Leah Justine is 419 Record’s Flagship Artist. Her life’s unfolding experiences demonstrate accomplishments and success already well deserved. Not stated at all lightly, she is energetic, loving and caring, confident, sensible and creative and gives the best of all her talents.
Leah grew up with a love of music. She was born and raised in Tacoma, WA in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. As a 90’s baby, she watched animated Disney movies that first sparked her love of storytelling through singing. Her family, varied in their music interests, exposed her to a wide range of genres and provided the opportunity for her to receive training in both vocal and dance and to perform at various venues.
In school, Leah was gifted in math and science and excelled in both. Graduating from high school, the time arrived for her to choose a course of further education. Leah had always wanted to be singer but she wasn’t certain how to accomplish the goal and to have a successful life as a singer. It was her passion, but it seemed to be an ambiguous and unknown path. It was a difficult decision in her life. She enjoyed music and was always excited to perform. Leah also wanted to become an independent woman, capable of financially caring for herself.
Leah found a way to do both but gave the practical more emphasis. She accepted a four year full tuition academic scholarship to the University of Southern California, majoring in engineering. She was a magna cum laude graduate from the Viterbi School of Engineering, earning a B.S. in Industrial & Systems Engineering.
In between her engineering classes at the University, Leah filled her schedule with classes from the Musical Theater minor. She studied with several amazing professors, including Kelly Ward (Putzie, from “Grease”). Leah continued to be cast in musical theater productions throughout college and participated in local Miss America pageants during her four year stay in California.
After graduating from the University of Southern California and while working in the field of her major, Leah managed to find time to continue with music and perform, giving the best of her abilities in both.
During the last ten years, Leah has worked for the Department of Defense (DOD) as a Project Manager and has earned her Project Management Professional certification, as well as her Professional Engineering License. She manages extremely large multi-disciplinary teams through all phases of the project life cycle and has been trusted to manage several of the region’s highest profile projects.
The honors received for the work Leah has accomplished following her graduation reflect her work ethic, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Seattle District New Employee of the Year (2011); U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Seattle District Project Manager of the Year (2014 & 2018); U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Northwestern Division Project Manager of the Year (2019).
In 2013, Leah had what she can only describe as a spiritual revival and epiphany during the Watershed Country Music Festival at the Gorge Amphitheater in her beautiful home state of Washington. Standing in the pit, the music took her to another place, gave her such joy that she knew in that moment all she wanted to do was sing country music with a live band.
She was enthusiastic to deliver that feeling and magic to other people and to connect with others through storytelling and experiences, sharing her energy and giving the gift of feeling, release and glee to others. Although she was beginning to make a name for herself in the regional musical theater scene, she decided to stop auditioning for and pursuing musical theater so that she could have the time and space to pursue country music. In 2014, Leah auditioned for the regional country band $5 Fine and earned the lead singer slot.
Leah was making progress learning “how” to sing and perform country music, opening for acts like Andy Griggs, Jimmie Allen, King Callaway, James Otto and Love & Theft. Other opportunities followed when Leah met Bryan Wayne Perry, who recognized her talent and has worked on her behalf for the past three years. Leah shared, “His passion is beyond anything I’ve known before. I am grateful to have his confidence and belief.”
In 2017 Leah performed at the world famous Pendleton Round-Up & Rodeo where she met Mark and Jennifer Keith. It was a brief encounter, but Jennifer and Leah bonded. They were two like-minded and down to earth female professionals, who shared a love of country music. Jennifer is a strong professional who owns, operates, and is the head Nurse Practitioner at her own Wellness Centers in Pendleton & the Tri-Cities.
In June 2019, Mark Keith booked Leah to perform a concert in Oregon, and Mark and Jennifer invited Leah and her band to stay with them at their home during their time there. They shared mutual interests and values, learning more about each others diverse careers and what was important to each of them. It was the start of a new direction in their lives. They were excited about working together to present a new music culture designed around wellness and hemp awareness for the greater good of mankind. During the following six months a team was formed leading to the launching of 419 Records LLC.
“Relationships matter most,” remarked Leah. “Without good people and meaningful connections, life really doesn’t have a lot of meaning. Time isn’t infinite. You have to prioritize. I used to believe that I could do everything I wanted to do. As I grew older, I realized there wasn’t enough time in the day to do everything I wanted to and do it all. We have to make a conscious effort to do what is most important to us.”
In December 2019, Leah recorded her first album for 419 Records. Her debut 10 song CD was recorded at Direct Image Studios under the direction of Multi-Platinum Producer Kenny Royster in Nashville, Tennessee. Leah co-wrote four songs on her album. “The first song she co-wrote was, “If Momma Only Knew.”
About the experience, Leah said, “Working with Kenny was a creative experience that went beyond what I ever thought would be possible in a studio setting. I learned so much as a vocalist and as an artist in the short week spent with him. I was instantly able to apply to the creative process.
Kenny is the most patient and caring producer. He took the time to let me listen, explore and try new things. He guided me and pushed me beyond my comfort zone, all the while giving me the reassurance that I needed to deliver a confident performance. This album, and my vocals, would not be what it is today without his creative genius behind it.“
About Leah, Kenny Royster said, “Leah is an awesome talent. She has the rare ability to sing a very intense and dynamic vocal , and then on the next song have all the intimacy to convey that emotion also. She has all the technical and emotional skills to compete in a modern day singer’s world.”
Simultaneously bubbly and no nonsense, Leah finds joy in performing and connecting with others through country music, sharing stories that lighten the heart. She likes simple pleasures, doesn’t take herself too seriously and strives to find and be the positive in the world.