as I got older, I discovered these whole other worlds of writers that found their way into my music. I love Arcade Fire. I love St. Vincent. I love Arctic Monkeys. Those artists have been really inspiring to me right now. Who knows if you can pick up on them in my music; I just know that they have challenged me and shaped me for the better.

MR: When and how did you decide you needed to work creatively in the music field and how would you describe what your style is?

JD: There was never really a specific day, I just think that the more and more I did it, the more and more I fell in love with it. And any time I write a song I'm proud of, it reaffirms my love and my need to make a life out of making music.

MR: What do you feel are some of your own greatest works and why?

JD: Haha! I'm recording some of them right now, actually! I just finished recording a song I'm releasing in November called "Youth is at Stake" and that song has been huge for me. More and more, I'm starting to understand myself as an artist. It's not fumbling in the dark anymore. I don't know how to explain it, except for it's just really really exciting.

MR: So do you--from your perspective only--have a terrible, horrible no good, very bad song that you'll never show to the world?

JD: YES. And that is all I will say about it.

MR: [laughs] Are you having fun with your association with such terrible, get the point!

JD: Hey, why not? It's a perfectly pun-worthy title. But honestly, I'm so happy to be part of the movie. The movie's director, Miguel Arteta, had asked Kerris if she wanted to write something for Alexander, and she in turn asked me if I wanted to write with her. We only had five days to write "Best Worst Day Ever" and record it, and Disney loved it - everything was just so serendipitous! Even making the video. We shot it at our house with our director, Eric Schrader and it was a blast. I will be featuring it on my YouTube Channel: and

MR: Justine, what is your advice to new artists?

JD: Listen to everything! Soak up as much music as you can and then ignore it all. Don't try to be something or someone else in your songs because it always comes through.

MR: What would you have told yourself as a budding artist?

JD: I'm still a budding artist. Hopefully, I will always be a budding artist. Is that crazy cheesy? Anyway, I'd tell myself to stop worrying. The songs will come. But I wouldn't listen to myself.

MR: So what's the game plan? How are you going to kick the butt of this thing called the music biz?

JD: I'm recording five singles that we'll start releasing sometime this late Fall/early Winter. I'm crazy excited to share them. As for kicking said butt, I'm honestly exhausted even coming up with a response. I'm just gonna do all I can, because there are no rules right now. The music business is a whole new world- who knows what'll catch on? Oh no- I'm singing Aladdin now. Whelp, one thing's for sure...I am going to have "A Whole New World" stuck in my head for the next week.

MR: [luaghs] And what's your favorite ice cream? Sorry, had to throw a random question out there.

JD: Ice cream is ALWAYS relevant. My favorite flavor is peppermint. Controversial choice, I know. - Huffington Post

"Girls we love-Justine & Kerris Dorsey"

To put it simply: Justine and Kerris Dorsey are rad. If you don’t know them yet, you will soon. We first saw Kerris as Brad Pitt’s daughter in Moneyball, and now she’s one of the stars of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Her older sister, Justine, is an up-and-coming singer/songwriter with a collection of YouTube covers that would impress even the snobbiest coffee-shop hipster.

Together, they wrote and recorded “Best Worst Day Ever” which you’ll hear over the Alexander credits and on the official soundtrack. We sat down with them to talk about the song and their adorable sisterly relationship. (They’re real deal best friends, in case you’re wondering.) We even got them to take some cute selfies along the way:

Kerris, the first time we ever heard you sing was at the end of Moneyball. Was that the first time you got your voice out there, or were we just late to the game?
Kerris: Ya! I sang in other projects too, but this was the first time they put it on a soundtrack and released it on iTunes. That was probably my first entryway into putting music out there professionally.

Justine, we were all over your YouTube channel today checking out your covers. It seems like you’re really into indie music.
Justine: Kerris and I have the exact same taste in music. I use YouTube as a way to pay homage to my favorite bands. One person had written on my Alt-J cover, “The original is better.” And I was like, “Of course it’s better! It’s supposed to be better. I’m just showing appreciation.”

