By Anita Stewart-Rock At Night Pittsburgh
INTERVIEW WITH RISING ARTIST-JULIA BHATT
Well, this young lady from Miami makes me want to hear lots more from her–what a wall of sound in this production! She has just released her first single “Tall,” a song with angst and quick, driven lyrics about everyone being taller than her! This writer can relate to that (only 5′ tall)! With a driving ukulele hook in the forefront and drums, bass and electronics layered behind that and a Latin infused beat…her vocals tell the story and have that mature rock and roll grit even though she is only 17 years old. Her distinct voice is reminiscent of a youthful Amy Winehouse and Macy Gray.
Elliot Jacobson who has worked with Elle King among many others, is Julia’s producer and mentor. “Honestly, I didn’t really find a meaning for the song until I started performing it more,” Julia says. “I originally wrote it as a sort of bossa nova, but Elliot helped me transform it and take it to new levels. He brought an entirely new energy to it.”
Well, soon the world is going to want to know more about you, so let’s start here!
How long have you been writing and performing?
I’ve been seriously writing for a couple of years. I used to do concerts for school and clubs and stuff, but I never looked at the crowd and I was awkward as fuck. Fortunately, I’ve ironed that out a little.
Tell us a bit about the music scene in Miami.
It’s really just starting, but there are some really cool places and people who bring together various forms of talent, whether it’s a festival, a monthly showcase, etc. There’s always a bunch of crazy shit happening, so it’s not too hard to find some good music.
Guitar or Ukulele and why?
Guitar. Ukulele is easier to figure out, but the guitar is more versatile and fun.
Who are some of your musical inspirations?
Julian Casablancas is a big one. Vampire Weekend, RATBOY, the Beatles, Hall and Oates, Al Green, etc. I could really go on for a long time. There’s so much music I like. I also like specific songs almost as much as I like some of my favorite artists.
What is your go to music when driving around in the car right now?
It changes constantly, but my top songs are “When I Think Bout’ You” by Daniel C, “still feel” by half alive, and “Elastic” by Joey Purp.
How did you get connected with Elliot Jacobson? Tell us about your working relationship with him.
We have a mutual friend in the music business who was helping both of us out individually, and she decided to put us into contact. It’s really that simple. I called him once and we talked for a bit about what I wanted and if he liked my shit enough. Clearly he did, so we’ve been working together for about a year or so. He’s easy to talk to and puts up with my shit, which is pretty impressive. He can make my barely understandable ideas into a reality, and that’s fucking sick.
What is next? EP or full length release? More singles? A tour or all of the above?
Hopefully all of the above, but for right now, probably another single and then an EP. I’m playing a few shows in a few different states, but definitely not a tour, although I’d absolutely love to hit the road.
If you could move anywhere to further a music career, where would that be and why?
To further MY music career, I think France. That sounds weird and also, kinda pretentious, I know. But if we’re talking about furthering my career artistically, there’s nowhere more beautiful and inspiring than the Loire Valley. I don’t know why I’m so attached to it, but being in the outskirts of someplace I don’t really know gives me a lot of room to think and write. Logistically, though, New York is where most of the big things are happening right now, plus that’s where my producer is.
Will you be heading for college and perhaps a music degree or do you have other plans? Fill us in!
I hope to be able to support myself without having to go to college, just because I really can’t do that shit anymore. It’s not that I was a bad student, but it takes so much of me to do well, that I’d rather not have that obligation. I took some music theory classes but there’s something so frustrating to me about having to move at someone else’s pace when it comes to music.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
All I hope is that I’m happy and confident in what I’m doing. I don’t know where this is all gonna go, but I know that I want to keep making music. Hopefully I’ll be able to tour with a band and be able to focus on the performing aspect.
Anything else you think we should know?
I have a grump of a hedgehog and I thought he was a he, but I took him to the vet – turns out, he’s a she. I am not good at pronouns, so I still call her my little man, and switch between him and her, but I love my guy just the same. Just to give you some info about the important things in my life. I hope you could follow that.
Listen to Julia’s new single “Tall”
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