Interview With Justin Fancy + New Album Whiskey & Me
On “Whiskey & Me”, the sophomore album from Canadian Country recording artist Justin Fancy, his passion for storytelling and his authentic East Coast charm are woven into every lyric and melody of its nine tracks. Tales of everyday experiences of life, love, and self-discovery permeate the album, illustrating his authentic approach to songwriting, which melds classic country songwriting with his distinctive contemporary sound.
Fancy, who hails from the picturesque town of Conception Bay South, Newfoundland, used to worry he was putting too much of himself on the line in his songwriting but quickly realized that it’s the very essence of crafting a truly memorable song. “I came to realize that it’s not a flaw, but the magic ingredient to create a strong bond with my audience,” he explains. “The best country music is raw and emotional, and authenticity is its beating heart.”
We had the opportunity to ask Justin a few questions about the recent release, the music videos and singles involved, country music and more!
-What can you tell us about your sophomore album “Whiskey & Me”?
I’m very proud of this album and I am so happy it’s been released! I wanted to take my time writing and recording this record, especially since it’s my sophomore release. For this album, I did some co-writing for the first time, which was not only a new experience for me but also very cathartic. I wanted to make sure that every song I put on the album was authentic and would resonate with the listener.
-This album follows your 2021 debut album “Sure Beats a Good Time”, which earned him two Music NL Awards in 2021 as well as an East Coast Music Award and a Music NL award. What lessons have you learned between putting out the two albums?
I’ve learned a lot, but the #1 thing I learned was patience. There were songs slated for this record that I ended up putting to the side because I wrote other songs that I felt were stronger and better. Greg Wells told me never to rush anything. Artists often rush to release singles or albums and that’s almost always a mistake. Working with Greg on “Lie” was a blessing and a real eye-opening experience as I gained a whole new appreciation for the creative process.
-Can you tell us about “Go Easy”, the latest single release from the album?
I wrote this song with Riley Taylor, who was the 2021 Boots and Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase winner. After meeting him at the Boots and Hearts showcase a year later in 2022, I asked him to come down to play a few shows in Newfoundland. While staying with me, we wrote a few songs and this track was one of them. I found myself repeatedly picking up my guitar and singing this song and I thought for that reason alone, it’s a special song. Riley and I have become great friends and discovered we’ve had similar life experiences so it’s no wonder this song just flowed out the way it did It definitely has an emotional vibe and I’m all about the feel-good songs!
-How was the experience of creating the music video for “Lie”?
This one was a lot of fun. It was the first video where we did a lot of planning in advance, with a full treatment and shot list. We hired an actor and actress, which was a first as well, and my publicist Paula wrote the script and produced the video! That was a first for her too! We wanted to achieve a couple of things, obviously capturing the emotion and theme of the song, but also to paint an upbeat kind of picture that reflected the mood of this song. Everyone who worked on the video gave it their all and I’m so happy with the way it turned out.
-How important is authenticity to you in Country music?
It’s everything. I think authenticity and speaking the truth about what you’re writing is the core of country music, whether it be the cold hard truth, or being emotionally honest about how you feel or how someone else may feel. Relatability is my #1 goal when I sit down to write a song. If you can write a song that is honest and relatable then you’ve won as a songwriter. There are a lot of vulnerabilities in opening up about your experiences, emotions, and your life in general, but I think the more vulnerable you are, the more people can relate to your music and I think that’s the key.
-What else do you have planned for the rest of 2023?
We’re planning to release “Go Easy” to radio on October 30th and I just recorded my rendition of “Oh Holy Night” with Greg Wells as part of the Scilly Cove Records Christmas album, so I’m looking forward to that release in the coming weeks!