Singer Justin Champagne talks to BRProud about performing, having a song with Snoop Dogg, and how chasing your dreams gets you out of your hometown.
I love representing Louisiana all day long, but what I want to represent more is my city.Justin Champagne
BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Justin Champagne (pronounced like shum-pine) is from New Iberia, Louisiana. He’s 31 and has a song with Snoop Dogg.
Champagne got his start in music when he 16.
“We had this thing called the ‘love shack’ at my house and it was like a shed where I played with my step-dad, I was the drummer and even through middle school I was the baritone,” Champagne said. “I’ve always been musically inclined.”
He wrote his first song, a remix of “Flossin” by Mike Jones about his dad, on a laptop.
“Using a laptop mic, mind you. Not even like a mic – mic,” Champagne said.
“It’s probably the worst song you could possibly think of to remix. I don’t know why I chose that song,” Champagne said as he laughed.
Champagne says that for the next few years, he tried to find his own lane. He recorded his first real record, “Sun Goes Down” in his twenties and went up from there.
“I never knew what style of music I wanted to do because I love hip-hop, I love country, and I listen to some rock.
Champagne says he doesn’t consider himself any kind of genre.
So, how did Champagne get Snoop Dogg to be on his record, “If She Ain’t Country”?
Champagne says that they toured together earlier this year and talked to Snoop Dogg’s manager backstage after a performance.
Champagne says it means a lot that he gets to represent his home state in the music business, but wants to represent his hometown more.
“There’s not many people that come out where I’m from that make it in anything. Representing New Iberia, letting people know that there’s a way outta here, you can do it,” Champagne said. “Listen, if I can do it, you can do it. I promise you anybody can do it.”
Champagne says that he’s not different from anyone, but hard work is his mentality.
Champagne remembers the first time he played with Snoop Dogg.
Champagne says performing with Snoop Dogg at the beginning of the year was the biggest crowd he’s ever played in front of.
“Going on stage, I remember the first night I was so pumped I didn’t know how to act so I went on there 1,000%,” he said.
He was out of breath in 20 seconds.
“It was the adrenaline rush. I don’t know why I thought I was like 180 pounds but I was moving up there,” Champagne said.
“Just seeing everybody, it’s really something I can’t explain. I haven’t really figured out how to tell somebody exactly how I felt up there,” Champagne said. “Just know that I love it.”
What’s next for Justin?
His new song, “I Lost Everything” comes out tonight at 11 p.m.
Champagne says it took him and a friend two years to co-write the song.
“I guess between his heartbreaks and my heartbreaks we just kind of put some heartbreaks together,” he said. “The song is deep but I feel good about it.”
He’s also going back on tour with Snoop Dogg for two weeks this month.
Champagne says upcoming small-town artists should not give up.
“You have to know that you’re going to be told no and you just can’t give up. Give it 100 percent, chase your goal and turn your dream into reality,” he said.
Follow Champagne on social media: @iamjustinchampagne and find his music here.