We had the good fortune of connecting with Julia Piker and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Julia, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I think risk is necessary for any meaningful pursuit. Making room in your life to lose or fail, or step into an uncertain environment is really just another opportunity to awaken parts of yourself that were formerly asleep. I think those parts are necessary fuel for creativity. I take calculated risks, which is maybe a little less sexy because I know what my potential losses are before I take a leap. I took a massive risk by leaving a very comfortable and financially stable writing position at a music production company, to move across the country and pursue projects on my own. While it was painful to leave a company I loved being with, the reward of finding my own feet has been absolutely magical. The hardest part has been finding ways to encourage and remind myself that the choice I made was the right one. Freedom can be scary! Working for yourself doesn’t always come with a community, or someone there to remind you that you’re doing a good job. That’s all on you. It’s a self-love/self-validation adventure. And I couldn’t be more grateful to be on that adventure with myself.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m a composer, songwriter, and producer. I make the sounds you hear in commercials, tv shows, and films. I’m primarily a piano player, vocalist, and guitarist and usually use those instruments most during my writing process. I like to collect sounds, from virtually anywhere. Anytime I hear something I like, I record it through my iPhone. Wherever I am, I stop and listen for things that I wouldn’t hear unless I zoned in. Just last week in Joshua Tree, I sat near this amazing Yucca that I could have sworn was whistling at me. I like to manipulate and effect sounds I collect and use them in my work as much as I can. As for my day to day life, I could be writing droney, brooding orchestral cues and other days I’m writing pop themes for kid’s tv shows. It’s fun to find work in so many different realms of style and genre. It keeps things interesting and lets me to grow with the projects i’m working on. I’m really figuring it all out as I go. I think we all are. My art moves and grows as I move and grow. My latest EP Samovar is my proudest accomplishment because it’s the first time I’ve poured my whole heart into a project without it being in some way a work pursuit. It was purely creative and purely for my soul. After finishing it, I felt an exhale, as if I’d just finished a book or a delicious meal. It felt satisfying. That’s the feeling I’m looking for. That’s the feeling we all should be looking for. Pride within ourselves and the art that we create. Allowing it to be self-satisfying.
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?
I would start off with a very LA breakfast at Destroyer in Culver City. It’s one of those places you go to for breakfast but you end up with an outrageous bowl of something more like lunch. It’s special and I love to show friends the parts of LA that make it fun and weird. Like foam on your egg sandwich, which I didn’t know I needed until I tasted it. I’d follow that with a trip to Escondito Beach which is a place so private you barely ever see anyone there. It feels like your very own little oasis. You walk along these enormous estates along the shoreline and wonder how you’ll ever make enough money to afford one. Thats LA! I’d follow that with a trip to Broad Street Oyster Co- one of the wonders of Malibu. They have the most delicious oysters and lobster rolls. I love hiking so at some point during the trip we’d be sure to hit up my favorite hike at Solstice Canyon- the views are impeccable and not something you’d normally see on the east coast. Maybe a great band would be in town that week so we’d catch a show at Hollywood Bowl or at The Greek. Another favorite is going to Melrose Flea Market. There are rows and rows of amazing vendors and makers. I always find something unique and fun to take home. There are so many incredible options in LA in nature, and in the city. Culture and fun abound!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to dedicate my shoutout to Chase Deso who has taught me so much over the years. An amazing composer and collaborator, and a wonderful friend.