I just got a new CD from an amazing artist, Justin Cash. First off, how can he not be awesome with a name like that? Not only is he a talented, traveling, touring singer, he is also a father. Here, Justin answers some questions about balancing being a christian father and a singer.
How do you balance being a husband and father and working in the music industry?
Justin Priorities. Easy to set, hard to live by. I remember a few years back I promised Annie that I’d rake the yard, it was choking to death under a blanket of brown, dead oak leaves. It was really important to her and I had put it off all week. Saturday afternoon, we finally began raking it up as a family, when someone called on my cell phone with a last-minute job offer to play a show in the city that night.
The pay was decent and we needed the money, but a promise is a promise. I remember struggling with that decision- we mulled over the pros and cons out there in the leaves. I decided to finish the leaves and make good on my promise. Things always work out when you do the right thing.
Of course, there are times when you need to work extra hard and put in some 14 hour days, which I’ve certainly done. Providing for your family is one of the most important things a husband and father can do. But I have a lot of musician friends whose accumulated total of missed PTA meetings, birthday parties and basketball games totals up to a tragic divorce and loneliness. You can’t go wrong by putting your family first.
Balance isn’t so much equal parts as it is constantly adjusting; as well as not allowing seemingly important, apparent “yolo” or “false horizon” moments to crowd out the most important things.
What does it mean to “self-produce” your work?
Justin: Good question. That just means that I was the guy that did the writing, arrangements, charts, budget, studio time booking, hiring, schedule, pre-production recordings, coordination, payroll, etc. A.K.A. All of the boring stuff.
Luckily, I worked as an intern at a great production studio right out of grad school, and had already had experience doing all of those things. I didn’t do it without help, by any means, there were a lot of other ears involved, including my wife, who has an uncanny layman’s knack for spotting things that work and things that don’t.
Any thoughts on creativity in general?
Justin: We were born to create. Just look at who our Father is. We are His kids. I believe that one of the highest levels of existence is creation. That could mean a husband and wife creating a family, a kid drawing with a half broken brown crayon, or the formation of an organized solar system.
I remember being knee-deep in the planning stages of one of the songs, “Rain Rain”- I was trying to create a Middle Eastern feel with acoustic slide guitars, recording them at the home to see what it sounded like. I remember just having this deep feeling of joy at that moment, an absolute paint-all-over-your-hands, pure joy of creation moment that I’ll never forget.
I think we need to pay attention to how we feel during those times. When we feel fully realized, totally at peace, like we are doing what we were born to do, that is when we can be sure that we are on the right path. The challenge is to remember that, and, to cling to those good moments when doubt comes creeping around the next day.
Justins music reminds me of Jason Mraz, and Colin Raye. The song I keep putting on repeat is track #4, God Only Made One of You. Sooo good. You can check out his site at http://www.gojustincash.com You can download it from iTunes or purchase the CD from Deseret Book or Amazon.