Carmen Justice has been a front-woman in Dove nominated girl band 1 Girl Nation for the past five years, and this year, she is stepping out on her own. Her single "Flaming Arrows" marks Carmen's first release as a solo artist as she moves into the next chapter of her music evolution.
The song was written days after 1 Girl Nation split giving her the creative freedom to explore new sounds and a stylistic tone that is genuine to her artistry while exploring the raw and vulnerable emotions Carmen felt during a time of peers expressing doubt about her career, extreme financial uncertainty and still dealing with past broken relationships.
The pop star's desire is for this song to empower those who are struggling with their own ghosts, whether it be bullying, addiction, anxiety, shame, doubt and help them take control of their fears, face them and put them in the past.
Carmen Justice is a critically acclaimed pop star, recognized as one of three vocalists in the Dove Award nominated girl group, 1 Girl Nation (1GN). She has shared the stage with mega artists including TobyMac, Sidewalk Prophets, NF, and Andy Mineo. But after five years being a part of a group, Carmen is stepping out on her own as a solo artist, revealing a more edgy pop/alternative sound paired with honest lyrics. The Nashville native is preparing to release her first single "Flaming Arrows" in January 2017, with an EP to follow later in the year. Carmen's hope is to empower listeners to overcome their fears and love those around you.
Q: Congratulations on the launch of your own solo career. How have the years you spent with 1GN equip you for your own solo career?
Thank you! My time with 1GN was an amazing learning experience and a time that really taught me who I am as an individual artist. I think with all that I learned about the music business-the do's and don'ts- and the relationships within the industry I've built over the years, Im ready more than ever to venture out on my own and start this new chapter of my life. It is also a great feeling that the other girls in the band are in full support of me and we have each other's backs.
Q: In your press release, you mentioned about some of the hurts you experienced in the music industry, what were some of them? And how has God helped you in your healing?
I think when I first got into the music industry, I was young and didn't know what I was doing. I don't regret anything because it got me to where I am today, but I got myself into contracts where I wasn't making any money and eventually even had to move back in with my parents. I think I trusted too easily and it led me into a situation where I had little creative control and I felt stuck. With that being said, I have learned that God still uses broken people to reach the lost. I know that God has had me on the journey I've been on because there was a purpose behind it and I grew closer to him in the hard times. It doesn't matter what industry you are in, there will be disappointment and greed and pride, but God always works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)
Q: Let's talk about your solo career. Is your EP close to being finished? Give us a foretaste of it. What's the style and theme(s) of the new record?
The EP that I am working on will be released later this year! I am so excited about it- a lot of the themes throughout the songs I have written so far are about overcoming fear, not silencing dreams that I have, and loving those around us. The journey I've been on definitely shows through in the lyrics. The whole style of the project is pop/electronic with a more edgy feel than what people have heard from me in the past. Right now, I am excited for people to get a taste of this EP's sound with the release of the first single, Flaming Arrows.
Q: Will it be different or similar to your work with 1GN?
My music is very unique to me. There is a definite growth in the style of my songs compared to what I've done in the past, and as a solo artist I have felt the freedom to explore new sounds. I know it will open up a wider audience to my message and my fans that have been with me the last 5 years will grasp onto it!
Q: Who are some of the producers or guest artists or songwriters are you working with for this new project?
I worked with Keithon Stribling and Jake Hartsfield on "Flaming Arrows" who are both incredible. I've also been writing with Taylor Grubbs, Jordan Sapp, Dan Macal, David Thulin, Jonathan Thulin, and Chris Mackey. It has been fun writing with these guys and can't wait for this music to be heard.
Q: You've also released a new single "Flaming Arrows," tell our readers what the song is about. And what was the inspiration behind it?
This song came out of a time where I was really struggling with fear- fear of the future, fear of my music career not going as planned, financial fears, and I had 3 family members diagnosed with cancer last year. I found myself really anxious, but it was like a switch was flipped when I wrote this song. It is inspired by Ephesians 6 where it says "take up the shield of faith, with which you will extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one". Life can feel like you are being haunted by these fears or by past mistakes or like you are being hit on all sides by these "flaming arrows", but ultimately we can overcome all of these things with faith in Jesus! I've hoped that this song will be encouraging to anyone dealing with fear or anxiety in their life.
Q: Over the years, what or who has been the source of your strength and inspiration? And why?
Besides my relationship with Jesus and prayer life, my husband, Matthew, has been my biggest supporter and rock of our family. He has always pushed me to follow my dreams and pursue God every day. He actually was the producer for the "Flaming Arrows" music video and (I might be a little biased) he is the most talented person I know!