When Justen's parents forbid him from listening to the corrupting influence of "secular music" - they inadvertently helped him train to become a music producer.
Thanks to peer to peer filesharing and an abundance of instrumental mp3 hip hop mixes available there, Justen Williams was listening to Top 40 hip hop minus the vocals. And what was left, he could study in unobscured detail to see how the kick fit with the bass and why those effects create a specific mood.
But it wasn't until a college friend introduced Justen to Reason that he saw what he'd always dreamed of: an entire beatmaking studio right on his computer screen. After getting his own copy of Reason, Justen Williams never looked back. His production skills and collaborations with New Orleans artists have landed him placements with Ford, HBO, Empire, Dancing with the Stars, NFL Films, and album production with Kourtney Heart, Justin Garner, and Dee 1.
We joined Justen in New Orleans to discuss his early beatmaking and production experiments with Reason and his biggest viral success, Sallie Mae Back.