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Bloomfield College CAT Student Announces Debut Album, Listening Party

bloomfield college, creative arts student

By Alicia Cook

Bloomfield College Creative Arts & Technology Student, Justin Roberts ’17 will soon release his debut album, Soul Stories Volume 1: Songs about Love.

Roberts, who records and performs under the name "Justin Charles," composed, produced, arranged, recorded, and engineered the six-track EP.  He will celebrate this accomplishment with a listening party on Friday, May 5, 2017. The event on campus will run 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Admission is free and open to both the Bloomfield College community and the public. Attendees must RSVP.

The singer/songwriter/producer will graduate in May with a degree in Music Technology. Roberts was attracted immediately to Bloomfield College’s CAT division four years ago, noting that he was “blown away” by the Division’s music program. A legacy student, Roberts was initially introduced to Bloomfield College by his mother, an alumna of the College.

“I had no idea there was a program like this so close to home,” said Roberts, a 2013 graduate of West Orange High School. “My passion to create has always been in me. I love the way music makes me feel. I want to be able to inspire people like how I’ve been inspired by my favorite musicians.”

Music Technology students obtain a solid understanding of music theory and production and have the opportunity to work with state-of-the-art equipment and software.

Soul Stories Volume 1: Songs about Love took Roberts three years to complete and will serve as his capstone project, a final, major independent project undertaken by senior CAT students under the supervision of departmental faculty. The intention is to create a work that will become part of the student's portfolio. Students are expected to be able to use their capstone project to market themselves after graduation.

Roberts plans to upload Soul Stories Volume 1: Songs about Love to Spotify, iTunes, Bandcamp, and many other streaming services available to independent artists.

“I really want to introduce myself as an artist and a producer, as someone new in the Industry who is professional and building his resume,” said Roberts. “I want to let people know that I am here.”

Roberts, who maintains a 3.5 GPA, has been busy building his resume and portfolio. Since 2014, he has worked as a Music Lab Assistant in the CAT Division, maintaining equipment, helping people who were recording, and responding to booking emails. Additionally, with help with his mentor and capstone advisor, Toriono Gandy, Music Technology Facilities Manager, he interned last summer with Music Works in Uptown Manhattan, assisting in their social media marketing and management. Most recently, Roberts was prominently featured in the College’s first student theatrical production, This Is! We Are!: Acts of Resistance. Currently, he produces the Madison Jaye Show on iTunes.

With graduation less than one month away, Roberts looks back at his time at Bloomfield College fondly and looks forward to his future.

“It’s so surreal. Time has moved so fast,” he reflected.  “I am very excited, nervous, all those feelings. It has been a long road, I’m happy. I didn’t picture this for myself, so it’s a blessing.”

The listening party for Soul Stories Volume 1: Songs about Love will be held in the Center for Technology + Creativity’s Black Box Studio (Room 117).