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Meet Justina Johnson of Justina Beth-El (artist) and The Underground PR in Long Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Justina Johnson.

Justina, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I began performing professionally in the Washington Metropolitan area in 2016 as part of a duo that grew to a full band within a year. I was extremely fortunate to have so many people in the local music scene believe in me and my music that connected me with several other local influencers.

Because of the connections and insight shared with me from veteran musicians, my music career blossomed quickly. It was a huge blessing but it came with a steep learning curve. There was a lot of trial and error – mostly error if I’m being honest – but that’s exactly what I needed to shape my path for the future of my career as a musician. I’ve gone from a duo to full band, to a solo act that sometimes hires her friends to play shows. I’ve written and sang Americana, R&B, Pop, Rock, and most other genres. I’ve had my hands in just about every musical cookie jar and gained some invaluable experience and knowledge that I thought should be shared with every other musician starting out. It was that thought that spawned The Underground – a PR/Marketing group for independent musicians.

Has it been a smooth road?
Ha! “Smooth” is the last word I would use to describe the process. From losing band members, to gigs falling through when you’re 30 minutes from the venue, to taking two full years to release a single, to spending a solid 40 hours on a project for a client just to have them back out last minute, any worst case scenario you could imagine happening for a musician/band manager/marketing consultant happened. That’s all a part of the process though, which is something I have to tell myself every day. I’m pretty A-type, so when things don’t go the way I plan them, it’s a day ruiner. The silver lining is that I always learn something in those moments, and hopefully do better the next time.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
The Underground helps emerging Independent Artists build their brand, develop EPKs, book shows, and we’ve put on a handful of anti-establishment shows called “The Underground Live.” As can be expected with new companies, progress is slow moving while we grow and work out the kinks. We’re refocusing our energy and scaling down our efforts to focus on a few artists at a time and really help them develop the business and marketing aspects of their craft.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I do believe that LA is the right place for what The Underground offers. As musicians, we’re sold a dream that comes to fruition with a stroke of luck and being in the right place at the right time. The fact of the matter is that this dream is attainable through serious marketing and branding efforts, we’re just not accustomed to treating our music as a business so we don’t bother to learn the business side of music. I would absolutely recommend someone starting out to have a chat with us. We love sharing the information we have if it adds a stepping stone in the path of an aspiring musician.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
The Underground PR, LLC.

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