Posted On 03 May 2017
At only 20 years of age, Australian singer-songwriter Juliana immerses us into her musical world of bittersweet pop that is nearly impossible to ignore. She takes great inspiration from Sia’s bravery with intervals, to Halsey’s lyrical edginess and Katy Perry’s pop sensibility. Juliana is inspired by London Grammar, Rhianna and Imogen Heap.
“Cry Wolf” is the first single from her upcoming EP, which is described as a modern time warp; a discovery of raw emotion through sensuality, individuality and imagination.
Connect with Juliana here:
Learn more about Juliana in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! What are some words you would use to describe 2016 for you and your music? How is 2017 treating you so far?
Thank you! I’m sure we can all agree that 2016 was super weird and terribly sad for music, most of my musical heroes died. But it was also super creative, experimental, eye-opening, a little daring and hopeful because it was the beginning of something fantastic. 2017 is treating me better than I ever thought it would, and I’m really grateful. I’m keeping my expectations neutral and enjoying the journey, staying inspired and being as creative as possible.
Where does this interview find you today? Is there music playing in the background? If so, what is it?
I’m actually on a cruise ship, traveling through the Greek Islands… Which is really random I know haha! My family decided to go on a European adventure this year, so I’ve been seeking and getting lots of inspiration! My sister is listening to the Broadway Cast Recording for the musical, Dear Evan Hansen and I’m competing with her, with my earphones, listening to Fleetwood Mac’s, Rumours album.
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician?
Yes… I think at one point I got weird and I entertained the thought of being a psychologist or a brain surgeon or something. But yes, I’ve always wanted to be a part of music.
Has your family always been supportive of this dream?
I cannot complain at all, and I’m super lucky, I know. My parents said as long as I was serious about it, and they’d never have to push me to do anything- write, play, whatever it may be – then they would support me 100% of the way. I’m sorry I don’t have any juicy stories about them being unsupportive and horrible haha, they’re pretty cool actually.
Can you recall your earliest musical memory? Could you see yourself doing anything else today?
I was in primary school and I was around 6 or 7 years old. A Walk to Remember was one of my favorite movies and Mandy Moore was my favorite human being on the planet at the time hahaha. My best friend dared me to get up and sing in front of my music class, for show and tell and I sang, “Only Hope”, a song from one of the scenes in A Walk to Remember. The teachers all spoke it about and asked my mum how long I’d been singing and whether I’d had lessons. My mum was so confused, she just said, “She can sing?”. They brought her to the school to listen in on my music class, and of course they didn’t tell me she was there. Apparently she just cried when she heard me haha! The rest is history and I’ve been pursuing it ever since. I think for the final school assembly that year I performed “Cry” by Mandy Moore of course haha. I truly was obsessed with her! Oh and no I couldn’t see myself doing anything else.
Since you are from Australia, I am curious how much time you’ve spent in the US? Is that something you would like to do? I saw that you were recently here in LA, right?
I’ve been going back and forth to LA for quite some time now, and it’s definitely in my plans to be based there for an extended period of time, if not permanently. It’s such a vast city, and there is a constant energy that pulses through it… it’s hard to describe. I’d love nothing more than to be a part of that. It is the forefront of the music industry. It’s a hard town, but anything is possible. Once you really delve into it, and hustle and work hard, it’s as though the city turns upside down for you, and presents you with an abundance of opportunity, both creatively and on a certain level, spiritually.
Let’s talk about your debut single, ‘Cry Wolf.” Where did the inspiration for it come from? How do you think this song compares to the rest of your forthcoming EP?
I think that song sonically, “Cry Wolf” encompasses the EP entirely. The rest of the songs, while they still stand for something unique on their own, kind of branch off it. It holds great emotional value to me because it’s significant of a certain time in my life which was in some ways a little complicated. I was 15 or 16 when I wrote it, but I’ve haven’t felt it was the right time in my gut, until now to release it. I don’t like to give too much away about why I wrote it, because I want people to interpret their own meaning, and connect with it on their own level. But what I will say is that I had a lot of doubts on my mind, and I was still getting to know who I was, and who the people around me were.
What has been biggest surprise to you about the whole music industry? What has come really easily for you and what’s been more of a challenge?
You can’t know everything about everything and you don’t have to… Everyone has their strengths. Some of the most successful people in this business know nothing about music theory, or tech- some can’t even play an instrument! It’s helpful to be well-versed in these things of course, but if your strength is in being a writer, then it’s possible to kill it in that field and only that if you wish. Most people respond to instinct and feeling, when creating music and it adds an emotional value that I guess an audience can sense and therefore gravitate towards.
You can surround yourself with other people that are great at the tech stuff and theory, and as long as you are clear and share your vision, then anything is possible. It’s about building teams and creating within that team, so you have the best outcome. You can’t do it all on your own. It took me a while to grasp that, because I felt that relying to other people was a bad thing. Now I want nothing more than to have that support network. The biggest challenge has been leaving home from longs period of time… I’m quite close with my family so it gets a little hard.
When do you hope to release a full-length album of new songs? Do you feel like you are currently in a period of high inspiration and you’ve got a lot of songs under your belt?
At least within the next year or so. It could be longer; I’m not putting any pressure on myself. At the moment, I’m on a speed train in terms of writing, and I’m trying to explore and be as creative as possible. I don’t want there to be any boundaries, and I’m definitely not holding back. I’m at a stage where I still have the liberty an ability to experiment, so when it comes time to refine content for a full-length album, I’ll be ready. I try and stay inspired even when I’m not in complete working bee mode, so I’m aware of music that’s relevant right now, but also so I can find other songs to add to my life’s soundtrack. It’s important to stay connected with what other artists are doing, and I think right now is the perfect time. There is some serious, beautiful, jaw-dropping music being created!
Who are some of your all-time favorite artists? What artists have been inspiring you and your music since day 1? Who would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
This is such a hard question, and I’ll probably read back on this later and wish that I changed something. Okay my all time favorite artists are Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sia, Imogen Heap.. and of course the list goes on! Artists who I would love to work with.. definitely Sia, Tove Lo, Adele, Banks, Imogen Heap. They’re who I’m thinking of right now, but there are definitely others.
How do you hope to be a good role model to your younger fans?
I’d want them to know that being authentic is a beautiful thing no matter what it means in other people’s eyes. If there is a certain path you want to follow that isn’t “the norm”, follow it anyway, and fucking give it 110%.
The don’t have to be “dreams”, they can just be life goals. Things don’t sound as plausible and realistic is you call them dreams. If you feel it’s what you should be doing, than it probably is.
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people take away from your songs?
I’m all about being honest… so I just want people to believe what I’m saying.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
I think we got it all covered! Stay tuned 🙂