J-Funk infuses catchy melodies and slick vocal and instrumental harmonies, with funky rhythms, and jazz orientated chords to create his own versatile, slick and marketable style of funky soul music.
"J-Funk has arrived and is ready to take over the R&B/Soul Scene" – Tyrone Ismael, CEO Ismael Records.
After nearly 3 years of writing, recording and production J-Funk’s second studio album, Meant To Be is ready to be unleashed to soul music lovers worldwide. J-Funk has been heavily associated with USA independent record label Ismael Records, with the bulk of the music created in collaboration with producer Mike “Da Crow” Crowell and songwriter Ruth M. Ware aka RnB Mistress. This creative combination have produced a new sound, mixing up elements of commercial soul music and neo-soul, with the result being a well-written, well-composed, polished production of funky soul cuts.
Born in Melbourne, Australia, to an English father and South African mother, Justin Stephenson was raised under the influence of a very musical family & began singing and playing piano at the age of 3.
Graduating with a Bachelor of Music degree in 2001 (majoring in Jazz Vocal) in Brisbane, Justin has taken his talents to Sydney and Melbourne, notably the Australia Day celebrations at Hyde Park in Sydney in 2001, and at the Melbourne Jazz Festival in 2004. Both of these performances were in collaboration with his two aunts - Trude and Anastasia Aspeling who are accomplished vocalists in Sydney & Melbourne respectively. Justin has also performed with the likes of soul/funk singer/bassist Doug Williams, & master Melbourne jazz pianist Bob Sedergreen, as well as Bob's son, Stephen, also a jazz pianist.
Relocating to London UK in 2006, J-Funk created his debut album entitled “Breakthru”, receiving radio airplay and positive reviews on the way. The “Breakthru live” show was unleashed all around London and the UK throughout 2007 and 2008.
In early 2007, J-Funk made it through to the London Final of the “Live & Unsigned” competition, after competing with over 10,000 entrants and progressing through many preliminary stages.
J-Funk has also been consistently performing throughout the UK and Europe with soul/funk covers acts The Big Girls Blues Band and Detroit Soul, taking audiences by storm in every performance.
However in 2009, the culmination of hard work and persistence was rewarded when J-Funk was chosen from hundreds of talented submissions as the winner of the Ismael Records online talent search. J-Funk performed live in the USA for the very first time in January 2011, featuring as the headline artist at the “Chance of A Lifetime Talent Show”, hosted by Ismael Records at the University of South Carolina.
Justin has an endless number of vocal & musical influences, including the many talented musicians he has been closely associated with over the years. J-FUNK has been influenced by artists who excel in the studio and in live shows: Stevie Wonder, D’Angelo, The Roots, and Patrice Rushen are the greatest. These influences shine through in his brilliant vocal and band arrangements and compositions. Justin has the excellent ability to perform, sing, work the crowd and MD his musicians all at once.
Justin has also been able to use his vocal, composition & arranging talent for the Lords' work, having been brought up a NEW APOSTOLIC Christian, arranging for the churches' choirs & orchestras in Australia & the UK.
“J-Funk is a totally fresh, new artist and brings to us a solid sense of authority and grandeur that belies his youth and relative immediacy onto the scene” – Barry Towler: Soulchoonz album reviews.
J-Funk: R&B music ready to capture and enlighten your soul.
Meant To Be – J-Funk album release out now.