Switching Styles Q&A with The Band Justice

Bringing you covers with an anime flair is the band I am Justice. For those that are anime fans, yes, their band name is inspired by Death Note.

“Covers are a great way to help people – especially those who don’t know you too well yet – get a glimpse of what you’re about,” he explains.

They’ve created quite a fanbase through their music. Joining YouTube in the June of 2011, their channel has gained over 9,624,909 views. Those views continue on to their Spotify account where they have nearly 600 monthly listeners.

How did you get started in music?
I’ve had a few important milestones until I could call myself a musician.

When I was 4, I would go around the house with a tape recorder singing improvised songs. I would later write them down and pretend I had an album recorded.

Around 5, I started doing TV and radio commercials. I would only talk at first, but there were better opportunities for child singers. My parents asked me if I wanted to try singing professionally and I loved the idea.

When I was 7, my parents got me my first keyboard and I started taking piano lessons. There’s when I learned the basics, but I only got really passionate about it when I was about 15, and into rock bands such as Linkin Park and Finch.

What does it mean to you to be a musician?
Music has always been the way I connect to people and the world. It’s a way of feeling less alone no matter how strange you’re feeling and a way to share your lessons and try to make the world a better place.

How would you describe yourself to someone that’s never been on the internet?
I’m a very passionate musician. While Rock is my favorite style by far, I’m constantly trying to learn from every song I hear, no matter what style.

I’m also very close to my fans, so no matter how I change as a musician or they change as listeners, we’re always in sync.

Why did you decide to be known as I Am Justice?
My original artist name is The Kira Justice and it’s still my artist name in Brazil. The Kira Justice is a direct reference to the Anime Death Note.

However, going by the same artist name in different languages was often confusing, so I decided to have separate artist names for different languages. I Am Justice was the alternative for our artists’ name back when we were still a band.

It’s also a reference to the same anime, and it sounds just as good as the other name, if not better.

Why did you use Death Note as inspiration for your band?
Back when we were a 4 people band, it was everyone’s favorite anime. It was very popular as well, so it was a perfect fit back then.

How would you describe your sound?
It’s a blend of pop and rock, with heavy influences from 2000’s bands. I enjoy intensity.

Who are your musical influences?
I’ve been an artist for almost 20 years now so it’s very hard to point just a few. But like I’ve said before, you can still feel a strong 2000’s rock vibe when listening to I Am Justice.

Some bands I was really into back then were My Chemical Romance, Yellowcard and Linkin Park.

Why do you do covers in particular?
I always did covers in addition to original songs. Covers are a great way to help people – especially those who don’t know you too well yet – get a glimpse of what you’re about.

How do you choose what songs to cover?
My current method of picking covers is opening a live stream on The Kira Justice’s  channel and taking suggestions from fans and then polling the most interesting ones.

Are there any specific ones that stick out as favorites?
“Unravel” from Tokyo Ghoul is a song that will be requested in my live concerts for a long time, I’m sure of that.

Why did you start on YouTube? How do you think YouTube functions as a platform for musicians? 
YouTube was – and still is – a very versatile and popular platform. No matter what kind of content you create, if it can be translated to video form somehow, you should have a YouTube channel.

It doesn’t mean it has to be your only platform though – I actually think it’s a good thing to create content for different platforms.

What are some other platforms that you use? How do they compare to YouTube?
We’ve been using Spotify a lot lately. While it lacks a lot of the versatility that YouTube has, it works in a way much more suited for musicians and has a few interesting tools for promoting our music.

How do you feel about the internet in the music business?  How has the internet affected your music career?  
The internet has always been the defining tool for my career. Where to find my music, to where people get to know us, where we take feedback from our fans to decide our next steps, and where we’ve been singing live in 2020 since we can’t have concerts in real life this year.

What are some of your fondest memories throughout your music career? 
Playing live. Writing songs or recording cover is a fun process, but being able to look people in the eyes as they sing your songs with passion or tell you how much your music helps them go through stuff makes it not only fun but meaningful.

What advice would you give to musicians just starting out on YouTube?
Focus on the best you have to offer. Learn from others but remember to be true to yourself. The smallest thing could be what sets you apart from others.

And it’s not up for you to decide what is it – people may get charmed by things you didn’t even knew were your strengths, but as long as you’re being true to yourself, you’ll always be able to keep doing and improving it.

 What has your experience been during Covid-19?  How has it changed since March?
We have been streaming a lot more and started working even harder on our connection to the fans via the internet.

Since we already used the internet a lot and already had our digital shows from before, it wasn’t as hard as it could have been.

How have you seen the music industry change or adapt?
Many artists gave a go at streaming as well, with different results. Some did amazing things; some still haven’t caught up. I particularly loved big artists trying their own things, such as recording videos on their own houses.

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