We had the good fortune of connecting with Julia Jade and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Julia, we’d love to hear more about your end-goal, professionally.
This is such a fun question with an ever-changing answer. There are tangible pieces like: I’ve always wanted to play the Greek Theatre, be a musical host on SNL, go on an international tour, etc. However, there is also the more overarching goal which is to be able to use my music as a vehicle for social change and to partner with organizations in order to make music education more accessible — and lift up the voices of those who are going unheard. Because of this, I’m actually in the process of applying to some Masters programs in order to be well-versed and able to work in educational settings and non profits, as I want to be a performer (singer-songwriter), but also really want to make change. I’ve always said I have too many dreams, but I feel lucky that they all seem to intersect in a really beautiful way.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art is unique as it is witty, conversational, and borderline theatrical at times (or so I’ve been told.) I write about a variety of things such as: love, heartache, queerness, feminism, literacy, etc. I find that I’m the only person that I know who has written a song about a girl who falls in love with SCIENCE. (But that song was licensed to be in a Torrid commercial, so I’m extra glad I wrote it!) I got here through a mixture of hard work and the universe pushing me in the right direction. When I was graduating high school early, I applied mostly to schools for english with the intention of becoming a novelist. I applied to only two schools for music, one of them being Berklee. Berklee was the first school that admitted me and as my college decision letters rolled in, all signs pointed to Berklee, a place I really never pictured myself. From there, truly everything changed for me. Berklee gave me unforgettable colleagues and an internship fresh out of college, where I spent the year in Nashville assisting hit songwriter Greg Becker in putting up his debut musical. I’ve been very fortunate in having many music adventures in different places across the US and find that my biggest challenge is admitting what I want and overcoming my shyness. I am absolutely a risk taker and don’t do anything because it’s easy, but I find that I struggle to put myself out there and state unapologetically that I’m a singer-songwriter and that I want my voice heard. This is something I’m still working on in my artistry and with the help of my therapist! (Therapy is awesome!) I have also found that having graduated high school and college early, there can be some pressure to accomplish everything early, but I am working through this as there is more time in life than I seem to think! I think a lesson that I have been learning and am continuing to learn is to trust the process. It’s always been one of my least favorite phrases because I am terrible at doing it. However, the universe has pushed me in certain directions a few times and I feel really grateful for where I’ve ended up because of it. I don’t believe that everything happens for a reason, but I do think that sometimes we have to let go of control and allow ourselves to be guided a little bit.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well, I just got back to LA in June when everything closed down! I’m from here, but have lived in Boston & Nashville in between. Well, let’s go back in time pre-COVID, so that I can take them to some of the beautiful places that have unfortunately closed down. I would DEFINITELY take them to Amoeba Music, the Griffith Observatory, a concert at the Greek Theatre, Salt N Straw (twice obviously), McConnells (can you tell I worship ice cream?), UCB theatre for some comedy, thrift shopping at Super Thrift Store, Crave Cafe in Sherman Oaks, yoga at CorePower, bike riding by the beach, The Last Bookstore, and other places like that! I grew up here but really haven’t gotten to experience adulthood here, so I’m looking forward to exploring my own city when it’s safe.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I couldn’t do anything I’m doing without my parents, who filled my house with music, creativity, and original writing. They also put me in Children’s Theatre classes, dance classes, piano lessons, and orchestra– all of which, led me here. I also think about all of my amazing teachers, one who really comes to mind is my teacher who ran the music department at the LA County High School for the Arts: Dan Castro. He took a chance on me when I was already enrolled in the theatre department, admitted me into the music department, and consistently gave me opportunities to play my original music. He even told me that the last person who took a chance on in this same way was Alana, which was a sweet and humbling thing. I also attended the Berklee College of Music and was shaped as an artist, educator, and person by faculty such as Libby Allison, Janie Barnett, Jamie Lynn Hart, Christina Davis, Donna McElroy, Robin Searcy, Alexander Ludwig, Dominick Ferrara, Sarah Brindell, and many others from the songwriting, residential life, music education, and music & society departments. I believe that all of these people helped shape my story, and I could not be an artist or a quality person without these folks.
Website: julia jade.net
All photos taken by Kay Kennedy