Backbeat: Susan Justice @ Hollywood's Hotel Cafe
Backbeat: Susan Justice @ Hollywood's Hotel Cafe

Capitol introduced singer/songwriter/guitarist Susan Justice to an intimate gathering of media tastemakers at Hollywood's Hotel Café (Jan. 10). Singing several selections from her March 27 Kite Records/Capitol debut, "Eat Dirt," Justice won the group over with a collage of folk/pop/rock entwined with deeply personal yet relatable lyrics about life, including the title track/lead single.

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"They say curiosity killed the cat," said Justice before performing the song. "I believe curiosity saved the cat and I wrote this song about that." As she sings in the song's refrain: "What doesn't kill you makes you sick / And if you're sick you learn a lesson / With every lesson you get wiser / So I figure that it pays to cross the line and eat a little dirt sometimes."

Susan Justice & co.
Post-showcase, Justice gathers with her support group; from left: manager Jason Richardson of DAS Communications, Justice, Capitol/Virgin president Dan McCarroll, EMI/Capitol VP or A&R Michael Howe and EMI Music North America exec. VP Ashley Burns. (Photo: Gail Mitchell)

New York-based Justice co-wrote every song on her upcoming debut with songwriter/producer Toby Gad (Beyoncé, Kelly Clarkson, Alicia Keys), who also produced the project. Among those taking in Justice's half-hour showcase - and discoursing beforehand on everything from Adele's surefire Grammy domination to potential Oscar best film contenders - were "Tavis Smiley" segment producer/guest booker Christopher McDonald, CNN Entertainment senior producer Denise Quan and EMI/Capitol manager of publicity Kristen Kanopka.

JR Rich & Patty Morris
EMI/Capitol Senior VP of Publicity JR Rich (left) relaxes with label co-worker/VP of Promotion Patty Morris. The label's 2012 slate includes: Foxy Shazam whose The Church of Rock and Roll drops Jan. 24 (it's the first record via re-launched I.R.S. Records, a newly minted joint venture between Crush Management and EMI), Scottish-born singer Emeli Sande (opener for Coldplay on its U.K./European arena tour), pop/rock artist Eric Turner and R&B/hip-hop duo Speakers. (Photo: Gail Mitchell)


Salem & Rich
EMI/Capitol director of publicity Gihan Salem (left) and colleague Rich. (Photo: Gail Mitchell)