It’s probably a sign that you’re getting big if people are leaving not-so-nice comments.
Justine: Ya! That one ended up getting a lot of views on it. It’s a cool song, the “I’m a female rebel” line in it is so empowering.

Tell us a little bit about your sisterly relationship.
Kerris: She’s my best friend. We love to play music together, obviously. Go to concerts together. Watch movies.
Justine: My favorite thing is when we drive together and listen to music. That’s the best.
Kerris: It’s nice to have a built-in person who lives next door to you, literally.

It seems like the story in the “Best Worst Day Ever” music video is based on your real experience of getting a call to write a song, and only having a few days to do it.
Kerris: Miguel (the director) called me and asked if I would like to write a song for Alexander. I was so excited; I couldn’t even believe that he had to ask. I would do it in a heartbeat! But the video is obviously very cut down.
Justine: And we didn’t really have a tea party in our backyard.
Kerris: But ya, it’s similar to what happened.

Where did you get your inspiration?
Kerris: First off all, we drew inspiration from the movie. I know the specific songs that I listen to when I’m having a bad day and everything seems to go wrong. Sometimes they’re sugary pop, sometimes they’re rock. We knew we wanted to write a song that was like that.

What are the songs you listen to when you’re having a bad day?
Kerris: “Heart of Glass” by Blondie.
Justine: I listen to Arcade Fire, but then on the other hand, I love Taylor Swift songs.
Kerris: For the past two days, I’ve just been replaying “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.”
Justine: And Haim! It’s a perfect pop album. It’s so good. And it just makes you dance.
Kerris: And Beyonce.

Does your family have anything in common with the family in Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day?
Kerris: Our parents are really similar to the parents in the movie because our dad is completely the optimist and our mom is more realistic about things, so they sort of bring out the best in each other and complement each other.
Justine: There is a possibility that one day our dad will be wearing a pirate blouse in a sushi restaurant. That is very probable.

What’s coming up next for each of you?
Justine: I am recording new stuff and I have five singles and that are going to be released. Next year, I’m going to start on my full album.
Kerris: I’m actually going to start to record an EP. I just feel like it’s good to have stuff out there. I’m going to do school for the next couple months and then I start season two of a show that I’m on.

Tell us some things we may not know about the two of you.
Kerris: Justine asks questions and actually wants to know the answer. I just feel like there’s a lack of that. She’s really present as a person.
Justine: This is so cheesy, but Kerris is just the kindest person. Also, she loves Milk Duds. That’s another fact.

Don’t miss Kerris’ performance in Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, in theaters October 10!


"Listen to an Acoustic Cover of Alt-J's 'Hunger of the Pine' Justine Dorsey"

We’re still about a month away from the release of Alt-J‘s sophomore album, ‘This is All Yours,’ but it’s apparently never too early for covers of songs from the record to surface.
California singer-songwriter Justine Dorsey has posted an acoustic version of the lead single ‘Hunger of the Pine,’ which was first unveiled in June. While the original version is an entirely electronic and atmospheric track, Dorsey’s rendition (above) is a little brighter and crisper with particular emphasis on the Miley Cyrus “female rebel” sample featured in Alt-J’s song.
This is far from the first cover Dorsey has shared: she’s also posted her versions of the Arctic Monkeys‘ ‘Do I Wanna Know?,’ Mumford and Sons‘ ‘Ghosts That We Knew‘ and the Black Keys‘ ‘Lonely Boy,’ among others.

Read More: Listen to an Acoustic Cover of Alt-J's 'Hunger of the Pine' | -

"Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" Soundtrack"

ALEXANDER Gets Very Good Soundtrack!

Dylan Minnette isn’t just starring in Disney’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day as the title character’s older brother, Anthony. He and his band, The Narwhals, perform one of the songs in the movie, “Surf Surf Don’t Drown,” which the young star co-wrote with Braeden Lemasters (“Betrayal,” “Men of a Certain Age”).

It’s just one of six songs featured on the movie’s soundtrack, available from Walt Disney Records on October 7th, three days ahead of the movie’s October 10th release.

