Justin Hines will be returning to Grand Forks, a place he considers his second home, on Friday, March 9 for an intimate concert at Grand Forks Secondary School’s auditorium.
“I love playing in small towns. Its one of our favourites things because I feel people are energized,” he chuckled. “Grand Forks in particular because it’s my wife’s hometown.
So it’s like coming home in a lot of ways, there’s a special connection and we end up knowing a lot of people in the audience. So it’s mixing everything together, your home life and your professional life and it’s a beautiful thing.”
Known for his rock/pop tunes, Hines’ latest album, Days to Recall, is an uplifting outlook to life and love.
“I think if you’re paying attention, life is full of inspiration,” he explained. “A lot of times other people’s journeys are as interesting as your own. If you’re always watching and observing, there’s never a shortage of what you can write about.”
With songs on the album such as See you like I do and Tell me I’m wrong, Hines is able to reach an audience with thoughtful words and a clear voice.
In this particular album, Hines pairs his vocals with gospel singer Jackie Richardson, as well as Canadian hip-hop artist Maestro (formerly Maestro Fresh-Wes).
“Whenever somebody goes through a life-changing experience, and you express yourself through art, you can’t help but convey yourself in what you do,” he said. “I think we’re lucky as artists to have that outlet because it’s very helpful and it’s a great way to emote.”
Music is something that Hines has always enjoyed, even more so when he feels the energy and enthusiasm from the crowds.
Hines recalls how his now-wife had never been a music fan but after viewing his video on a music station, she felt compelled to write to him.
“So we wrote back and forth for quite a long time before we decided to meet and the rest is kind of history,” he stated.
Hines was born with Larsen Syndrome, a joint condition that confines him to his wheelchair, and has also become a figurehead raising awareness for individuals with disabilities who are in need.
On his website, it states the goal is to “focus on one’s ability, rather than disabilities.”
He now has his own charity called the Justin Hines Foundation that helps other charities out through a collaborative effort.
“It’s funny because in terms of charity, I kind of always wanted to be the guy that was kind of broad, so not just one specific cause,” he explained. “I’m really fortunate now that I can work with people and to be able to work with many different kinds of organizations and raise money and awareness for them. We’re not trying to accomplish our own goals but we’re aiming to help others obtain theirs.”
On music, the key is to keep playing.
“Just remember why you’re doing it and hopefully people are doing it because they love it,” he said. “You have to appreciate and understand the beauty and awesomeness of the music itself and I think when you have that mentality, everything after that is a bonus.”
Tickets are available in advance from The Source, Gallery 2 and Morrisey Creek Building Supplies – proceeds from the concert will be given to Gallery 2