Justin Fabus Abandons His Comfort Zone on ‘Remedy’
Justin Fabus was challenged in more ways than one when approaching his 2018 album Remedy.
Having written his previous two EPs solo, Fabus made it a point to work with other writers as a way to push himself to create the best material. Calling on songwriters Joe Henry, Dave Pahanish and Tony Lucca—who've collectively written for the likes of Madonna, Keith Urban, Rosanne Cash and Toby Keith—Fabus was ready to share his story in a vulnerable way.
"It definitely took me out of my comfort zone," he says of the soul-baring process. "It made me expand my horizons, really get in touch with things that I was afraid to write about in the past when it comes to personal things. I had all these emotions. I didn't want to write about those things that were bothering me and haunting me in my own mind."
His personal life truly became intertwined in the album when he learned that his mother had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer days before he was to enter the studio to cut the record. While the Pittsburgh-based country singer was ready to put music on hold in the wake of the news, his mother's selflessness inspired him to move forward with the project.
"She literally told me 'there's no slowing down, you've got to keep going,'" he recalls. "That was a big driving force behind the album and another reason why I had to make the best album I had to make."
He brought this mentality with him into the studio, remaining conscious of his desire to create art to the best of his ability. While he started the album-making process with a positive state of mind, the love songs and upbeat numbers he was writing at the time began to change form as his mother was undergoing treatment.
Remedy opened the doors for him to write about a variety of insightful topics, ranging from the obstacles of beginning a relationship with someone still damaged by a previous one on the title track; to recognizing that in spite of our differences, we all share the same purpose in life on "Understand," presenting these themes over blends of country, R&B, pop and rock.
"That's what I really enjoy about this album, it's so different. Every song sounds different and has a different feel, personality and a reality," he says. "I'll never write songs that I don't live or haven't experienced. I wanted to be as real as I could be."