Entertainment, Live Music

‘All music comes from New Orleans’: Justin Garner is one of the state’s brightest R&B stars

Justin Garner, a Louisiana native, is one of R&B’s brightest rising stars.

Garner discovered his singing abilities early on in life.

“I was at home, I feel like I was about 11 years old, and I would just sing at home when nobody was home,” he explaned. “And I was like, ‘I think I can sing,’ so let me go to my mom first and say ‘Hey, let me sing a song in church.’ I sang ‘Silent Night,’ and she was in tears.”

Now Garner is gracing stages from Jazz Fest to the Essence Festival.

“Fast forward to today, having opened for Katy Perry and Leon Bridges, H.E.R. and Mary J. Blige at the Essence Festival, it’s kind of like just a full circle moment,” he said.

After performing covers as a teenager, Garner wanted to find his own lane.

“When you sing someone else’s song, in my mind, it’s about the vocal delivery and the performance of it, but when you sing an original song that you wrote, it’s less about the vocal performance and more about what comes from the soul,” he said. “It just takes a piece of me every time I sing it. Really, that’s what R&B is. R&B is definitely that soul, and we can’t loose that. R&B isn’t dead, I just feel like you have to look for it.”