Friday, April 12, 2013

Makin' a Wekord

Check out this video of me in the studio! Work has officially begun on the album!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Julian Mobile App!

So tomorrow i will be posting a link where you can download the brand spankin' new JULIAN MOBILE APP for your android or apple smart phone! It helps keep you up to date on music, shows, blogs and tons of other cool stuff and it 100% free!!! So look out for that, it's really neat! :)
If you're interested everyone please take a couple minutes and read this! It's my interview i did for being a Seattle Spotlight Artist last month :) Enjoy!

An evening with Julian: Seattle’s newly crowned “Most romantic Song Writer”

Talking with the local singer about true love, losing your best friend, and big things to come in 2013.

“You know most people don’t know this, but Julian is actually... my first name, I didn’t just like, randomly choose that”

It’s 5:30 PM on a Winter Wednesday, in a Starbucks close to downtown Seattle, and up and coming singer/songwriter Julian (His friends call him Phil) and I sit at a corner booth sipping coffee and discussing his career and music. At first, just from the seemingly grouchy expression on his face, Julian seemed almost unapproachable. But as I entered the cafĂ© and he recognized me, his face instantly lite up and he offered to buy me a latte while he went to pick up his order: Not a terribly bad start to an interview. For those of you who have yet to experience a Julian song, I can tell you that he is a remarkable storyteller. His lyrics are immensely personal, easy to connect to, and he sings them passionately over melodically plucked Acoustic Guitar. Me, and in fact everyone in the office, have a hard time comparing him to other artists. He lists Jason Mraz, Jack Johnson, John Mayer, James Taylor, Rufus Wainwright, even Taylor Swift as his musical influences, but he manages to pull off a unique and original sound whilst appealing to a large audience.

“So… fire away! What do you want to know?”

I can tell by the fact that I must keep reminding him to speak directly into my recorder that Julian isn’t exactly used to being interviewed yet.

“I’m not really used to any of this!” he says as if he were actually surprised at his own local notoriety. “My friends always say ‘dude, you’re like, famous!’ and I’m like, dude, there were fifteen people at last nights show”

Despite that, Julian has managed to build a sizable Northwest following, based simply on the merit of his music and the word of mouth from his fans. He tells me he’s usually used to playing bars, cafes, and small all ages venues. His very first gig in Seattle over a year ago was even in a used bicycle shop, not exactly equivalent to selling out the King Dome. However, every so often, either through persuasiveness, his sparkling local reputation as a performer and a professional, or just dumb luck he’ll manage to score a spot on a showcase at Nuemos or El Corazon.

“I think it’s hard for people to get excited about just a kid with an acoustic guitar when there are several full bands playing” remarks Julian. “But when people actually listen to the music, everyone is actually impressed! There are dozens of singer/songwriters out there who play just for fun, and that’s fine, but if they aren’t very good, which many of them aren’t, it sort of plays on the stereotype that all of them, including me, are just kids with a cheap guitar.”

Luckily for him, Julian hasn’t had to deal with that problem much anymore. More than anything, it seems, people fall in love with Julian’s voice, a unique blend of soft lows and a passionate high range that makes future fans across the West Coast stop and listen.

“It can be a blessing and a curse. I love that people like my voice so much and that it’s starting to get more attention, but I sort of wish I would be more noticed for what I create rather than what I was born with. It’s a weird thing to complain about but my voice by far is what gets complemented the most, not my songs.”
This is yet another thing that most people agree Julian will not have to live with much longer. He is, after all, the “most romantic songwriter” in town! Nearly all of Julian’s lyrics relate to love and loss, and how that has affected him at such a young age. I ask him if that’s supposed to be some kind of gimmick. Julian looks slightly offended.

“No, not at all. Those are other people’s words, about the most romantic thing. I didn’t just adopt that for myself, people gave it to me. But I am really proud to be considered that. I’ve always been a hopeless romantic when it comes to dating and relationships and that kind of thing. A lot of people thought I was some player when it came to girls, but I’ve always had to fight that rumor. I might get a lot of attention from female fans, but its mostly just compliments or stories of how they can relate to something I said. I’m a serious relationship kind of guy, and that’s where a lot of my writing stems from.”

