Thank you so much for joining us! Let’s show everyone you’re a normal human being. What are your hobbies, favorite places to visit, pet peeves? Tell us about YOU when you’re not at the office.
“My hobbies are mostly sports and fitness related. While music is truly my first love, sports is a close second. You could say I have an obsession. When I am not in the studio working on my music or writing new songs, I am most likely watching some sporting event on TV. Being from New York, I’m a huge New York Knicks fan. I have season tickets and go to almost every home game with my brother, even on the season that they aren’t good, haha.
“I’d say Italy is my favorite country to visit, I’ve been lucky enough to visit a couple of different cities in Italy while traveling with my family and I loved every second of it. If I had to pick I would probably say that Capri is my favorite overall, but honestly, you could put me in any city in Italy and I’d be happy.
“It sounds silly but one of my biggest pet peeves is probably grammatical errors, believe it or not. I hate when people misuse the use of the words ‘less’ and ‘fewer.’ Most people have no idea how to use them properly. Less has to do with volume, fewer has to do with an individual item. It frustrates the hell out of me! Although it may seem silly, it’s something I look out for when I’m dealing with people. For me, it shows attention to detail and value for the task at hand.”
Can you tell us something about you that few people know?
“I can’t believe I’m about to share this but I sleep with an eye mask on every night, haha.
“I’ve been doing it for about five years now and it has changed my life. I realized that I’m very sensitive to light when I sleep and finally a friend of mine suggested trying one. After I did, I couldn’t go back. It changed my whole day, I was able to sleep much better and be more productive with my work the next day. I truly believe in investing in your body and mental state, it’s so important to take care of yourself.”
Do you have any exciting projects going on right now?
“My debut EP Bedtime Stories is dropping next week! I’m very excited to be releasing this album which has been in the works for about a year now. It will include nine songs that are written and recorded by me, each of which is based on a real-life experience that I was dealing with at the time it was written. I think that type of authenticity will really resonate with my audience and give them something to relate to. Currently, two of my songs are available for streaming on all major platforms: Stay All Night and Say You Love Me. They are basically chapters one and two of this bedtime story that I’m about to continue to tell.
Many people say success correlates with the people you meet in your life. Can you describe two that most impacted your success and why.
My vocal coach Chris Richards. We met more than two years ago, and he totally changed my perception of what being an artist entailed. He made me realize that I not only needed to be a great vocalist but also be a character on my records and make them my own. It made me the artist I am today. Without him, I don’t know where I would be right now.
“The other would be my former Manager, Rich Isaacson. We didn’t see eye to eye on everything, but he always had my best interests at heart. He taught me everything about the business side of this industry and showed me how to be a professional. He was very tough on me, but I needed it. Without that experience, I wouldn’t be where I am with my music.”
Leaders always seem to find ways to overcome their weaknesses. Can you share one or two examples of how you work outside of your comfort zone to achieve success?
“I am a control freak and a perfectionist. Those two things are very hard for me to deal with as an artist because nothing I do is ever good enough and I like to have total control of everything I work on. However, I have learned over the years to get more input from people while still keeping control
“I also have learned that eventually, you have to let go of a song or an album or a video and say ok, this is it, it’s done and I can accept that. Otherwise, you will always leave your best game on the practice field.”
The concept of mind over matter has been around for years. A contemporary description of this is having mental toughness. Can you give us an example (or two) of obstacles you’ve overcome by getting your mind in the right place (some might call this reframing the situation).
“I tore my ACL in my right knee a few years ago right when I first started training to dance. It set me back but I just kept telling myself: ‘You’ve got to fight through things in order to get where you want to go.’ And, I wasn’t going to let that derail the artist I wanted to become.
“When I first started recording records I would meet with people who were interested in my music but they all told me I wasn’t good enough to be an artist and that at best, I should just be a songwriter. I’ve always been the type of person to use that type of negative energy as positive motivation to keep going. I realized there will always be critics in this business, but you can’t let it stop you from creating and performing the type of music that you believe in. So many amazing artists were told ‘no’ before they made it big, so I try to focus on those success stories, rather than the noise of critics.”
What are your “3 Lessons I Learned from My Most Memorable Failure”
“I’ve learned a lot of lessons through failure that it’s hard to narrow it down to three, but here are my top answers:
“When you fail I believe it’s important to self-reflect and remind yourself why you started in the first place. For me, I knew that every time I failed the reward would be even greater and throughout my career, I have truly experienced that.
