Growing up within the small city of Pittsburg, California, Justin Michael Williams dreamed of being a singer. And within the final yr, he is realized his dream and transitioned from the yoga mat to the stage. He’s now touring the nation together with his band, as a Pop artist. We chatted with Justin about making iTunes Top 20 Pop Album Debut, spreading consciousness of the LGBTQ group, and the meditation follow he does earlier than happening stage. Not solely did he create a 90-minute yoga playlist for us on Spotify (obtain the software program to pay attention to all our playlists), he’s additionally providing YogaJournal.com readers a free obtain of his meditation class (get it here).
Q & A with Justin Michael Williams
Yoga Journal: How did you get into music?
Justin Michael Williams: Four years in the past my grandmother, who I used to be tremendous shut to received recognized with stage four most cancers. The docs had advised her she solely had a pair months to stay. When I flew residence to be together with her, she stopped me and requested in case you have been in my footwear and also you knew you have been going to die in 2 months, what would you do? Right away I stated I might cease every part and document an album. That’s what actually kick-started me into actually going for it and pursuing music in an actual means.
YJ: How do you get impressed to write music?
JMW: I write greatest when issues are actually happening in my life. Writing could be very therapeutic for me and I have a tendency to write when issues are pulling on my feelings. My outlet for letting go of and releasing the unfavorable issues, the sacrifices and the hardships we undergo in life tends to be via my music.
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YJ: How did you are feeling when your album made the iTunes Top 20 Pop Album Debut?
JMW: I used to be in my lodge room at Yoga Journal LIVE Estes Park once I came upon. I used to be doing a present with Sadi Nardini and I couldn’t sleep all night time as a result of it was my album launch. I awoke at four am and noticed that my identify was sandwiched between Britney Spears and Meghan Trainer. I took a second and cried just a little bit to my grandma and realized I did it! When I made that promise to her I didn’t understand how I used to be going to do this. I simply stated I used to be going to make an album and never solely did I make an album however I did it efficiently and independently.
YJ: Tell us concerning the course of of creating your album. What was your favourite half about making Metamorphosis and did you undergo any challenges making the album?
JMW: I wrote each music on the album with some superb co-writers that basically helped me study what it actually took to write an album that comes from an genuine place. Each track on the album is me letting go of the issues that held me again and the tales that I informed myself about why I wasn’t ok to be a singer. This album is so private and in case you pay attention to it you’ll know me.
YJ: Do you have got any rituals you do earlier than happening stage?
JMW: I’ve a reasonably robust meditation and yoga follow I do earlier than I’m going on stage. I all the time mild palo santo to usher in artistic power for me. I additionally do a meditation and breath apply that helps me to align my energies and provides every thing to the viewers.
YJ: What’s your favourite track to carry out?
JMW: My favourite music to carry out is my hit single Here with Me. That’s the track that I wrote about my grandmother and turned out to be the primary single from the album. I fake I’m singing to her and there’s an emotional connection to it each time I sing it.
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YJ: Are there any particular locations or occasions that you really want to carry out at?
JMW: Yes! I would like to carry out on the Grammy Awards, that’s my dream! If I might carry out on the Staples Center in Los Angeles and the Grammy Awards, I’ll know that all the things is strictly the place it’s supposed to be.
YJ: Are you engaged on something particular proper now?
JMW: I simply completed a brand new music video for satisfaction month. It’s all devoted to the LGBTQ motion, and it’s a particular music referred to as The Divas’ Medley.
YJ: How do you unfold consciousness concerning the LGBTQ group and what does it imply to you?
JMW: For me satisfaction month is admittedly about acceptance and about celebrating the range that we now have in our world and the robust historical past that the LGBTQ group has. I hope that when individuals look again at me in 20 or 30 years, they’ll see the legacy that I’ve left and that I’ve truly left a mark for this group as nicely. It’s actually about ensuring that we’re standing up for who we’re and for what we consider in, sharing our voices loud and proud and being our genuine selves.
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YJ: How lengthy have you ever been working towards yoga?
JMW: Last month was truly my 10-year anniversary of once I first began training yoga. My most necessary apply of all is my meditation follow. My meditation apply is actually what retains me on the categorical elevator in the direction of my goals.
YJ: How did you get into yoga?
JMW: I began once I was in school as a result of I had some extreme physique picture points and yoga actually helped me to be robust and pleased with who I used to be. At first it was a bodily follow however then it reworked right into a religious, emotional and psychological follow.
YJ: Who are the yoga academics who encourage you?
JMW: My three favourite academics are Sianna Sherman, Cristi Christensen, and Sadie Nardini. Sianna helps me floor into the deep spirit of the apply of yoga. Cristi helps me to be assured, free and settle for all of myself. Sadie is a continuing reminder for me to be genuine and rock who I’m. My meditation instructor, Lorin Roche, can also be one among my favorites.
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Justin Michael Williams’s 90-Minute Yoga Playlist