Kerris Dorsey, who stars in the movie as Alexander’s older sister Emily and is probably best known for her role in Moneyball where she sang for her on-screen dad Brad Pitt, also wrote and performed a song with her sister, Justine Dorsey, for Alexander called “Best Worst Day Ever,” which plays during the credits.

“When you are having a bad day, you can feel singled out, as if fate has brought a huge hand down and pointed its finger at you at all day,” the movie’s director, Miguel Arteta, says. “Wherever you look up, there it is, singling you out. We wanted the music in Alexander to have this incessant feeling to it—like this madcap pulse has gotten a hold of you and won’t let up until the family beats the odds and has the wonderful party for Alexander in the end!” - The Seven Sees

"Justine and Kerris break it down for's listening lounge"

Make Your Day Better Listening to Justine & Kerris Dorsey's 'Best Worst Day Ever' - People Magazine online


In a recent interview, we got the inside scoop on “Best Worst Day Ever” from Justine herself!

The director of Alexander, Miguel Arteta, knew that Kerris was a musician when he suggested she write a song for the film.

“He asked her if she wanted to write a song, and then she kind of extended the invitation to me,” Justine explained. “We ended up just writing it together.”

The duo drew inspiration from the film and one of its trailers.

“It was a genius move on Kerris’s part, because she was watching the trailer with the tagline ‘Get ready for the best worst day ever,’” Justine said. “Kerris was like, why don’t we just call the song ‘Best Worst Day Ever?’ and it It all kind of snowballed from there.”

The sisters wanted the song to be positive, inspirational and empowering.

“We were really conscious of what the movie’s message is, about overcoming bad days,” she said. “We’d seen some clips from the movie and we got a feel of what it was all like, and we tried to capture the energy of the movie in the song.”

So far, the song has delighted fans, as well as Justine and Kerris Dorsey themselves.

“It’s like the equivalent of a sugar rush, only it’s good for you,” she said. “It’s happy but not it’s not shallow. It just makes me really happy when we play it.”

Justine and Kerris also had the opportunity to star in the music video for the song together.

“That was one of the easiest video shoots we’ve ever done because it was at our house,” Justine said. “The bedroom in it is my bedroom, the backyard was my backyard, and it was really fun and really relaxed.’

The two also used the opportunity to sport their favorite styles with help from the vintage-inspired brand, Wildfox.

“We really love Wildfox,” Justine said. “That’s not a plug, by the way. We just really love the brand, so we wore as much of their clothing as we could, and we had a tea party in our backyard. At the end of the night, everyone just got Thai food and kind of hung out at my house.”

Justine Dorsey has a lot of experience as a songwriter, winning the Singer/Songwriter of the Year award at the Malibu Music Awards.

“That was realy cool because I didn’t really expect it at all,” she explained. “I just went in and I thought it was going to be a fun night of music and was so surprised when I got an award. It was really cool.”

Her debut album releases next year!

“Right now I’m in the process of recording a couple of singles that we’re going to be releasing in a couple weeks,” she said. “Each one of them is going to have a music video and then it’s all gearing up for my debut album. I’m really excited about it!” - Sweety High

"Spotlight on Justine Dorsey"

Singer-songwriter Justine Dorsey has had an exciting year. Her song "Best Worst Day Ever," which she recorded with her sister Kerris, was included in the film Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day featuring Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner. She's also been featured by The Huffington Post,, and, and is currently in the process of recording her second album. We spoke with Justine about her musical upbringing, her upcoming release plan, and the success she's seen through Sonicbids. - SonicBids Blog

"Warped Tour Best and Worst"

Warped Tour Pomona best and Worst:
5. I’ll go with two for my last one which is Whittier’s alternative pop band Justine & The Highs (with Vans Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman introducing them saying they are ones to watch) on the Little Ernie stage. The group, which won an L.A. County Fair Battle of the Bands competition, drew a small but enthusiastic audience with their catchy songs and engaging stage presence. Additionally, Luke Hemmings (of 5 Seconds Of Summer) was a special guest as he briefly performed with The Summer Set on Sunday. It was the only special guest I saw all Sunday and when Hemmings sang a small part of “Lightning In A Bottle” toward the end of the day on Sunday and the crowd went crazy. - OC Register

