The Pensive Songwriter: From The Beginning

I met Justin Youngk in my first semester at Colorado State University. We were taking the same Creative Writing class and we often critiqued each other’s writings. His writing is for The Thinker, the one willing to sit and ponder it for awhile. His songwriting is same. His music is written with thoughtful lyrics and song titles, such as “Mediation and Pornography”, which may shock a few people. Youngk’s mild manner and soft voice gives no hint at his bizarre song titles either. I was able to sit down with him for a few interviews about his songwriting process, writing with others and being a student at CSU.

The Video

This video you are about to watch is Justin Youngk talking about being a student at CSU. It is integrated with some footage of his open mike night at Bean Cycle in Fort Collins.


The Podcast

Youngk and I sat down for one of our interviews in a CSU coffeeshop. I thought it gave the interview an atmosphere which is often missing in a sterile studio. Youngk was the best test subject for this type of interview because he is patient and willing to try almost anything. This is the first ever Coffeehouse Interviews.


More Questions and Answers

Question: What gave you the desire to create music?

Youngk: My friend Saja, who I got to know through taking her guitar/vocal lessons, prompted me to write a song. I went home and got to it and came to find I really enjoyed it and I’ve been writing ever since.

Question: What is your writing process for a song?

Youngk: I usually start a song out with a chord(s) that get me wound up—something that moves me. Sometimes I’ll work out the instrumental portion before writing lyrics, and sometimes I’ll write the lyrics as I work out the chords and structure of the song.

Question: How do you know when it is done?

Youngk: I get tired of it.

Question: What does the future look like, in regards to music? What do you want to accomplish?

Youngk: More music hopefully. Lately, I feel I’ve been a bit disengaged with my guitar playing music, but this sort of thing isn’t anything new really. I’d like to record an album and continue performing, and I may be in a band here soon.

Question: And the final question. What is up with the provocative song titles?

Youngk: I don’t know, I think they’re fun and exciting.

The Photos

The majority of these photos were produced using Adobe Premiere and a few were taken with a mobile phone by Cole Turner.

The Complex Songwriter
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Fort Collins City Park concert for one.
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Performing at Bean Cycle
The Audience
Justin Youngk giving his all.
Cole Turner, CSU student said, “He (Youngk) was the best of the night.”
The Glow of After



Thank you to all who helped with this project. Justin Youngk you are a willing subject. Cole Turner you the second best barista. CSU for the equipment.