Las Vegas singer, producer and dancer Justin Ingalis creates music that elicits a visceral response. With his visual direction, confident style and bold lyrics, he makes listeners want to know more about the man behind the music—specifically, Who is he? and Where can I hear more?
The enigmatic Ingalis recently dropped a NSFW video for his “Good Love” remix, in which the singer sports only a black crop top, a red do-rag and a pair of string-bikini bottoms while staring into a webcam from his plush, queen-size bed.
The original song’s video was memorable in its own right, featuring a leather-jacket-clad Ingalis and two friends in a cul-de-sac dance-off with another dancer. Watching the creative’s visuals, it’s not surprising the 25-year-old Ingalis is starting to break beyond Nevada’s borders. Last year, he caught the attention of both Paper magazine and Billboard Pride, the latter of which included him in September playlist.
Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, he grew up in a musical family. “My mother would sing at church, and my dad was involved in all kinds of music,” says Ingalis, who’s currently back in Nebraska, waiting out the pandemic with his family. “My dad and my uncles had a band and sang anything from country to R&B and hip-hop covers. My dad’s side also has a Latin background, so they sang a lot of Latin music and reggae.”
Five years ago, Ingalis moved to Las Vegas, with hopes of getting into the city’s music and dance scene. “I [hadn’t heard] much about the local scene, so when I got there it was interesting to meet all the new people and get to know a lot of the underground artists,” he says. “I didn’t realize how nice and genuine the music and dance scene is in Vegas.”
Ingalis’ two May EPs—Aquarius Vol. 1 and Vol. 2—are sexy and passionate, both featuring slow jams and tracks made for dancing. “D.I.Y.” is slinky and blunt: “I ain’t comin’ over for no one night stand/You’re a grown man/Better use your other hand.” “Ponté Travieso” (which translates to “Get Naughty”) is a Latin-inspired cut that seems to impel every bone in one’s body to move.
Of his lyrics, Ingalis says, “They come from various things—personal experiences with relationships or family or friends, or things my friends talk to me about. We’ll just have discussions, and I’m like, ‘I definitely can relate to that.’ They kind of stick with me, and then I go off that and put myself in their shoes.”
Not unlike his father’s music, Ingalis’ art encompasses a variety of influences and textures, creating an aesthetic all his own. The pandemic, he says, has encouraged him to become even more adventurous with his sound.
“I think it’s made me dig deeper, think more about the process of creating and what I can do to reach people, since we don’t have those normal platforms,” he says. “Things like the [“Good Love” remix video], I recorded and edited at home, and I wouldn’t have probably done that if we weren’t in this situation.”