I have to admit, I’m a little taken aback. A singer of love songs who actually believes in true love? This is unheard of! I chalk it up to his young age and naivety, which despite his experience and professionalism, still shows at times during our conversation.

“I’m still very much a kid,” admits Julian, who I’m surprised to learn is only 19. “I like playing pranks of my friends and doing kid stuff once in a while still, but as a writer and as a musician I feel pretty developed.”

The conversation takes quite a bit more serious tone when I ask him about his newest demo, “I’ll Make It Up To You”. Julian’s face, which seconds before was bright with enthusiasm, slowly sinks, and his deep brown eyes seem to sparkle a little less.

“Oh yeah… I figured you’d ask me about that. Most fans agree it might be one of my best songs or my best song yet. I’m really glad everyone has liked it so much.”

When I ask him what inspired it, he replies, “It’s a long story.” Luckily we’ve got time.

“ I wrote it for my ex girlfriend pretty recently. It was sort of the perfect relationship for me; she was like an instant best friend. I’ve never had that connection before. I knew I wanted to write a song for her, but I couldn’t come up with anything that I thought was good enough for her, so the song kind of developed as one about me trying really hard to find the right words, you know? Like ‘I love you’ wasn’t enough. That’s pretty much where it came from.”

Julian is visibly depressed after talking about that song in particular. “I had this whole big thing planned where I was going to play it to her the night before Christmas Eve, but I never got the chance. It probably wouldn’t have made a difference anyway”

Has she heard it?

“Oh yeah, she was pretty surprised when I showed her I think. I don’t think she ever realized the impact she had on me, that she could inspire something as personal as that”

When I ask if he still has feelings for her, Julian looks even more confused.

“Did you read the song lyrics? Of course I do… but I don’t think that means anything to anyone besides me anymore.”

He quickly changes the subject: “Oh, wait, did you hear the rumors about my record yet?”

In fact, I have. Perhaps Julian’s greatest shortcoming is that, besides a handful of rough demos circulating on the Internet, up until this point, Julian has had no real releases of any kind. His fans have been waiting over a year for an album, but he says that until very recently he “hasn’t felt ready to make that step.” But, after a year of writing and recording demos in his parent’s attic (although playing primarily in Seattle, Julian still lives with his parents near Longview, WA) friends are starting to say that he will be entering the studio soon, with other big news, perhaps a tour, to follow.

“I’m not allowed to say anything at this point, because in reality nothing is official yet. But I can say that people can expect to hear a lot more of me in this coming year. I’ve got some pretty big aspirations for 2013.”

In the middle of this conversation I look up at the wall clock and notice that it’s getting closer to seven. Julian gets excited and gasps, “Let’s go, we’re going to be late for sound check!” I have to admit; being older I find his young-man enthusiasm almost comical at times. When we talk about record deals, it isn’t “if it happens” for Julian, it’s “when it happens.” On the way to the gig, a lounge show at El Corazon, he reminds me continuously that he’s playing “the lounge, not the big room this time. But I have played in there before!”

Julian spends the remaining half hour chatting with other local groups also featured on tonight’s showcase, and finally settles into a booth with me when the first band plays. While most of the lounge, a small crowd of around 40, talks over the music, Julian sits attentively and listens, mostly out of respect, partly because one of the musicians in the band is playing a violin. “I so wish I could do that!” he mouths over the speaker system, smiling wider than he has all day. After another band, and another respectful listen, Julian walks up to the stage, sits down, and sticks a Capo on his guitar. He plays sitting down, on a barstool: There are no theatrics in Julian’s show, just him and his guitar. Without introducing himself, he plucks a few strings on his guitar in a beautiful, but extremely soft, melodic verse, while the crowd continues to talk over him. But after three or four bars of the intro to “I’ll Make It Up To You” he presses his mouth against the microphone, and everyone in the bar freezes, then shuts up and listens for 45 minutes.

-Chris Huberman