"Justine and the Highs Interview"

In the midst of a long, sweaty afternoon at the Pomona date of Vans Warped Tour 2016, I stumbled past the Ernie Ball stage on my way to meet up with my friends at a different part of the Pomona Fairgrounds — when the sound of a band playing stopped me in my tracks. In a tour filled to the brim with pop punk, metalcore, hardcore punk, and all heavy genres in between, Justine and the Highs immediately stood out. Their timeless alternative pop sound owes as much to the proto-punk of the ‘60s as it does to modern artists like The Strokes and Arctic Monkeys, and lead singer Justine Dorsey brings an electric, captivating energy to their live show. I recently caught up with Justine to discuss her musical influences, creativity, and where she wants to go next.

Alex Dansereau: Congrats on your Warped performance on Sunday! I really felt like you brought something fresh to a tour that’s usually focused on a few specific subgenres. What was it like getting recognized by someone like Kevin Lyman, who’s been discovering new talent for more than 20 years?

Justine Dorsey: “It was incredibly validating. I was never a Warped enthusiast — not that I disliked it, but it was never really my scene — but my cousin loved Warped and actually worked on the tour last summer. From what I knew of Kevin, I knew that he means it if he says he supports you, because he doesn’t have time to get behind something he doesn’t believe in. It was really really cool, and really encouraging.”

AD: I think a good thing about your band is that you don’t really fit the traditional Warped image, in that you’re more pop-oriented but with sort of a throwback aesthetic. I feel like a great way to broaden the appeal of Warped is by stepping outside of punk and going for more artists like yourself.

JD: “And I thought it was so cool how open the Warped audience was, because a lot of people did stay for our set. I think Warped is full of people who are fans first of music, and then happen to really love this genre of music. So we felt really comfortable there.”

AD: I think a big part of that success is that your band has a great live show. What do you think are some of the most important elements of a successful performance, both for you and the audience?

JD: “I think movement is such a big thing for me. When I go to a show, I love to be able to dance and I love seeing the artists on stage having a good time and moving around. I think one day it’d be really cool to have something more choreographed, like St. Vincent has the most insane live show I’ve ever seen. I just love dancing, and I love when people in the audience are dancing. And when I made music I was younger, it didn’t lend itself to that at all, so I’m just so excited to be up there. I think that is what makes a really good live show — when the band is excited to be there too. You can feel it, it’s palpable.”

“It feels like it’s a collaboration between the artist and the audience, rather than two groups of people who are like, ‘Why did I come here?’ [laughs]”

AD: As you said, you started out with very different styles of music, and a mix of acoustic covers and acoustic-leaning original songs. What are some musicians who shaped you as an artist, and what led you to pursue a new style as Justine and the Highs?

JD: “When I started out I was definitely listening to a lot of singer-songwriters, and then I got into really good music from bands kind of late. But when I started listening to Arctic Monkeys and The Strokes, that was literally all I listened to for a year, pretty much nothing else. I think maybe St. Vincent — it was like St. Vincent, Arctic Monkeys, and The Strokes — I listened to them for so long. And my music started to change the more that those artists became more of my chemical makeup, it just had a natural influence on my songwriting.”

“And then I discovered classic punk and proto-punk like The Velvet Underground really late too, and when I got into that music, there was no going back. I started writing songs that were more upbeat, and when I saw a band play I craved that feeling, and I wanted people to be able to move at my shows and create a really fun atmosphere. So a band was a natural progression. And now that I do have a band, my writing is totally different, because you have more that’s accessible to you, so you can kind of write for that.”

AD: Like you said, your band is definitely going for a raw, proto-punk and garage rock influenced sound which in a way is very timeless. How do you balance an aesthetic rooted in classic sounds with the ability to bring something new to the table as an artist?

