Justin Hagler: Song Writer, Musician, Single Dad

Me: I heard one of your songs, I really liked it.  It was Rural Illinois.  Did you write it?
Justin:  Yes I wrote it, arranged, and produced it as well. I also made the video.
Me:  I like it. Is country the only kind of music you write and play, as well as produce?
Justin:  It’s the only music I have released, but I do plan to release a song in another genre, eventually. Oddly enough, I write and play punk rock as well.
Me:  How long have you been writing songs?

Justin Hagler

Justin:  I wrote my first song at 22, but didn’t pursue it at that point. I have my culinary degree and was working as an executive chef. I never got rid of the songs I wrote, and never quit writing either. In 2013 I started back and decided I wouldn’t stop ever again.
I have released two so far.
Me:  That is awesome! Do you still enjoy cooking?
Justin:  Yes, but right now as a single dad of two, just for them.  I’ve been published in two cookbooks as well.

Me:  Oh wow! That is really cool. How old are your kids?
Justin:  They are 10 & 12 and I’ve raised them solo for six years now.
Me:  That is great, so you are a really close family, huh?
Justin:  My boys and I are yes.
Me:  Do the kids like to help you cooking and are they also interested in music?
Justin:  They have started to learn guitar. My youngest is interested in cooking or anything that involves science in any way.
Me:  How old are they? It is so cool to have a little scientist around.
Justin:  He started loving rocks and it has just expanded from there. And he still loves rocks as well.
Me: I can relate, I also have a bit of a rock obsessed child. She has a collection.
Justin:  So does my son. He also has a polisher so he goes and finds them and polishes them until they are beautiful.
Me: How many songs have you written?
Justin:  I have written close to 100 songs as of now.
Me:  Do you have a favorite one I can share?  (I have linked both)
Justin:  Both my realeases have a very high quality video on YouTube. Both if my songs are also on Spotify as well.

Finder’s Fee Itunes

Rural Illinois Itunes



Me:  Tell me about the songs, and the names, and what they mean to you.
Justin:  The songs is very personal to me. It is based off of my experience growing up in Southern Illinois. I also spent time around Springfield Illinois as a child as my grandmother lived there. I’ve seen the most beautiful sides of Illinois and I wanted to incorporate my love and why I love it in a song. The other song Finder’s Fee was inspired by a breakup I had early in life and just evolved into a song.
Me:  I love that there is so much meaning behind the songs.
Justin:  My next song is my favorite and has as much meaning as any. It also is the best story I’ve ever told through music as well.
Me:  That one is still in the works?
Justin:  Music is all finished and just needs vocal now. Looking to release May 2017.

 We are looking forward to it as well, Justin.