We had the good fortune of connecting with Justin Langham and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Justin, why did you pursue a creative career?
There are a variety of reasons why I chose in a career in the arts, whether it is the array of amazing people I get to work with, traveling and interacting with different cultures, and the unique opportunities of creative expression. However, the I remember clearly deciding that it was what I wanted to do when I was a kid when my parents first decided to enroll my twin brother and I into private music lessons. We were both preparing to enter middle school; I took guitar for a little while, and then piano, and I remember liking music fine but not taking to it as passionately as I eventually did. I actually remember very vividly only choosing band because I was so shy and did not want to take sports with the other kids! About a year later, something changed, and I remember asking my parents to start taking private music lessons again, this time with a local college professor. I also began imagining music and attempting to scribbling down musical ideas all over my school notebooks, most of which I still have to this day. Among it all, the clearest memory of all that was watching movies as a young kid, and being drawn to the way the music would intensify the emotions being conveyed on-screen. It is a feeling most people can relate to, and that began my fascination with the power that all types of music have in affecting emotions. I remember thinking that from that point on, what I wanted to do more than anything was to use my own music to move people the way music moved me. Affirmation came further a few years later in high school. I I was talking to a seasoned professional in the field and asked them, “how do I know if I should decide to go into a career in the arts?” They responded by asking, “well, do you see yourself doing anything else?” to which I responded a firm “not at all.” … I had my answer!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I share my field with many talented people, but I would say the thing that sets me apart is my versatility and willingness to explore other areas in the music world. I always want to learn as much as I can, not just about my main instrument as dictated by a degree, but looking at the broader musical landscape and allowing myself to learn and grow from it. Throughout my education and early career, it was clear to me that I never wanted to be lumped into one category, which can be easy in this field, but rather be known for my knowledge and ability to contribute in multiple disciplines. I remember being asked multiple times in my earlier education by mentors and friends, “what if you had to choose one thing to do?” to which I always responded, “I don’t have to.” A challenge that inherently comes with this decision is how to manage and decide how to spend time. I have often felt spread thin, and sometimes overwhelmed, but I feel that these moments are often opportunities to grow. Too much, however, is not always beneficial and is where decision making and time-management are crucial skills to practice. But however tough times can be, it is worth the effort!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I do not have to imagine this scenario, because I have shown family and friends around Houston many times, each time refining my selection of food, drink, and entertainment choices! I am by no means the only one in Houston, but I love Mexican food the most, so the first stop is usually either El Tiempo on Navigation (or Westheimer since it is down the street from my house) or Picos on Kirby. I also love to go to breakfast places like Empire Cafe in Montrose and happy hour places like Weights & Measures. If I want to take them somewhere a little more upscale, my first choices are Coltivare in the Heights and also Artisans in Midtown. Anyone who lives in Houston also knows that we are spoiled with so many great bars to choose from. A couple of my favorites include Anvil in Montrose, Public Services downtown, and because I spent part of this year living in Germany, I have been to King’s Bierhaus in the Heights a little more often lately. However, my favorite spot is undoubtedly Captain Foxheart’s Bad News Bar & Spirit Lounge, which is a hidden speakeasy downtown with a great view of the city from the second-floor balcony. I have a wide range of interests in entertainment choices, and will cater choices to whoever may be visiting. My first choices are going to the Houston Grand Opera and checking out the Museum of Fine Arts, as well as checking out any local performances by friends and colleagues around town. I also am a big sports fan, so I love taking friends and family to Rocket’s games and Top Golf!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Of course there are countless teachers and mentors that I have had the privilege to learn from so far, but I credit a lot of my success so far in my career to the strong connection I have to my family. I have always felt supported by parents and that they believed in me, even though going down a career path in the arts is far from secure. They never expressed opposition in paying for or driving me to all those lessons when I was a kid, nor when it became clear that I wanted to study music in college. My dad was always an example of a work ethic and drive that I wanted to emulate, my mom was, and still is, my biggest fan and supporter, and I was lucky enough to grow up around my grandparents who made sure to attend every concert or event that I participated in. I was also fortunate to have a close relationship with my twin brother growing up who has always made me want to be better.
Other: https://www.deuxvoixmusic.com https://www.instagram.com/deuxvoixmusic/ https://www.facebook.com/DeuxVoixMusic https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNHCpHb9xeZv40GXP0qrlIw?view_as=subscriber
Joe Center Space City Performing Arts Dance to Live Music Jeff Grass