Emerging in 2010, Justin Llamas has been producing chart-topping YouTube cover videos for years, gaining 4 million video views and over 20,000 subscribers. Using YouTube as his platform, Justin has built a loyal fanbase, and even attracted responses from the artists he has covered. Moreover, he has become a household name on the mobile app StarMaker, building a fanbase of over 200,000 followers. Justin has also crossed over into film and television where h has featured in a number of commercials, TV shows, and films. Riding the crest of compliments received from L.A. Reid, Terry Lewis, Jimmy Jam and Babyface, for his EP “Gold”, Justin Llamas has dropped his follow-up 7-track recording, “Party on the Outside”. On this latest EP, Justin proves that with the right production and management staff, he has the potential to surpass just about anybody in his lane. While the youthful artist continues to develop his artistry, this recording marks his best yet.
Justin Llamas masterfully exhibits vulnerability, resolve, and soulfulness on the emotionally-driven, and powerful title track “Party on the Outside”, which follows the introductory “Welcome”. From the start, he exhibits his best attribute – his voice.
Justin shares his struggles, insecurities, and loneliness. “Can’t help but put on a front because sharing the pain hurts the ones that I love. I have to put on a front because sharing the pain hurts the ones that I love,” sums up his state of discomfort, in being unable to share his inner truths.
He casually sings portions of the verses in a mellower register, amplifying his vulnerability. By the pre-chorus/chorus sections, the full scope of his vocal expressiveness is unleashed. The soulful beastliness of his vocals, plus the harmonies, arrive in their full glory. Justin is honest about his feelings on the highly effective “Sweep!”
In a nutshell, this groovy pop-soul cut finds the singer dealing with the pain of disappointment and confrontation: “I can’t take another heartbreak. Falling down again—can’t deal with the pain. I refuse to go there again. Let us hide the truth—easy to pretend. That everything is fine…then oops another fight.” With masterful falsetto, Justin takes us on an adrenaline-filled, anxious, self-conscious journey that is relatable to anybody deeply in love during a conflicting relationship.
Justin Llamas continues to flaunt his prodigious pipes on “After You”. This is a groovy, slow burning ballad, characterized by superb production comprised of cool synths, a robust bass line, and tasteful piano. The soaring chorus is best part of the song – the celebrated centerpiece – as Justin continues his struggles within an inter-personal relationship.
Llamas remains a force to be reckoned with vocally on “You Run, I Follow”. Once more, he shows off some spectacular vocal nuances, as he asks: “Can I know your plans? Where you go, I’m following, following.” He’s backed by an electro-driven, soulful-pop production, a backdrop he excels at.
Justin lets it all hang out on the upbeat, “Stamps”, offering no apologies for his personal habits: “No there’s no use trying to hide it. And we won’t keep it private. We had fun last night in the same old shirt from yesterday. So don’t judge or call us evil. Just because we go where we go. Yeah, we’re all party people. And you can see… You can see our stamps. Our stamps.” The track benefits from its fun groove, its piano-driven production, and liberating lyrics. Once again, Justin Llamas strikes gold here.
The closing track, “Find You” is one of “Party on the Outside’s” biggest triumphs. Justin Llamas gives one of the truly elite vocal performances of the EP showing off his gorgeous tone – can you say chills? The chorus is simply stunning, filled with reflective questions about the relationship. Beyond the excellence of the lead vocals, this is also a production showcase.
The way the background vocals are used to accentuate the lead, the addition of the cinematic strings – there’s some awesome, thoughtful touches here. All in all, Justin Llamas takes another step forward in his artistic maturity on this EP.
There are ample potential hits on this recording, and vocally, he’s a force to be reckoned with, only getting better and better. The constant progression of his career has once again resulted in this crowning achievement.