Unplugged II was an open mic venue that Fraley ran for a little over ten months, and was the only the venue that came with a twist. Fraley would post a discussion question on Facebook that would encourage people who weren’t poets or artists to come to the venue to participate in an open discussion.
By ReGINA “G STYL” CRAWFORD
It’s been two years since we’ve talked with Justin Fraley, so it was time that that CP2 caught up with him about what he has been doing artistically. He has a new CD, titled “Elements,” available for purchase, and has appeared in the hit stage plays written and produced by Philly Weeden. You may know him as an erotic poet from his previous projects; however, his current projects are showing the depth of his artistry and allowing you see the various dimensions that he possesses as a man in today’s society.
“In the beginning I got kind of stereotyped and thrown in a box as a lady’s man, and erotic poetry. That’s all well and fine but there are other elements to me, so henceforth the title and the different content, different music, more upbeat, more energy. I just wanted to deliver those other elements of myself.” stated Fraley about his latest project, Elements, which was released in January and can be purchased on iTunes. “Elements is broken up into three parts. It’s Self, then it’s Hip-Hop, then it’s Inner Focus [Thought],” was how Fraley described his latest project. “Self is like with the Andromeda and the three sides. For instance I had two relationships, and in both of those relationships I lost my sense of self trying to help somebody else find them,” he continued. “[I talk] about how important it is to spend time with yourself and get to know yourself before you can give yourself to somebody else, and that’s an important element of any relationship,” he added. “Thought is kind of becoming obsolete. People don’t think and then act,” he further added, about the content of the album. As far as what his plans are for gaining momentum for the album, he stated, “I’ve got a strong promotion plan for that album, booking some venues to actually perform that album, and I have a lot of features on that album so I want to make sure that everyone is working hand-in-hand.”
Unplugged II was an open mic venue that Fraley ran for a little over ten months, and was the only the venue that came with a twist. Fraley would post a discussion question on Facebook that would encourage people who weren’t poets or artists to come to the venue to participate in an open discussion. “As much as I love social media, I hate it the same,” began Fraley. “It has fully evaporated what we know as communication to the fullest. So I wanted to create an avenue where people could talk, literally. I can see you, and we can go back and forth,” he continued. “The venue was small enough where we could have a discussion and didn’t have to do the talk show thing of pass the mic,” he adds. “The things people talk about on social media, I feel like they get filtered out because it’s just words. You don’t know the tone, you don’t know the meaning, the definition behind it, and with words on the screen we go so much back and forth with content and the explanation of it that we miss the point of what’s being talked about. So I wanted to get back to kind of the root of just talking,” he further explained. Just to give you some background on Fraley, he has a degree in Marriage and Family and works with children via Job and Family Services, so he has a vested interest in communication and things that impact how we interact with each other socially.
As well as being a poet/spoken word artist, Fraley has branched out into acting. He has appeared in the first two installments of the plays created by Philly Weeden, and began appearing in the third installment that hit the stage May 4. “I’ve been knowing Philly since we were like fifteen years old, and he approached me about the part and I was all game,” stated Fraley on how he came to be a cast member in the plays. “With performing and doing music and things like that, it all ties together,” explained Fraley about his first foray into a full-fledged stage production. “When you’re on stage and you’re performing and you have lyrics and you’re trying to convey a message to the crowd, it’s all about trying to get them to feel what you’re saying and not necessarily hear what you’re saying. So it’s the way you do it, not necessarily what you say,” he elaborated.
Along with appearing in the plays, Fraley also had some of his original work incorporated into the scripts for the first two productions. “In the first play, I did one of my own, which was ‘Courting.’ He gave me the layout and we went through the script, and I felt like, based on what the script was about and the message that was being put forth, that Courting was the best one to fit in that one,” explained Fraley on how his poem was incorporated into the first play. “In the second play, in that scene he thought he had it all figured out about what women want and that he didn’t have to do anything as far as a man goes, so I wrote something specific for that,” he further explained about his poem that appears in the second installment.
Fraley also creates beats and produces projects for other artists. “As far as other artists are concerned, Bianca Michele is scheduled to drop her first EP which I produced,” he stated on other projects he’s been involved in musically. “I’m really excited about that one because that was kinda my first hands-on creation for somebody else where it was from top to bottom,” he continues about that project. “From song one all the way through where nothing was a forethought, it was just like let’s get in here and create. So we did that over about the span of a year and a half,” he added.
You can keep up with Fraley on Twitter at @jfpoetic, on Reverbnation.com/JustinFraley, on Facebook.com/FraleyJ, and by searching for Justin Fraley on YouTube. We expect to see bigger and better things coming from this young man.