New Jersey Stage 2017: Issue 6 - Page 51

tive religious upbringing. It was so stifling that he eventually had to choose music at the expense of losing his family, friends and community overnight. The dra- ma of that decision and the stark reality of his circumstance has found its way into the music on his brand new EP called Fiction of the Mind. On it, he skillfully shifts between indie rock, funk, Americana, blues, soul, and even hip hop while telling true stories of his fundamentalist upbringing clashing with rock star life. Cross has made a brave and conse- quence ridden decision to fol- low his dream. Too bad there’s people in his life that would cru- cify him for doing so... Southern California-based Meresha calls her style “alien mu- sic” and that’s appropriate mostly because she’s about to make her presence known just like the visi- tors in Close Encounters. That is, in a big, bold, colorful and musi- cal way. She’s a hybrid of dance and rock with a pleasing soulful throwback voice and she’s go- Watch a video for “Fiction of the Mind” by Justin Cross NJ STAGE 2017 - Vol. 4 No. 6 INDEX NEXT ARTICLE 51