We only have us, that’s all that matters, the male singer in “Are You Ready” from Justin Murta, featuring Charlie Barrale, Ovylarock, sings. The buildup and the tinkling keys in the music bed fall like stars from the sky. Seattle’s Murta places the listener in a moment of time that feels like gravity has stopped and all that exists is his world, locked inside a globe. Choppy beats diced into soothing guitar rhythms are just par for the course in Murta’s serendipitous creation.
In his youth, Murta studied violin. His classical music training comes through in the music bed, with the instrumentation (along with the electrical mixes) telling their own story through rhythm. He moved into hip hop and performed in a group called Rebelz, as well as being named one of Seattle’s Emerging Artist Award winners in 2003, the group formed the HipHop Handbook series. For the last 13 years, though, Murta has successfully amassed a large following due in part to his performances in 34 countries and across five continents. Now back in the United States, his Seattle gigs include roles as a resident DJ for the local NBC affiliate (KING-TV) and the online series, The DJ Sessions on ITV. “Are You Ready” is from Murta’s debut album, Fairytale, that dropped May 2020.
For a dance track, the lyrics have depth. I was surprised. The song, from what I gather, is about taking the next step and not letting the past dictate this couple’s future. The male voice sings can’t be lonely, if only, we both only have each other…are you ready, are you ready to take control of our lives. He continues are you ready to open your eyes. A softness in his voice, eager but not aggressive, is oddly comforting. His voice is perfect for the tone and the feel of this song. It’s the equivalent of having a teen idol on a pop track – it’s a chance for younger listeners to crush on the vocals. As a listener, I wouldn’t want a baritone voice on this track, it would be off putting. Murta’s vocal choice hits a homerun.
The background music is killer. A Spanish-style guitar, dominoe-ing across a moving canvass is like a cozy blanket. I was surprised at the ebb and flow of the music, with such an organic sounding guitar and the electrical/computerized music bed, it meshed very well together. The dynamic is all encompassing. I felt like I was drowning (in a good way) in a summery soundtrack. “Are You Ready” has a structure that feels very solid, very tight. Still, I felt very loose and energized by the sound. Murta’s skillset, and classical music background throws off any indicators that he’s just a DJ pressing buttons and hoping things match. He proves the artistry behind DJ and MC work. I don’t think the song would have the movement and the emotional connection it creates if not for his violin background. Just as violin can lead to tears, “Are You Ready” makes the heart skip a few beats faster.
The music of Justin Murta has been heard all over the world in partnership with the radio plugging services offered by Musik and Film Radio Promotions Division. Learn more https://musikandfilm.com