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VSU graduate mixes classical violin with upbeat hip-hop

Former VSU graduate Justin Monday is striving to make a name for himself in the orchestra world as he has found a way to incorporate hip-hop into his musical performances.

Monday, 29-years-old, was raised in Decatur, Ga., with his older brother before making his way to Valdosta, where he majored in music education and violin performance at VSU. He graduated in 2006.

Monday has been playing the violin for 17 years and piano for 15 years.

While attending VSU, he studied under Nina Lutz, string area chair at VSU.

Originally, he was dedicated to playing saxophone.

However, one of his teachers gave him reasons why he should quit playing it, including the fact that there is much competition among sax players.

Monday used to be a member of “The Exchange,” an acoustic band under the direction of Michael Coons.

He joined the band when it formed in 2010.

He currently plays with Sean Newberry, a guitarist, and Adam Hopper, a bass player. The trio performs under the name Justin Monday.

His lyrics are about topics such as partying, living life and even discovering that a girl has cheated. He is all about the enjoyment of life.

“You only get one life to live, so why not just have fun?” Monday asked.

His inspirations include Itzhak Perlman, a violinist, and Boyd Tinsley, an American violinist for the Dave Matthews Band.

Monday is aiming to be an inspiration himself with his music, but there is also another goal.

“The goal is not only to inspire, but [I] want to be among the elites,” he said.

Along with playing with his band, he is also an orchestra teacher at Chapel Hill Middle School in Decatur, Ga. He’s been teaching there for three years.

Before joining the Chapel Hill staff, he taught at Cedar Grove Middle in Decatur for three years.

His band is currently awaiting the release of his music video in mid-March for his song, “It’s Like This.”

“Our EP will be coming out in April,” Monday said. “The goal after the EP comes out [is that] we will keep trying to take over the Atlanta scene then go south.”

They plan on touring colleges including VSU and Georgia Southern in the future. After, they will head to more places including Florida, Alabama and Tennessee.

“It will definitely be exciting to come back to Valdosta and play,” Monday said. “I played a few times in the bars when I was in college so it will definitely be fun to do it again.”

For more from Justin Monday like him on his Facebook and check out his Twitter.

To hear more from Justin Monday, check out his Youtube Page

His recent single“It’s Like This” is out now on iTunes!!

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