We had the good fortune of connecting with Julie Elody and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Julie, what do you attribute your success to?
I believe the biggest success for me has been simply: gumption. The music industry is really tricky. I think with a lot of career paths you still need to work hard and may need to make tough decisions along the way but the outline is there to follow. You do such and such and there’s a reasonable expectation that you’ll be successful.
The music industry is one of those things where it isn’t so cut and dry. There isn’t a degree or a bar to pass. Everyone’s path looks different and it sometimes unfortunately comes down to some luck or who you know.
But hard work is the only way forward. Hard work and a lot of trial and error. There were so many times along the way that I was really pissed off. Like… why am I pulling 80, 90 hour weeks to follow this dream? When it doesn’t feel like the benefits fit the work put in, it can be really discouraging. But I can tell you that it’s the ones who don’t give up that do finally come out on top.
Talent can only get you so far. The rest? Gumption.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
Ever since I was a little kid I wanted to be a writer. At first it was a lot of little short stories. A cow who got tired of the simple life and moved to Hollywood. An evil spirit called the blur trying to take over the world and a horse named Sunbran who saves the day.
At some point it shifted to poems. But I still wanted to be a writer. Then even later, I realized that when you sing something, people pay attention. They don’t always do that with written word. So I became a musician.
But still… I wanted to be a writer. I think what sets me apart is that I’m making catchy pop music with lyrics that have a deeper meaning. I write a lot about my battle with an anxiety disorder and other deeper and sometimes dark topics.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I live in New Orleans so the list is honestly endless!
We have really great Vietnamese food here. There’s a market in Gretna called Hong Kong market. They have a little counter in the market where they sell these $3 Bahn Mi sandwiches that are the most legitimate and delicious things ever. For $3. And the best fried chicken in the entire world is from a gas station here called Brothers. Ask anyone.
Of course I’d take them to do all of the touristy things. A Haunted tour of the French Quarter where they’d learn all about the great fires and the evil slave owners and all the yellow fever. Beignets at Cafe Du Monde. Turtle soup at Commander’s Palace. Hurricanes at Pat O’Brien’s. Ok, ok. 90% of visiting New Orleans is food and alcohol. It’s what we do.
Then we’d do the less touristy things. Jam to some tunes and watch boats go by on the Mississippi at “The Fly” in Audubon Park. Visit Mojo Coffee house for some espresso and sparkling soda. (It sounds gross but it’s great.) Hang out on the levy in Algiers Point. And of course, literally any bar or venue is bound to have some fantastic music on any night of the week.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?