What unfiltered advice can you give aspiring stars regarding how to avoid common mis-fires in starting their career?
“Be persistent. There’s an old saying that goes, ‘a river cuts through a mountain not because of how strong it is, but because of how persistent it is.’ I’ve always tried to remember that in trying times.
“When I think I’ve given it my all and that there is nothing else that I can do, I try one more time and then one more time after that and again and again, because I know that when you believe in what you have you can’t give up on it. There have been many times in my career that I thought I was at a dead end but with perseverance and determination I was able to come out on top and I believe anyone that is passionate about what they’re doing, is able to do that.”
What is the best lesson you learned from your worst boss?
“No matter what the job is, you need to take it seriously. I learned that lesson after I was fired from my first internship, which honestly is pretty hard to do, haha. After I left that internship, I realized the magnitude of what happened. Whether or not I liked my boss didn’t matter; I had still been fired which is never fun.
“After that I’ve treated every job or task as serious as possible, no matter how small or big. It’s actually something that people have come to admire about me and I’m really proud of that because I know the hard lesson that I had to learn to get there.”
What is one “efficiency hack” you use consistently in your life to keep your time and mind free to focus on your strengths and passions?
“I learned a long time ago that Meditation was the best “life hack” for me.
“I try to do it at least once a day for 20 minutes to relax my mind and escape from all the stress.
“As an artist, it’s easy to get carried away with all the work that goes into making music, meditation allows me to let it all go if even for a minute. I try to do it in the morning after I wake up, for me that’s the best time but it could vary for others.
“It’s some I really do swear by and truly encourage others to try. I think a lot of people play it off to be some type of fake medicine but it’s proven that people that meditate every day are happier and healthier.
All actors or musicians have sleepless nights. We have a term we use with our clients called the “2 a.m. moment.” It’s when you’re wide awake and thinking not-so-positive thoughts about your business choices and future. Can you describe a 2 a.m. moment (or moments) you’ve had and how you overcame the challenges.
“I actually don’t think that I’ve really ever had that 2 a.m. moment. I’ve definitely had times that I woke up at 2 a.m. and wrote a song right there on the spot. Most of my not-so-positive thoughts come during the time when that I’m awake.
“Like I said, it’s easy as an artist to get carried away in the stress. I realized early on in my career to try to not get too high with the highs or too low with the lows. Things change a lot in this industry and it’s important to keep your stride and continue to hustle whether you’re on a high or a low.
“When I’m feeling really stressed during the day I try to go for a walk if meditation doesn’t work. When I’m walking through New York City I’m reminded of greatness.
“I wouldn’t want to be from anywhere else in the world; New York City is truly a part of me.”
Nobody likes to fail, and we sure don’t like to admit we failed. Can you describe a moment when you confided your most closely-held business issues/problems to someone close to you, and how the conversation(s) helped you work through the issue?
“There are so many big decisions that need to be made when you’re creating and distributing your art. There have been so many times that I’ve needed a person to turn to for advice or just for a shoulder to lean on, and every time I’ve needed that person my parents have been there for me. Through every up and down in my life, my parents have been there to pick me up and push me and I couldn’t thank them enough for it.”
What’s on the drawing board for your next venture?
“I’ve already started working on my next album actually! As a creative person, my mind never stops. I am always thinking about the next beat or lyric or track that I want to work on. I’m constantly calling my team with new ideas for the next album. We haven’t set anything in motion yet, but I can tell you that I’m already working on five new songs.”
What did we miss? Feel free to share any other thoughts or advice on overcoming failure, initiatives you’re currently supporting, any other relevant information you would like to share with the readers.
“Well, as I said earlier, my album Bedtime Stories will release next week. You can find all of my “information regarding that and other things I am doing on my Instagram at @Justin.morelli.
Another piece of advice that I would give to really everyone is to follow your heart. Don’t let the opinions or thoughts of others derail you from what you love. Life is so precious and it’s important to spend every moment doing something that you love. I feel very lucky to have had found my passion in life and even more so to be able to share it with the world.”
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
“My Instagram is where I announce everything (@Justin.morelli) but you can also find me on Apple music, Spotify, SoundCloud, and YouTube under my name Justin Morelli.”
This was really awesome! Thank you so much for joining us!
Originally published at medium.com