For this blog post, I want to highlight one of the artists that helped shape my late high school/early college years. His voice is incredible, and everything he stands for is admirable. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet this man twice, and he is just as nice as you would expect. This week, I’ll tell you all about Brian Justin Crum.
Brian Justin Crum rose to fame on America’s Got Talent back in 2016. He came out on the stage for his audition and revealed that he was bullied for being gay and wanting to pursue his dreams of being a singer, and he blew everyone away throughout the competition, coming in fourth overall. He was invited back to ‘America’s Got Talent: The Champions’ back in 2019 and continued to prove that he was a force to be reckoned with in the music industry.
For his audition, BJC sang ‘Somebody to Love’ by Queen. As soon as he starts singing, you can hear the power he holds in his vocals, basically giving you his story over the course of the audition. He took his own creative liberties with the song, adding in some stellar runs at the of the song that even got Simon Cowell on his feet. His vocal control and precision are things I wish I had, even though I sing solely as a hobby.
His standout performance during AGT has to be his rendition of ‘Creep’ by Radiohead. Sung in the second round of the competition, BJC left the audience in tears, holding out the notes in the song to a point which seems impossible. This performance further solidified that he was a top competitor on the show. Digital Journal wrote that BJC’s performance “was filled with raw emotions, and sung with a lot of heart,” which could not be more true (2016). After his season ended, BJC released a full version of Creep that still makes me cry to this day.
Since his run on America’s Got Talent, Brian Justin Crum has released countless singles, my favorite of which being ‘I & U’. This song is the perfect summer driving banger. Its upbeat rhythms and perfect melodies make it the ideal song to roll down your windows for. I remember hearing this song for the first time and jamming out like crazy, and I bet it will make you do the same.
Another one of BJC’s recent hits is ‘Circles’, which he released the day after his run on ‘AGT: The Champions’ ended. The Huffington Post put it perfectly when they wrote that “Brian Justin Crum reminds us that love is a battlefield” with this song (2019). He describes the endless cycles of a rocky romance he experienced throughout the piece, mentioning that he “learned so much from that circle and [he’s] better because of it” (Wong, 2019). His vocals continue to prove that he is a treasure.
As I mentioned before, I’ve been fortunate enough to meet Brian Justin Crum twice. The first time was back in 2018, when he came to perform as part of a production in Bucks County, PA. He sang his audition version of ‘Somebody to Love’ and his version of ‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World’ from AGT as well. After the show ended, I made my way towards the stage and got to talk to him for a while, giving him several hugs and thanking him for using his voice to make a difference in this industry.
The second encounter we had was in California, when I scored a VIP ticket to his performance at the Catalina Jazz Club. I made my way over to the venue after a long day at work, and I managed to get a great seat for the performance. He performed his newer singles, some other classic hits (Oops! I Did it Again was a HIT), and I finally got to see him perform Creep live. That performance is one I will remember forever, and after the set finished, I got the chance to talk to him again. As I walked up to him, he said “Hi! We’ve met!” and I was absolutely floored that he remembered me. Once again, we exchanged several hugs and I thanked him for another amazing performance.
If you haven’t heard of Brian Justin Crum before reading this, I highly suggest you listen to his own songs and AGT performances. He is one of the hidden talents in this generation of music, and with everything he stands for, he deserves the recognition he has received and then some.