Out Now Magazine Spotlight series featuring UMÉ for an exclusive interview
Justin Ume, better known by his artist name UMÉ, is an African American artist, writer, and creative from New Jersey. At the age of 19, he wants to empower those who feel powerless, serve as a voice for the youth, and encourage everyone to tap into their real feelings and emotions. He believes that’s the key to achieving your goals and what you set your mind to.
Where are you from?
When did you start making music?
Music has always been in my life since a young age, but I started writing at the age of 13 and started taking it seriously my sophomore year when I was 17 because of one of my mentors that got me more into the craft
How do you describe your music?
I make “empathetic, mood music” that’s both versatile and relatable.
Favorite moment from your career?
Performing in front of a 1700 audience from NYU at Terminal 5 a few years back. Loved the energy and it’s the biggest one I have done.
Who is your biggest musical inspiration?
Music-wise it’s probably Kendrick Lamar since he’s the first artist I genuinely got into and still my favorite rapper today. Others include artists like Tyler, Donald Glover, Kyle, Giveon, and Lucky Daye
What is your producing software?
I don’t mix myself but my main producer uses FL mostly
What other things do you do besides making music?
Besides music, I’m very spontaneous and love to be actively doing something. Exercise is important to me as well as taking care of my mind with things such as Meditation. I’m also a big basketball fan so I hoop with my people and I’m into fashion so I love looking/buying new clothes because When I look better I feel better.
What is your favorite track of all time?
I have many favorites, but I would have to say
Why did you start making music?
I’ve had anxiety due to challenges I’ve had throughout my childhood so music helped me cope and funnel my energy and emotion into something that could be beneficial to me. I soon realized it was the best way for me to express myself since I felt alone in many different situations and clung to it which turned into a passion.
What are your goals for the future?
After my project is out we’re going to really get experimental sound-wise and dive into something very new. Something I don’t think people will be expecting. We’re excited to put out new music, but I plan to get better at different aspects of my game. Besides music I also want to do so much more. I have film ideas, event plans, and different ways to give back to people that I want to eventually explore. I feel that if I get down the line and it ends with just music that I have failed. There’s much more creative work to do and I’m confident we’ll be ready when the time comes.
Please write a message to your fans.
It’s alright to feel how you feel and tap into your real emotions even when things are at their lowest. Know that there’s power in that knowledge and that these negative experiences we may go through bring great value with opportunity. Everything comes back full circle.
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