We had the good fortune of connecting with Justin Erinn and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Justin, what do you attribute your success to?
Communication! A lot of people in my line of work forget that music is still a service based industry. Even if you think something sounds good, the person you’re working for/with also has a say in whether you’ve completed a job well done. Though art is always subjective, communicating with my clients and collaborators BEFORE starting to make the music changes everything. It helps us to get on the same page regarding what our end goal is and helps alleviate any unnecessary frustrations down the road. I spend a lot of time talking to the people I work with; we talk about life, relationships, inspirations, trauma, our fears and doubts. By getting to know the people I work with on a human level, it enables me to better understand what it is they’re trying to get out of the music we make. And then, when it comes time to sit down and actual create the music, we’re already comfortable with each other and have a mutual understanding of why we’re creating whatever it is we’re creating.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
So, I’ve been involved in music since I can remember. I’ve been singing since I could talk. I moved out to LA in 2014 to pursue a career as an artist and quickly ran into many road blocks along the way. I didn’t realize how hard it would be to find the right producers who understood my vision, let alone how much it would cost when I did. Call me naive. Then about a year after moving, I found my way into songwriting with a talented group of musicians and songwriters known as Slumber Party. During my time with that team, I learned so much about collaborative songwriting, writing for pitch (either to artists or for sync/licensing), and about the different roles people playing in the studio. Through that experience I also realized I felt I had the ear of a producer, but didn’t possess the skillset to take what was in my head and record it/make it tangible. With the help of my mentors and collaborators, I started my journey of becoming a record producer one song, one recording at a time. After Slumber Party dissolved in 2016, I co-founded my own writing team “The Supa Friendz” and together we started writing for different artists as well as many tv shows/films. While continuing to develop our catalogue, I also partnered up with record producer Krunkadelic to form JUNK (Justin+Krunk). Together we have written and produced for many up and coming artists/labels on top of working to develop many rising artists and writers. And in a roundabout way, everything has now come full circle as I’ve been able to utilize the skillset I’ve acquired working with and for other artists to start putting out my own music again!
Over the last 6 years, I consider myself incredibly lucky to have been able to work with some amazing creatives! I’ve tried to step into my role as an industry professional (and future leader) while still remembering that naive kid who moved here 7 years ago. By always remaining a student, removing ego, and trying not to forget how hard it can be for a young struggling artist, I think my journey has shaped me into a true record producer. But not only that, a record producer you can trust. I hope that when all is said and done and I’ve created all that I’ll create, I will be preceded by my reputation of being a great person, who makes great music.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Assuming I could get out of the studio long enough to hang (lol) I’d definitely have to take my friends to the beach. I love the Venice area so we’d probably start by hitting the canals. Would definitely have to check out Hollywood and downtown as well. Im a big fan of the valley (believe it or not some of the best music is coming out of the valley), so we’d definitely also spend some time on Ventura in Sherman Oaks. Every day a different coffee shop! Some of my favs: Ugly Mug in Burbank, Tortoni in Sherman Oaks. DogHaus is also a must for every new coming… probably one of my favorite spots to eat! And lastly, for entertainment we’d definitely hit some of the museums downtown or on the westside; big fan of LACMA. I was also recently inducted in the Recording Academy so I’d have to use that as an excuse to visit the grammy museum!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Wow… where to begin? I’ve been so lucky to have had so many incredible people in my life who have helped to support and guide me along my journey! First my family, who has always instilled the belief that I could achieve anything I wanted as long as I worked hard and fully gave myself to the things I wanted accomplish. I’d also like to thank two of my greatest mentors in music. The first being my buddy Huc, talented engineer and producer. He saw something in me and helped me hit the ground running as I found my place as a songwriter and producer. The second being my business partner and one of my best friends, incredible songwriter and record producer Krunkadelic. Words can’t describe the amount of growth and knowledge I’ve acquired through working alongside Krunk. Undoubtedly, I wouldn’t be the musician (or human) I am today without these people!
Other: Tik Tok – @justinerinn
Photos by: Steven Cole, Andres Juarez (resrez) and Mellisa Goodwin