JD: “I think it is so much about the person it’s being filtered through. The thing is, I wasn’t alive at the same time that Talking Heads were making music, or these other classic bands were making music. I feel just by virtue of living in this era, that helps — and also not being precious about it, I think that’s where people can go wrong, like ‘We make classic music for classic music lovers’ — I think when you box it in to being time-specific is where it goes wrong. Arctic Monkeys are the way they are and feel fresh because it’s being filtered through Alex Turner, who I always think of as the focal point of the band. Or Julian Casablancas — they listen to really relevant, new music. I think as long as you’re doing that and not being precious about it, that’s where you kind of save it from being tribute-ish.”

“It makes me annoyed when people say ‘I don’t like new music,’ it just sounds dumb to brag about. Because there’s amazing music that’s being made right now.”

AD: So going off of that, what are some artists that are inspiring you currently?

JD: “That’s a great question. Definitely Dev Hynes (Blood Orange) — Freetown Sound is one of the most perfect albums ever. It’s so good. I’m obsessed, and have gone back and listened to all of his albums — he’s so prolific, it’s amazing.”

AD: Your sister, Kerris Dorsey (Ray Donovan, Moneyball, Brothers & Sisters) already has a prolific Hollywood career, and you’ve occasionally acted as well. Is that something you’d consider doing again, or is music your focus right now?

JD: “I actually just signed on to a movie, and we’ll see how it works out with scheduling and stuff, but I’m not opposed to doing it. Music is definitely the focus right now, but I think they’re kind of natural companions, even in terms of music videos and stuff like that. And I’d love to make a film one day, because I love coming up with music video concepts — so we’ll see what happens there.”

AD: Can we expect any more new music from Justine and the Highs in the near future? Any upcoming shows we should know about?

JD: “We’re recording four songs right now, so I’m really excited about that, just to have something to give people — and you can do totally different stuff in the studio than you can live. Our upcoming shows are August 15th at the Wayfarer in Costa Mesa — that’s 21+ — and August 26th at White Oak Music in Van Nuys. That one is all ages. And our website has all our shows listed!” -

"High times for California band at Roots N Blues"

By Aarik Danielsen | Sep 29, 2016

Roots N Blues N BBQ festival-goers might enjoy a little California dreaming Saturday in the middle of Stephens Lake Park.

Orange County, Calif. act Justine and the Highs is only a year into its existence, but a big honor brings the band all the way to Columbia. The group earned a spot on the festival stage when it won The John Lennon Songwriting Contest. Its entry was selected by Roots N Blues headliner Houndmouth.

To hear snippets of the band’s sound online is to hear something that represents a departure for Roots N Blues, but also might refresh its vibe. The band has a garage-rock pedigree, its driving, melodic sound evoking echoes of Blondie, Veruca Salt and Nada Surf.

Singer-guitarist Justine Dorsey anchors the band with her dynamic presence. Bringing flesh and blood to the sound are guitarist Chuck Crocicchia, bassist Kassie White and drummer Sean Walbrink.

Ahead of the festival, Dorsey exchanged emails with the Tribune. Get to know her and the band in her own words below.

Tribune: Take me back to your earliest songwriting experiences. What do you remember about those early attempts? Was there a specific song or moment in time that made you believe you had some facility at this?

Dorsey: I actually just found some journals of songs I attempted before I learned guitar — sorry to my younger self, but they were truly awful.

The first time I thought, “Huh, I could do this,” was a song I wrote called “English Rose.” Quite saccharine and nothing I’d write now, but it had real structure and a memorable chorus. The funny thing about songwriting is that the confidence a new song can inspire is very short-lived — once I finish a new song I freak out almost immediately that I’ll never write again!

Tribune: Tell me about the song you submitted to the John Lennon contest. What were you trying to get to the bottom of when you wrote it? What’s your favorite thing about the tune?

Dorsey: The song we submitted is called “Jaded.” I wrote it after a professor I had said that “The best people at the party are the ones outside smoking a cigarette.”

I just kept thinking, “But what if I really love the party?”

I’m always torn between this cynical, jaded side of me and the side that just wants to dance and laugh and feel like the world is not all bad. I think my favorite thing is that it sounds like a sad breakup song you play in an empty bar, but it’s not about love at all.

