Justin grew up in the small New Mexico town of Hobbs listening to his dad sing and play country music and watching him play bass, acoustic guitar, and piano in church on Sunday mornings. He was also heavily influenced by his very supportive aunt and uncle, Sherman and Tammy Aten of Aten Ministries, who are very successful evangelical musicians. Justin was constantly exposed to the sounds of Merle Haggard, George Jones, Keith Whitley, George Strait, Brooks and Dunn, Garth Brooks, and all the greats of the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s country music scene. By the age of 11, Justin could often be found in his room with his dad’s acoustic guitar learning to play and switch between the basic chords. He was fascinated with the instrument, and for Christmas that year, Santa delivered Justin his first acoustic guitar. His parents often joke that he picked it up and has yet to put it down.
Justin began writing his own songs in high school. At first, he wasn’t too keen on the idea of singing in front of others; but once he allowed himself to be heard, his unique, powerful voice easily captivated all who listened. After high school, he worked briefly for a local surveying company all the while knowing in his heart that music was his passion. After a couple of years, his younger brother graduated high school and decided to go to South Plains College in Levelland, TX. With encouragement from his family to chase his dreams while he was young, Justin enrolled in the Commercial Music program at SPC.
It didn’t take long for Justin’s parents to begin receiving reassurance from the music staff at SPC that Justin should pursue a career as an entertainer. Justin thrived in the school’s ensembles and quickly got his first solo acoustic gig at a coffee shop in Lubbock playing for tips. He met some other student musicians, and along with is dad, David, formed the Justin Kemp Band to play his first paying gig for his cousin’s Quinceanera in Lovington, NM. It didn’t take long for word to get out and Justin Kemp Band was playing somewhere every weekend in Lubbock, Hobbs, and the surrounding areas, and over the next year, JKB began traveling all over Texas and Southeastern New Mexico.
Justin’s twin brother Cody and younger brother Cameron both help with promoting the band and selling merchandise. Cameron majored in Music Business at SPC and hopes to take over the management of the band from David in the future. Justin’s mom, Marla, plays a key role in promoting the band and keeping up with social media, marketing, designing desirable merchandise, and keeping the boys in line. JKB, which quickly grew into Kempire Productions, LLC, is a family business that is grounded in the Kemp’s Christian faith and a strong “family first” conviction. Justin has often said that he doesn’t care if he ever becomes rich or famous; as long as he’s making a living, having fun, and doing what he loves with who he loves, that’s all that matters.