Who is Justin Fabus?
For starters, he’s a proud Pittsburgh, PA native, show-stopping singer, and eloquent songwriter—but that only scratches the surface (barely). Operating on his own terms and completely outside of the system, he’s managed to quietly establish himself as an impactful independent artist, selling out shows and topping various charts. With coveted co-signs from the likes of Richard Marx and Donnie Wahlberg as well as widespread acclaim courtesy of The Boot, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and more, he continues to reveal precisely who he is through a growing catalog…
“I’m an artist who doesn’t belong in a box and doesn’t take shit from anybody, but always does the unexpected,” he exclaims. “At the same time, I aim to deliver high-quality, soulful, and heartfelt music. I promise no one will ever outwork me either,” he adds with a smile.
Since introducing himself in 2016, that Rust Belt work ethic has propelled him to unbelievable heights. He has notched three Top 3 entries on the iTunes Top Country Songs Chart. He launched three successive projects on the iTunes Country Albums Chart with Remedy hitting #49, Shelter From The Storm reaching #25 and his latest, The Aftermath, reaching #2. The Aftermath also reached #11 on the iTunes Overall Top Albums Chart. During 2019, Donnie Wahlberg even recruited Justin to take the stage at PPG Paints Arena during the Pittsburgh stop of New Kids On The Block’s Mixtape Tour. Along the way, he also shared bills with Garry Allan, Randy Houser, and Craig Campbell in addition to packing headline shows. In the face of the Global Pandemic, he remained prolific throughout 2020. His Shelter From The Storm EP peaked in the Top 25 of the iTunes Top Country Albums Chart propelled by fan favorites such as “Somebody Like You,” which he co-wrote with GRAMMY® Award-winning legend Richard Marx. In the project’s wake, he appeared on Fox 5 Atlanta, News 4 Nashville, and more.
However, he only picked up the pace in 2021 with The Aftermath EP, threading together elements of country, rock, pop, and soul. Its lead single “Run” with Chapel Hart helped propel the EP to #2 on the iTunes Top Country Albums Chart. Premiered by The Boot, he dedicated the anthem to his rescue French bulldog Reyna. As a whole, The Aftermath chronicled a resurgence from trials and tribulations.
“It speaks to where we are now,” he says. “We’re collectively dealing with the ramifications of the Pandemic and the political climate. At the same time, it was my most personal songwriting. I lost my mom to cancer, but I met my fiancée three weeks later. I met the right person at the wrong time, and it took me a while to get back on track because I was dealing with substance issues. She had to live with and deal with the worst of me. She made me want to be a better person though. The songs really reflected where I am as a songwriter, singer, and artist.”
His voice glides over lithe acoustic guitar on “Kept Being You, Quit Being Me,” while “After You” gives way to a bluesy and bold electrified solo. Then, there’s the finale “Reflections.” His confessional storytelling shoots straight, “Momma used to tell me I drink too much, I used to tell her she didn’t drink enough,” as he recounts trials and tribulations in a moment of musical triumph.
“I wrote it from the perspective of being able to talk to the 18- or 20-year-old version of myself,” he says. “I’m basically warning myself. At the end of the song, I sum it up with the fact I ended up on the right side of this, thankfully, even though a lot of people don’t. It doesn’t get more real and raw than that.”
So, who is Justin Fabus?
Well, he’s everything you need him to be.
“My goal is to write at least one song per project people can relate to,” he leaves off. “Maybe you can make it the soundtrack to a breakup, first date, or wedding. I just want it to stay with you. I just hope you relate, and I get through to you for a moment.”
- Rick Florino