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Colwood musician inspired by late father's love of The Beatles to record at Abbey Road

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COLWOOD, B.C. -

As Justin Hewitt begins strumming “All You Need Is Love” on his guitar, he remembers fondly how he and his dad would sing along to Beatles songs in the car together.

“It was something we shared in common,” Justin says. “Our love of music.”

It’s an enduring love that led Justin to pursue music professionally.

“Dad said to me, ‘Just sing,’” Justin recalls. “Just do it because it fills your heart.”

Justin eventually discovered that his original songs could also fill two independent albums, which led to filling venues with appreciative fans.

But after a decade of baring his soul, performing in local bars, Justin was burning out.

“Clearly we needed a break from each other,” Justin laughs.

Justin stopped making music for a few years, and focused on working as a civil servant.

But then, the pandemic claimed four friends and family members, including his dad who was living in England.

“I know he’d wanted to sing together again. I know he’d wanted me to come over there and see him,” Justin says, before taking a big sigh. “That part’s really hard.”

But facing mortality also compelled Justin to face his fears about his musical career.

“The fear is, you’re not good enough,” Justin reveals. “And it’s a fear of being told, ‘No.’”

So Justin dared to dream big. He started asking about recording in the same studio his dad’s beloved Beatles had. After working hard to earn the privilege, Abbey Road finally said yes.

“We were all like little kids,” Justin says of how excited he and his band members felt walking into the iconic studio for the first time.

Justin and his band couldn’t have felt more fortunate for the opportunity to play the same piano Paul McCartney played and sing into the same microphone John Lennon sang.

In the end, twelve songs written during a period of struggle were recorded over three says of triumph.

“Dad wouldn’t have believed this,” Justin recalls thinking, before imitating him. “‘Holy crap! You made it kid!’”

While Justin has no doubt his dad is looking down on his son’s accomplishment with pride, after following tradition by signing his name and writing a message on the wall of Abbey Road, saying ‘Dad, I love you! See you on the flip side,’ followed by ‘I did it’ — there is also no doubt this boy is grateful for how his father inspired him to fill his heart with song again.

“Life is short,” Justin says. “So make sure you do the things that make you happy.”

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