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Meet Justin Gonzalez of JAWNZA in North Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Justin Gonzalez.

Justin, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was born in Lakeland, FL 1997. This is an odd flex but my parents brought me home in a limo because I guess they had this innate sense that I was going to drop out of college to be a rapper and be successful from it. Realistically, my journey to becoming the musician I am today started when I picked up that Playstation 1 controller.

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve had a profound interest in the feelings I would get from video games and music. Whether it was choreographing a dance routine with my brother Jared to Chris Brown’s “Run It” for my 3rd-grade talent show to staying up all hours just to beat the story mode on Tony Hawk or Need for Speed Underground 2, I was very passionate about these two things. The main reason I was so interested in video games and music is because they allowed me to experience a new world on a tv screen that I was unable to in real life. They also kickstarted my imagination and created worlds in my mind that I never thought existed.

As time went on, my interest in experiencing different worlds turned into an interest in creating them. Back when Tumblr was actually cool, I got into content creation. Building a website aesthetic forced me to scour the internet for music as well as photos and videos that fit the vibe of the world I invited people into. This is continued to pinpoint my taste and fortify my imagination which then leads to creating the character, JAWNZA.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I think that everything that happened really went according to plan on a deeper level, but I definitely would not define it as a smooth road. From losing my brother, losing any idea of how I envisioned my life going to sleeping on air mattresses and couches just to work a minimum wage job in order to fund my living expenses as well as the release of my project — my journey has been anything but smooth. This is just the tip of iceberg as to what opposition I faced, but more importantly the support and love that was garnered from the people I met and still meet on this journey has made it all worth it. People need people and the universe blessed me with some phenomenal people.

Can you give our readers some background on your music?
I use music to translate the purpose of the character I’ve created into a language everyone understands. JAWNZA is a human being attempting to live a fulfilling life admits a world that normalizes serving oneself before looking out for the next person. Each body of music is meant to be the next step in his ultimate journey to find peace and fully detach himself from his own ego.

Every project I create as JAWNZA is like a level in a video game. By nature, each level becomes more and more difficult, however the user’s ability to navigate them gets better and they become more efficient at beating them overtime. Every environment is full of opposition as well as opportunity. The music is the soundtrack and actually is the journey to beat the final boss of every level which happens to be different manifestations of the same person, his ego.

Through JAWNZA, I hope to inspire others to take on the journey in their life that leads them to happiness and fulfillment. I want people to understand that the finish line is not the goal. The goal is to enjoy and soak in every step of the journey so that when you actually do hit that finish line, you can look back and say, “I gave it my all”.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
My constant need to redefine myself is absolutely beneficial to my success. If I get stuck in an idea of myself because it’s comfortable, the art becomes stagnant, repetitive and boring. Constantly evolving myself while keeping in place my core values of love and gratitude allows the music to progress in a positive manor and encourages the listener to evolve as well.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Travon Free @travon, Dylan Prebich @entandraa, Mak Kelly @spectratones

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