Tribune: What kind of vote of confidence is it to have a band like Houndmouth pick out your song? Have you received any sort of feedback about what they liked about the song?

Dorsey: I didn’t hear specifically, but it’s a huge vote of confidence! I’ve watched some live videos — they look like they have a great show so we are excited to catch their set.

Tribune: You guys are obviously coming a long way for this. What are your hopes for your time at the festival?

Dorsey: We’re excited to play for a new audience and make new friends; it would be rad to know that should we come through Missouri in the future, people will be there!

Tribune: At this point in your career, what are some of the ways you’d like to keep growing and improving as a songwriter?

Dorsey: I’m watching my writing evolve right now. When I was younger, it was always lyrics first, and now I’m obsessed with song structure and creating really memorable guitar parts and choruses. Also that “freaking out that I’ll never write again” thing I mentioned before? Yeah, I’d really like to get over that.

Justine and the Highs will play the Great Southern Bank Stage at 12:15 p.m. Saturday. For the full artist schedule and ticket details, visit the Roots N Blues website. - Columbia Daily Tribune

"Justine and the Highs perform as the winners of the Roots N Blues N BBQ songwriting contest"

This weekend, as about 25,000 people swarm Stephens Lake Park in search of scrumptious barbecue and awe-inspiring tunes, a new band might take festival-goers by surprise with its new wave melodies.

Southern California-based band Justine and the Highs is this year’s winner of the Roots N Blues N BBQ Contest, a songwriting contest held through a partnership with the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. JLSC hosts national songwriting competitions and will give out over $300,000 in prizes this year, says Matthew Reich, the vice president of U.S. tours and promotions for JLSC. The contest gives up-and-coming musicians an opportunity to play a 60-minute set on the second day of Roots N Blues.

This is the second year that Roots N Blues has held this competition. In 2014, the winner of the contest was Kansas City-based band Attic Wolves, which earned a spot on the festival lineup after the father of two of the band members entered them into the contest without them knowing.

This year, entrants were allowed to submit one song to the contest along with an optional video. Participants were judged on their songwriting, performance and the song submitted for judging, Reich says. Justine and the Highs’ song, “Jaded,” helped the group seize the win.

“I thought it was the least Roots N Blues song that was submitted, so I thought that was awesome to mix it up a little bit,” says Matt Myers, guitarist and vocalist for the band Houndmouth, which helped judge.

“I think that you don’t live and die by one kind of music anymore,” says Justine Dorsey, the lead vocalist for Justine and the Highs. She says some of the band’s musical influences include The Talking Heads, St. Vincent and Arctic Monkeys.

The band is a newcomer in many senses. It doesn’t have any albums out yet and is securing a permanent drummer.

Dorsey says her goal for the band’s show is to make the audience feel good. “When you go to a festival, you’re often there all day, and you’re tired, and you want to be won over by someone,” she says. “You want to feel inspired by them. I want to be able to do that for people.” - Vox Magazine


Jaded - Single



The Cranberries on coke, the kinda dancing you do when you're angry: that's the sound of Precious Kid. Owing as much to the glittery punk of 70s New York as to contemporary artists Arctic Monkeys and St. Vincent, Precious Kid has a vibrant sound and live show. Always out for the good time, band members Justine, Kassie, and Chuck love wreaking havoc in supermarkets and donning glitter on their faces. But be careful... they may be precious, but they're not your baby.

-Won LA County Fair Battle of the Bands, $1,200 and was added to Vans Warped Tour 2016 

-Festival Alert - WARPED TOUR

Mountain View, CA August 4th

San Diego, CA August 5th

Pomona, CA August 6th

-Festival Alert - MUSIKFEST, Bethlehem, PA August 10th, Main Street Stage 8:30-10pm.

Performed at the Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival in Columbia, MO Oct 1st alongside The Avett Brothers, Grace Potter, Jason Isbell, Nathaniel Rateliff, Ben Folds, Houndmouth and more! 

Show review (under former name):

Band Members