We had the good fortune of connecting with Justin Llamas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Justin, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I remember watching a speech Steve Harvey gave, saying “every successful person must jump.” Harvey explained that every successful person needs to take a leap of faith–to take a big risk on themselves–in order to soar…in order to live. He compared going for your dreams to jumping with a parachute, the parachute being your gift. If you don’t jump, your parachute will never open, and your gift will never reach its potential.
I’ve held this speech with me for years because I truly believe it. If you don’t take risks on the things you want, like the career or life of your dreams, then you will never reach them. I have been taking a lot of risks for the past decade–financial risks, career risks, networking risks–you name it! It is extremely nerve-racking, but I would not be where I am now if I hadn’t taken those risks. If I hadn’t jumped.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a music recording artist. I make music! But even though I haven’t been making music my whole life–I have been an artist my whole life.
When I was a child I drew comics every day. I wanted to be the next Stan Lee (the godfather of Marvel)! This passion led me to get my degree in Animation, and while in school I fell in love with acting and singing. I’ve since been in commercials and films, lent my voice to voiceover campaigns, sang the National Anthem at major sports events, and performed across the country.
I’m obviously condensing my story a bit, but there were many major steps along the way–especially regarding my music. I started a YouTube channel, worked on it for years, and then I was signed to an independent label. At that point I began releasing a lot of original music…and loved it! I have no label now, but I am still releasing music. And even though I am not quite drawing comics anymore, I still read them every day. I have never stopped being an artist.
The journey has not been easy. I have been challenged with major health setbacks, the loss of family and friends, being courted by major labels, having to turn down major labels…and more. But every step I’ve taken has led me to where I am today. I always tell people, “if you want to know who I am or where I’ve been, just listen to my music.”
Today I’m happy to announce that my original song “Don’t Make Me Sing” is out, with an accompanying music video. And my next single, “Friends Don’t Come Round”, releases this Friday, August 5th!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Los Angeles is full of exciting people, places, and activities. One of the best places to visit is Griffith Park. If you hike to the top, the observatory allows you to see all the stars at night, and during the day you can see the Hollywood sign and all of the city.
Another great place to visit, if you’re in the mood for dessert, is Meet Fresh. They make amazing bubble teas.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to dedicate this shoutout to my parents, Edward & LaShey Llamas. I can only attempt to reflect the hard work and ambition they’ve shown throughout their lives. I wouldn’t be who I am without them. Love you both.
Andrew J Card (brick wall picture), Anthony J James (buttoning picture), Sunny @ Redwall (music video)