Plaquemine, Louisiana’s Justin Garner has, well, garnered a ton of success in his career thus far. Rooted deeply in classic R&B, he’s reached the #1 spot on Japanese iTunes charts (beating out Beyonce!) and was crowned the season one winner of MTV’s singing competition, “Copy Cat.” With overseas and television success behind him, he’s now gearing up for his debut appearance at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, where he’ll perform on the heralded Congo Square stage. Before that milestone moment, he’s premiering his latest single, “Push My Luck.”
Armed with the childhood influences of the church choir and artists like Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie and Earth, Wind & Fire, Garner has a particular affinity for the harmonies in classic R&B. “I’m continuing the pursuit or notion of just having soulful music,” he tells OffBeat.com. “My music in itself is a combination of different elements: R&B, soul, pop, sometimes even a touch of country. But it’s just showcasing this overall talent and songwriting and vocal ability, melody and core structure.”
Garner is also a songwriter, whose work with several major artists is still under wraps. “I can’t say exactly who they are but the dual side to me is that I’m also a songwriter…I can’t wait to share more information on that.”
Produced by New Orleans producer Dominic Bazile, “Push My Luck” carries a double meaning to Garner. “When it comes to love and relationships, you always want to see how far you can go with a person. Like, you want to see: is this the one? Is this the one person that is for me? I want to push that luck and I want that answer,” he says.
The song is also a manifestation of the chances he’s taking on his music career. “How far can I go with music? It’s definitely showing that my luck is working for me right now.”
With his sights on Jazz Fest, Garner is understandably excited. It’s the 50th anniversary of the world-renowned event, featuring a stacked lineup assuring there will be thousands—even tens of thousands—eyeballs on him when he performs on April 27. ” It’s been a long time coming and of course it’s a dream come true. It’s always been a dream of mine to perform on the Congo Square stage,” says Garner. “I have a full-blown band and dancers, and we have some surprises in store. It’s going to be a great showcase of who I am as an artist and where I’m from. I cannot wait to be on that stage so people can hear my sound and my message and my story.”