Justin Trawick and Scout Niblett


Editorial Review


Location: Leesburg

Sounds Like: O.A.R., Jason Mraz, G. Love & Special Sauce

Being laid off isn't generally considered a good career move, but then again, nobody writes songs about their 401(k), right? That's how Leesburg singer-songwriter Justin Trawick looks at it.

The 27-year-old lost his job with a digital performance royalties firm in November, which gave him the push he needed to pursue a music career full time. The experience led him to write "Starting Over," a raw rumination on facing life's hardest lessons that became the title track for his latest five-song EP.

"It was always a hard idea for me to sit down and go, 'Man, I'm just going to quit this,' on my own," Trawick said. "Ultimately, [being laid off] was the best thing that ever happened to me, because I don't know if I was going to be able to make that decision on my own."

Trawick is on pace to play 100 to 150 shows in 2009, a busy schedule that includes monthly appearances in Washington, Alexandria and Richmond. He also hosts the Nine at DC9, a quarterly singer-songwriter showcase that he hopes to expand to other cities along the Eastern Seaboard.

"Who knows if I'm succeeding, but it's definitely something I'm trying to do," Trawick said. "My goal originally was to make a big name for myself in D.C. ... And now my goal for 2009 is to transfer that success to other cities like Richmond and Baltimore and Philly and New York -- just do it the hard way."

-- Alex Baldinger (March 13, 2009)