Artist Spotlight: Justo Ontario talks new single, unlocking listeners’ higher selves and what’s coming next
Using phrases like “these strange times” and “what we’re living through” may seem trite after hearing them for the last six months, but R&B artist Justo Ontario is embracing them in his recent music. The independent singer is filling our quarantine days with new sounds, with his latest being an uplifting visual for “Forever Alive”.
In a recent virtual press conference, Atlas joined Justo to hear the story behind this new single, his musical mission and his hopes for what’s coming next. “Forever Alive” is Justo’s nod to the free spirits as we all navigate a changing world. His message of coming together with love and passion is one that can only help listeners seeking to inject some positivity into their playlists.
“Forever Alive”, for me, was basically an ode to people honestly just going with the wind and letting that wind carry them into a high,” Justo said to the group.
Hailing from Virginia, Justo grew up in a musical family and used music to express himself during his youth. For the music he’s currently working on, Justo laughed as he described tapping into his wide range of influences- everything from N.E.R.D to Panic! at the Disco. He also pulls from any natural sounds and beat patterns that move him, allowing his creativity to move past the constraints of genres.
“One of my missions is to pretty much unlock everybody’s higher self- the person they see theyself in they head,” he commented.
Of course, a performer’s greatest desire is to be onstage sharing the music and the experience with like-minded listeners. With COVID-19 delaying shows indefinitely, Justo is hoping to return to the stage virtually before eventually hitting the road when it’s safe to do so. In the meantime, he says that creating new music and preparing for an eventual album release is continuing to occupy his lockdown hours.
On top of the release of “Forever Alive”, Justo also came out with a one-off single called “Best Black Life”. This track explores more current themes surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement, the protests and the social and political climate of the country as a whole.
“I’m really just writing about the times that we’re in now. And I just went in and wrote it in the mindset of a protester,” he said of the new song.
With his eyes on the horizon, we’re sure to see plenty of new material from this up and coming artist. Check out his new video above!
Story by Olivia Khiel
Image courtesy of Justo Ontario