JULA always knew she wanted to be a musician and supplemented her talents by studying at The Conservatory of Amsterdam and in Copenhagen at the Rhythmic Music Conservatory. Now an emerging voice, JULA released her first single, ‘Leave’ via Tall Mountain Records at the end of May ahead of the release of her debut EP, PHOENIX later this year. We caught up with JULA to find out more.
Sophisticated, dark, indie pop.
First up, tell us a bit about yourself - what first got you into music?
I was four-years-old when I knew I wanted to be a into music. I can’t remember wanting to do anything else. My mom was really into Madonna at that time, so I listened to her a lot and I remember making my own shows, singing a-long, making up dance moves and then, of course, making my family and friends watch me (or even participate as back-up dancers/singers).
When I got older I played in a lot of bands, took singing lessons and eventually auditioned for the Conservatory to study music. I have a BA and MA in music now and it’s basically my life.
Were there any particular bands or artists you took inspiration from?
Björk, Beyoncé, Lykke Li, Daughter, Tusks. There are so much great artists out there, I take inspiration from a lot of different music styles, my taste is very eclectic.
How would you describe your style?
Sophisticated, dark, indie pop.
If you could collaborate with any living artist, who would you choose?
I have to pick just one? OMG, how?!? Björk, Solange, Tusks, Sting, Taylor Swift (yes, I am serious).
Tell us about your new single ‘Leave’. What’s it about?
I remember when I first had the idea for this song; I was at home with my Loop Station just improvising, making soundscapes. It was a cold day and as I sat there, this song just came to me. It’s about a feeling I sometimes have, a weight that I carry with me. A feeling that overwhelms me, which I cannot escape. I wallow in it for a while, cover myself in it and then, all of a sudden, it’s gone. It’s a very lonely feeling, very dark, but it’s not necessarily negative, it’s a part of me I have learned to accept and even appreciate sometimes; without the low, I can’t experience the high. That is what ‘Leave’ is about.
When did you write it, and where did you record it?
I wrote it at home, in Amsterdam, it took some time to come to terms with it, so I let it shimmer for a while and then recorded it at Wisseloord studios a year later or so.
How does ‘Leave’ represent your style?
It’s a song with a dark undercurrent, it’s not predictable, it’s whimsical. You can’t quite put your finger on it, yet it haunts you. I think my style is like that; I am not easily defined, but I will stick with you.
‘Leave’ was co-produced by Jan Schröder. What did they bring to the single?
As I said before, I wrote it on my Loop Station, I took it with me to one of my sessions with Jan and we added all kinds of instruments together. Jan is a guitar player and a great producer. I hear music more in emotions and sounds, colors even, I am very abstract and let my gut guide me. Jan is more practical, together we translate my ideas to real instruments.
You’re set to release your debut EP, PHOENIX, this year. What can we expect from the EP?
It’s a project that is very close to my heart, very personal; on the other hand, I think a lot of people will also recognise their own stories in my song. I can’t say much more, but I am very excited!
What other plans do you have for the rest of the year?
I am releasing more music this year; a new single is coming in fall. More touring is also in the works. And, of course, my EP is coming out!
Finally, if you could wish for one thing to happen for you this year, what would it be?
Making more music, is definitely something that I wish for. I wish that my music reaches more people and that I can play more shows and go on tour, in Europe, the UK, everywhere.
Listen to ‘Leave’ on SoundCloud below. For news and tour dates go to julamusic.com.