Justin Holmes‘ path from military service to emerging as a rising country music artist is a perfect example of how life can surprise you when you follow your dreams.
Growing up in Paducah, Kentucky, Holmes was exposed to a variety of musical styles, but it was the authenticity and storytelling of country music that resonated the most with him. Going back all the way to his high school days, he couldn’t resist playing his guitar and sharing his voice with his friends.
Music wasn’t the path he chose right after gradation, however. Instead, Holmes decided to enlist in the military. Joining the United States Air Force at 18 provided him structure and discipline, and it eventually lead him to be stationed in Cheyenne, Wyoming— a place deeply enriched in country music culture. During his time there, he was surrounded by fellow servicemen who shared his passion for the genre. Within this, Holmes found a supportive community where he could embrace his musical skills while he served.
Initially, Holmes had envisioned serving in the military for four years and then attending college at Middle Tennessee State University for a music producing and recording program. However, life took a different turn when he got married, had children, and, due to the nature of military life, found himself moving around frequently, even stationed in Korea at one point. He ended up serving for 14 years.
With the idea of pursuing a music career lingering in his mind, Holmes found himself uncertain about the next step to take. It wasn’t until receiving encouragement from his wife during a pivotal moment in Las Vegas that Holmes mustered the courage to share his music more publicly through social media platforms. The incredible response to his cover videos, especially one featuring a Keith Whitley song that went viral in 2017, highlighted his raw talent and ignited a spark of possibility for his musical journey.
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Continuing to share his music with the world, Holmes persisted in posting his songs to the followers he had gained. Despite the demands of his full-time job and military duties, Holmes began to embrace the desire for a music career, particularly following the success of his original song “Damn Addiction” in 2022.
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Now, gearing up for the debut of his first ever studio recording, he is ready to embark on a fresh chapter in his career, going in full-force to see where his talent and dedication might lead him in the realm of country music. As a proud veteran, Holmes continues to honor his military roots while pursuing his passion for music with the type of authenticity that made him fall in love with Country music in the first place. From serving his country to being signed to Country Rebel Records and now releasing his first studio recording, titled “Drink You Down,” Justin Holmes is undoubtedly a name to watch for in the country music scene.