For Justin Crowder, the goal is to make music that people will remember and relate to; invoking an unforgettable feeling. For his more popularly known moniker, JC, it’s about creating real music with a touch of swagg; charisma in the form of a sound recording! Referring to his writing style, he states, “Everything I write is catchy with strong metaphors, fresh concepts, and captivating melodies that stick.” JC is pleasant, humble, quite witty and even a little shy at times. He lacks arrogance, yet embodies character built confidence. But one thing stands above all these traits…JC is a STAR!
This baby-faced, multi-platinum singer/songwriter has many colorful tales surrounding his entry into the business…common, yet vividly unusual stories of death threats, being cheated, being broke, and politics that cut his progress short. He has many, “And then…what happened was…” moments, things that should have made him throw in the towel but JC hung on. The Nashville, TN native and Atlanta, GA resident understands that it’s all a part of the process. He was even forced involuntarily to go under the knife for vocal surgery five times! Doctors at the Vanderbilt Voice Center told JC they’d try to recover his “speaking voice” but singing again “probably just wouldn’t happen.” God obviously had another plan in mind because JC’s been crooning just fine. When JC presented a CD of recorded songs to his doctors, they were brought to tears!
JC’s career really began to kick off after the independent release of his first album All of Me, which was a major global success. He would later gut out a passenger van and fill it with his belongings, as he began the short yet seemingly uncertain trek from Nashville to Atlanta. Being shuffled in and out of meetings when he arrived and literally leaving the city’s music industry coveting and speechless at his natural abilities from live shows, writing, and the indie release of Nobody Gotta Know feat. Gorilla Zoe, JC was always content with being an “independent” singer/songwriter until “the right deal” presented itself. As a driven entrepreneur, JC has continued showcasing his music and catapulted his career even further with his company No.2 Pencil Muzik, LLC which concentrates on songwriting, producer management, vocal production, and artist development aspects of the industry.
JC has further made his mark in the music industry as a songwriter and vocal producer, developing several artists & producers. And he’s created a demand for himself from a surplus of major music companies by being such a successful global artist independently. He frequently collaborates with Grammy award-winning, platinum-selling producers Keyzbaby, Cheeze Beatz, Dirty Rice, and Bridgez.
JC has managed to work with some of music’s heaviest hitters: Diddy, Future, T.I., Dallas Austin, Rick Ross, Wyclef, Bangladesh, Zaytoveen, and Brian Michael Cox (to name a few) and sharing the stage with Chris Brown, Migos, Usher, Lil Wayne, and many more; performing at everything from school pep rallies to radio station/community events to major concerts, including Atlanta’s largest show: Birthday Bash. In November 2011, JC signed an agreement with Star Base/P-Vine Records in Japan to release a series of musical compositions abroad. Ten years later, JC began world travel (Ghana, Bahrain, Germany, and more) in partnership with NMS Records to perform, create various content, collaborate with artists, and perform humanitarian acts.
He showcased his giftedness with the release of his album ENCORE, which peaked at No.3 on the Japanese R&B album charts and astoundingly features 8 songs that charted on the Top 100 R&B Songs chart, the most popular being Hwy 2 Luv which peaked at No. 5. JC also released an album entitled EARCANDY in 2011 and a digital EP entitled ENCORE in 2012, which were both very successful and escorted by international tours. In March of 2013, JC released a classic joint album with KeChelle entitled FOREVER. It was yet another successful global indie release; it peaked at No.5 on the Japanese R&B charts and reached thousands of sales in the U.S. & abroad. He also released several singles in Germany that all charted on their Top 10 Urban Charts. All of these projects were successful, independent releases with practically no major promotion/budget.
JC has capitalized on partnerships with Elation Ent., Onepeace Inc. (Japan), NMS Records, OneRPM, DAD Distro, RMG, and more by placing songs as a songwriter/producer & independently touring and releasing new music internationally. He has released some very well-received indie singles including Way Too Much (Remix) feat. Eric Bellinger and a very powerful tribute to America’s racism issue, Suicide. *His latest album The Living Room Chronicles, Vol. 1 has been overwhelmingly well-received; and his singles Skyscrapin feat. Calboy, No Filter feat. Jacquees, and For Me (including the Afro-remix featuring Samuel G of Ghana) are his most successful releases thus far! JC’s single Happy Holiday was featured on Dallas Austin’s first Christmas compilation.
What separates the singer/songwriter from the droves of R&B hopefuls is he didn’t have to choose this path. Though he has been belting gospel classics professionally since he was 9, JC graduated Magna Cum Laude from Tennessee State University with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration, followed by a Master’s in Education with a highly impressive 4.0 GPA and was teaching high school as Mr. Crowder by day and exploiting his creative talents as JC by night. JC utters, “A plan B is great but music is my heart. You just don’t understand what I’ve been through,” he says tiredly. “But I’ve never possessed the energy to give up doing what I love, despite being called a fool. I’m at a place in my career where my fulfillment comes from knowing I’m doing this Independently and still being successful both musically and financially, having fun, seeing the world, and making good music.”
Where sex and scandal ravage through the airwaves, JC offers sensuality and feeling, and at times his music can merely be described as “cool brilliance.” His music is littered with hidden meanings and innuendos, but it’s always backed with chart topping production and the components that hit songs are made of. His boyish good looks don’t make it hard for his fans to fall in love on sight, but it’s his ability to regurgitate his soul on wax that will cement his position and make him truly UNFORGETTABLE.
Written by: Linda Day (editor)