Tell me a little bit about yourself..
My name is Justin Griffith, but most people know me as GOAT, which stands for Grades Of Absolute Truth. I’m an elementary music teacher by day, and an extremely active musician every other minute. I’ve been teaching since 2005. I’m literally addicted to music and I love kiddos, so teaching made perfect sense to me. I’m heavily involved in Dallas’ music scene and feel like it’s a HUGE part of me.
As you have grown within your talent, what inspires you to create?
My inspiration comes from living this crazy life. Multiple things happen everyday that spark some type of thought that may eventually become a song or be a part of a song. Inspiration is crawling everywhere you look, just gotta pay attention. Those little moments that seem magical have to be documented somehow and as musicians and artists, it’s our job to do it.
How long have you been producing your craft and why did you begin this form of expression?
It’s hard to say how long I’ve been developing my craft because it’s been almost a life-long thing. I’ve been told that I used to recognize songs within the first few notes of hearing them since I was a young child. I received my first guitar when I was in 5th grade and began taking lessons immediately. I sang formally in a choral setting from 7th grade all the way until I graduated college. I played guitar, bass, and sang in rock, blues, and metal bands from junior high until my second year of college. I studied classical voice at the University of North Texas in Denton from 2002-2005, then graduated from there with a Bachelor of Music degree with a minor in education. I started experimenting with solo stuff around 1999. My first big show as a solo artist was in 2004 and my first official solo release was in 2006. Now I’m sharing what I know about music with students and what I’ve learned about life with audiences through music, so you can say that I’ve dedicated my life to it. I began music as a form of expression because I needed an outlet. I started writing poetry and lyrics when I was 13 to get things off my chest. Although I had a great family life, I went through dark times as an adolescent and still deal with those battles today. My Mom has said before that music saved my life and I agree without a fraction of doubt.
What do you ultimately want to accomplish with your talent?
My ultimate goal has always been to make a living from music. In a sense, I’ve accomplished that through teaching. At this point, I strive to continue stepping up the ladder of success by building a larger regional and national following through regular performances and creative releases. I’ve had a plan to work on recording projects throughout the school year, then hit the road to promote and tour during the summer. I’ve had a small amount of success with putting that into motion already, but I plan to build it up more. On a more personal level, I want to make a difference. I crave making positive impacts on other people’s lives and I feel like it’s my calling to do it through music.
Outside of your artistry, what other interests do you have?
The majority of my interests are linked to music somehow. I’m into audio engineering, mixing, mastering, graphic design, video editing, promotions, marketing, event planning, leadership, and philanthropy. Love to play basketball, cook, camp, shoot guns, and spend time with my peoplez too.
What was your first experience with ArtLoveMagic?
My first experience with ArtLoveMagic was in 2008 at South Side on Lamar. I attended girlShow and was blown away. A friend of mine had a table set up to raise funds for breast cancer and I was mainly comin’ out to support her. At that time, I was in the process of launching H4 (Hip Hop Helps Heal). I met Michael Lagocki that night and invited him to the first ever H4 meeting. I wanted to involve ArtLoveMagicians in our breast cancer benefit show. Since then, I’ve been involved in multiple ALM shows and have a huge amount of respect for their movement. They. Freakin’. Rock.
What web address can one go to to view more of what you do?
You can find out more about me, my music, videos, and show calendar at musicbygoat.com.
How can someone contact you?
If you wanna drop me a line, ask a specific question, or book me for a house party, an event, or a personal performance, hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org.