A youthful and cheerful songwriter, Justina Shandler first and foremost describes herself as a “hair dye enthusiast who loves leftovers, spontaneous dance parties, the Enneagram, and laughing babies” — and being a singer-songwriter, of course. Despite this brief list not talking much about her music, it is in fact a perfect window into her creative world and the positive energy that successfully carries over to her music, too.
Her sound falls somewhere under the huge umbrella term known as pop, drawing similarities to anti-folk artist Regina Spektor and pop rock iconn Sara Bairelles. Her lively Disney princess-esque voice is contrasted by the themes she sings about, ranging from social activism to more intrapersonal topics such as grief and self-empowerment, all while maintaining an energizing and positive energy via her melodies.
Stamina, released on the seventeenth of December, is a song that’s gone through a journey as long as the one Justina sings about in the song, representing a different meaning to two Justinas of different ages and life experiences.
Stamina would be best described as a seemingly peaceful yet vivacious song, full of small ups and downs that are not distracting but keep bringing different paces and levels of energy.
The highlight of the song, if one is required to pick a favorite part from the overall piece, is the chorus and the sudden rush of excitement it brings with it. Particularly its end, which consists of a brief repetition of the sound “na” (as it is the final syllable of “stamina” and what follows the first mention of the title in the song), is as refreshing as the breeze on a non-smoldering summer day. Infinitely catchy, this part of the track will attract your attention from the second Justina raises her voice and pitch to the soft lull of na, na, na that eases you back into the rest of the song.
“Stamina was written about my endurance when it comes to chasing boys. I used to love the chase. Now that it’s been over a year since I wrote it, the meaning has shifted for me. Now – it’s about my resilience and relentless pursuit of truth and following the path that lights me up the most. I’m done writing about boys (for now). I’m stoked about this song because my style as a singer/songwriter isn’t often what one might call “sexy” – but this track (produced by Micah Cadis and Carlos Santos) is fire and makes me feel sexy as hell.”
Originally written about a romantic chase — a story of persevering when being interested in a guy and the joy that came with this playful phase, Stamina used to hold a more ingenuous and juvenile aura. A year later, as Justina has found new priorities, the track has grown alongside her, gaining a new sense of maturity and sensuality that replaces that more puppy love-like feeling. Still full of romance and mischief, Stamina can now also represent the general path of life and the tenacity it takes to continuously improve.
If you enjoyed Justina Shandler’s music and would like to stay updated, be sure to check out her official website. For social media you can follow her Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, accounts. To listen to her music, you can head over to her Spotify profile, Soundcloud, and Youtube channel, or you can purchase their music at Bandcamp.
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