NEW IBERIA, La. (KLFY) — A New Iberia native and musician is being recognized by the country capital of the world in a big way. Justin Champagne announced the signing of a seven-figure contract Tuesday inside the Sugarcane Festival Building.
Justin Champagne (pronounced SHOM-pine here in Louisiana) signed with Nashville-based record label OneRPM and their sister company Verge for three albums over three years. His first record under the contract will be released on February fourth. It’s a single called “I’m the One”.
Before Champagne was named Country Rap Insiders’ 2021 Emerging Artist of the Year, his music captured audiences in his hometown.
“I guess as soon as I did my first song which was years ago and the reaction that I got from all the people, and I was like well this might be something,” Champagne recalled to News 10. “So I did more and more, and it got bigger and bigger, and the numbers are crazy now.”
Champagne said millions of people are streaming his music every month. “When I Pull Up”, his most popular song, has 50 million streams alone. The country-rap artist has been touring across America the past couple of years. He mentioned North Caroline, South Caroline, Florida, Texas, Louisiana of course, and upcoming concerts in Maryland and West Virginia.
Despite the pressure to move which has come with Champagne’s success, he says his home base after making it big will be New Iberia. His closest business partner and manager, Tredell Rener, grew up 20 minutes away in Jeanerette.
“We had always knew that Justin had something that was different, and we wanted to make sure that he realized it too, and when he finally did, the world knows it now,” said Tredell Rener, platinum award winning manager & consultant. “New Iberia has a lot going on, but it’s small, so it gets looked over some times, but we’re not getting looked over anymore.”
Champagne says it will all feel more real for him once he hears himself on national radio likes he’s been told he will, but he also is looking forward to inspiring other Acadiana artists in small towns by showing them they can do it too.
“The way I look at it is like I’ve been underestimated my whole life. You know what I mean? So if I can stay here and try to imprint something here and let more people know that it is possible. I mean, I’m from New Iberia. It says only so much to certain people, but to me, it says a lot, so I’m going to make sure it’s not going to be like that no more,” Champagne concluded.
Since Champagne has been touring across the country, he hasn’t been able to do a hometown performance in years, but he’ll be changing that March 12 when he’ll be at the Sugarcane Festival Building. You can follow his social media for more details as the date approaches.