CHECK OUT LEAMINGTON’S JUSTIN LATAM & THE STRIDE ALL THIS WEEK ON THE #SPOTLIGHT – HEARD DAILY AT 9:30 DURING XS MORNINGS WITH JAY & ROBYN!
99.1 is leaning into Justin Latam & The Stride all this year! The new single “Lean Into It” is available now!
The new track is the latest release from the Leamington foursome, fresh off the heels of their CD release party this past weekend. Latam says “Lean Into It” is all about embracing the strange and the weird within.
The new album “Ampersand Jam” is also officially available now.
A series of releases over the course of the last couple of years have kept Latam & The Stride busy. “Stride On” tells the story of the band, thus far. Born just prior to the pandemic, The Stride was hitting stride just as the world his pause. Sometimes feeling like “Stray Dogs” (another recent single), Latam and company have continued to pluck away at the “Low Hanging Fruit” (available now!), even if they “Don’t Know Jack!” (but they do, don’t worry, that’s just the name of another recent release).
Born and raised in Leamington, Justin Latam (known locally as the “barefoot musician”) has been charming audiences for more nearly two decades.
In 2015, he left his day job (and shoes) behind to follow a path as working singer-songwriter. At the end of a last coffee house shift as barista, the shoes came off, the bare feet came out, and he hasn’t looked back since.
It was a risky move. Justin and his wife have five children and leaving a steady job meant he would have to work tirelessly at music. From 2015 on, the barefoot musician’s been juggling music and family, playing 100+ shows/year. 2015 also saw the release of his album “Barefoot”. Funding for the album came from a “Barefoot In Your House Tour”, where he played in fan’s homes. The album charted on Canadian campus radio. This was followed by his acoustic-based EP, “Six” which he promoted on his Ontario Tour 2018.
Latam has many influences that have helped him find his sound, among them; the Beatles, Leonard Cohen, Simon and Garfunkel, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, Joni Mitchell, and Crosby, Stills Nash and Young. He was exposed to much of this music as an infant, when his parents played their records…without turning the volume down. From these sources, Justin offers up barefoot-stomping music with honest heart and soul, blending folk, rock, blues, jazz and pop into a down-to-earth, up-beat sound.
The lyrics of his songs range from exploration of everyday life, love and family, interpreting local folk history and Canadiana, and thoughtful introspection. Justin tours regularly across Ontario, playing festivals, house concerts, breweries, wineries, bars, restaurants and beyond. Festival appearances have included; the Kingsville Folk Music Festival (ON), The Gathering (NL), Niagara Pride Fest (ON), Windsor-Essex Pride Fest (ON), Leamington Tomato Fest (ON), Ruthven Apple Fest (ON), and Squirrel Fest (ON). He’s also made several trips down to Nashville, playing writer’s rounds, Canadian showcases, and furthering his craft through workshops.
As a child, Justin remembers discovering his dad’s old sketches and silk screens in their shed. To provide for his family, his dad boxed-up his artistic dreams when he had kids and got a steady job. Then, when Justin was 10 years old, his dad lost his job. He turned this obstacle into an opportunity to rediscover his art and turned art into his job as a full-time silk-screener, photographer and sign-maker. His experience and example instilled in Justin the drive to pursue music, with the hopes to inspire his children to follow their own paths, whatever they may be.
When he’s not out somewhere making music, Justin is a family man, spending time with his large crew. His wife is an amazing woman who believes and encourages him. When his head is in the clouds, she reminds him to keep his bare feet on the ground.