Justin Magnaye was born in the Philippines and migrated to New Jersey, USA when he was about two years old. Justin is an aspirant 15-year-old singer/songwriter who started singing when he was two years old and learned to play the guitar and piano when he was twelve. He was signed for a short contract in the fall of 2013 by American Anthem Records and released his digital EP album called “Over It”. Currently unsigned, Justin’s music influences include Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars.
Justin Magnaye’s latest EP, “Strings Attached” is comprised of 5 original compositions and is based on the personal inter-relationships and angst issues of a teenager. Full of beauty, melancholy, sadness, hope, and happiness, this music is perfect for almost every setting. Be it relaxing on the porch in the evening, dining in your exclusively candle-lit living room, driving down the highway, top down on a gorgeous sunny day, or curled up by the window watching the snow fall.
“Strings Attached” has a predominantly acoustic-guitar-driven backdrop. Its textures are intensely dynamic yet delicate at the same time. The music never oppresses the songs, and never becomes over-bearing, creating a perfect backdrop for Justin’s expressive vocals and lyrical messages.
Simply put, Justin Magnaye has managed to create not just an EP, but moods and emotions. If you’re tired of music without meaning, then pop this baby into your media player, and let “Strings Attached” change all that. Justin Magnaye has given me hope that some good music from young artists is still managing to filter through the throwaway teen pop that fills the radio stations.
The EP opener, “Fix Me” was written to “express personal feelings of being in-love, jealous and heartbroken,” says Justin. “Imagination” considers the state of being, when secretly in love with a close friend. This happened to Justin and for fear of losing a friend, the only way he could express his feelings was through this song.
“Livin’ On The Edge” has a driven, almost funky rhythm with a catchy hook in the chorus. Justin extends his vocal range all over the octave within this track. This is one of my favorite songs on the EP. The other is the piano-ballad, “Long Distance”, a song apparently inspired by Bruno Mars and dedicated to those who have long distance relationships. The song implores to not lose hope and trust in loved-ones, family or friends who are separated from us by distance. Justin closes the EP with an acoustic track, “I Am Me”, against bullying and discrimination. Which is “a bit of my story,” he concludes.
“Strings Attached” gives us an alternative musical insight into the teenage male psyche. With little press, little advertising, and most awareness probably to come via word-of-mouth, this listening experience is as refreshing and as pure as you’re ever likely to experience. Give yourself chance to fall in love with music again.