Sometimes you mess up, and a relationship ends. And even though it’s over, you’ve been okay with that, until one day, out of nowhere, that old flame starts haunting your daydreams. Delving deep into this type of deliciously torturous mental scenario is Canadian singer/songwriter Justin Maki and his new single and video, “Close To You” — available now.
A jazzy pop-funk cocktail, “Close To You” tells the story of catching sight of a former lover in a bar, and playing the stare-look away game. The song begins with a guitar riff nearly identical to the iconic opener of Prince’s “Kiss,” and it could very well be an intentional choice on Maki’s part, for he’s about to spend the entirety of the song trying to convince the woman to give him some of her extra time.
Let’s get out of this place
Will you stay?
Will you stay?
I don’t mean to impose
I just want to be, let me
Close to You
His persuasion is lighthearted, playful, and punctuated by groove-inducing bass, lush guitars, saturated synths, and decidedly danceable beats. To up the element of fun, there’s even a portion in one of the final repetitions of the chorus where Maki (purposely) squawks out the lyric like a teenage boy and then says “oops.”
The song was written back in 2016, when Maki was at his grandparents’ house during a short trip home for a family celebration. “Being away from my hometown of St. Thomas, Ontario inspired me to dream of what it would be like to be on tour, and how that might take a toll on a romantic relationship,” he said. “I imagined a situation where I came back from a tour, only to stumble across a previous lover at a certain club in my university town of London, Ontario.”
Thinking of how she might notice him, but ignore him, “I imagined pursuing her and eventually catching her attention,” Maki explains. “I then imagined trying to convince her to pick up where we left off.”
The song purposely does not provide closure, but leaves the ending ambiguous and open to interpretation. “Generally, this is a song about unrequited love,” he shares, “which, probably everyone has experienced, but to me it means something more personal.”
Justin Maki is a “Flirtatious Jazz-Pop” artist out of London, Ontario. He is the FCLMA’s 2021 “Pop Artist of the Year” and Top 8 in The Shot Canada. Japan born and Canada bred, Justin’s music carefully draws influence from R&B, Soul, Funk, and Jazz and packages it in an accessible Pop format; imagine blending Allen Stone, John Mayer, Bruno Mars, and Robin Thicke. He hopes that his music facilitates a joyful escape for all who choose to listen.
“Close To You” is available now.