Two weeks ago I journeyed to LA to explore and discover a dream that I’ve had for years. My dream to travel to LA started over four years ago when I had decided to quit my job in search of happiness and fulfillment in my own business and career.
Recently after having an experience where I realized I wasn’t fully living my dreams or going after what I wanted, I realize that I was the only one in my own way. I forgave myself for accepting the belief that I couldn’t have what I wanted and all of these opportunities were handed to me. Like literally I did a forgiveness meditation and all these texts & calls came in. It’s amazing what the universe gives you when you decide you’re ready.
One of my dreams was to visit The City of Angels. I fell in love with the idea of LA, because of the warm weather and having known it was a hub for artists to be successful.
Given that No Starving Artists is a media company dedicated to empowering and inspiring artists to thrive and make a living off what they do, my heart has always known this is the place to be.
Fast forward to manifesting this Dream, I posted on Instagram that visiting LA was one of the top things on my bucket list and my boyfriend surprised me with tickets for Christmas.
Immediately, when I knew that I was going, I began reaching out to my contacts in the music industry and lo and behold my friend Andrew sent me the name and number of a music artist manager. I emailed, Andrew a few days prior to heading to LA telling him about No Starving Artists and asking to interview him and he quickly said yes.
I arrange to meet Justin at 10am the second day of our trip in LA and we are locked in.
Day of The Interview:
Raheem and I walk outside to the Grove and meet next to a coffee house called Groundwork. I see a tall man with a leather jacket approaching and I immediately wave and he waves back.
Raheem and I are met by Justin, a fashionable man who immediately starts talking to us as if we are old friends. How long have you been doing this? What brings you to L.A? He buys coffee and turns to ask Raheem, do you need anything? Justin politely pays.
He says, since it’s raining do you want to find some place in side to shoot? Our eyes travel to a restaurant called Dominica Ansel, a colorful whimsical bakery and we head inside. I think to myself, this is a fun place but does it match Justin’s character and vibe?
I walk to a sofa and my eyes travel upstairs to a golden staircase that exudes luxury and class. I walk upstairs and find another restaurant with gold speckled walls, an immaculate bar and immediately think this is it.
I ask the staff if we are able to shoot there and they immediately say, no. Two minutes later my boyfriend comes back and says he got the approval from staff. I’m like one says yes, the other says no and the manager walks over and says we need to call our PR.
All the while Justin is patient, saying they’ll probably do it. Two minutes later we start the interview, already aquatinted.
Justin, shares freely that his start to success as a manager happened when he was introduced to someone who helped mentor him and he eventually went on to manage a notable hip hop artist.
After having success as his manager he started his own management company and he now manages 10 artists (his roster includes writers and producers).
Justin is also, a serial entrepreneur and a partner in “Studiotime,” which he describes as the AirBnB of music studios. Imagine being able to book studio time internationally, wherever you travel.
What we learned most from our time with Justin is that all dreams our possible. You just have to be willing to spend the time, cultivate your dreams and invest.
Check out the full interview on our youtube channel.
Photography by Rahisha Bivens and Raheem Nelson
Edits by Raheem Nelson
Who: Justin Garza
Roster: Manages 10 artists (producers, writers singers,rappers)
Advice To Others who Want To Get Into Management: Be patient. Be willing to invest in your artists.
“I wouldn’t even take 20% of their income until I knew I was doing something to elevate them.”
Future Visions: To Continue To Grow Studiotime
Current Production: Somebody to Love
Follow Him @justinjohngarza