Special Interview: Julian Simonsz

What can you tell our readers about you? How and where did it all begin?
It might have been pretty obvious from the show but I’m a very family oriented person. And I’ve been brought up in a very close and quite religious family. I was actually quite shy growing up and it’s only in the last few years that I have really started to get out and perform. I guess it started with my upbringing and my childhood days..

What had you first interested in music?
I have a big extended family here and we were all brought up in very musical households. My grandparents were incredibly talented musicians playing mostly Eastern music, and my Dad is a huge fan of country music, which he played to me all the time growing up. So my passion for music really began when I was younger. It wasn’t until my late teen years though that I realised that I could sing and it wasn’t until now that I felt ready as an individual and an artist to finally pursue this as a career.

Who motivates or influences your quest to make great music?
I’ve always wanted to be a producer/artist and my first and biggest influence to produce my own work was through Ryan Leslie who has produced some massive hits and later started to come out as an artist. His YouTube videos prove just how flawless and well constructed his work is. His productions are demonstrated in a deconstructed manner, so his music is broken down into step by step analysis of how he puts his tracks together and that allowed me to understand producing from a new angle. I was able to learn from his online work, which helped my producing skills as well as being an artist.

Do you have any planned tours coming up?
There was plan of a tour but with my single and EP launch coming together so quickly that has been my main focus at this stage. The EP launch on the 23rd of November at Northcote Social Club is a good start and then I’ll see where that takes me from there! I would love to tour around Australia with a band once I build up enough of a fan base. 

What are some of your biggest goals you hope to accomplish as an artist?
A massive goal of mine would be to one day win an ARIA award and as most musicians aspire to, the biggest goal would be to take my music internationally. More than anything though, if I can make music that people enjoy, relate to it and make an impact then that is really what I want to accomplish.

What can fans expect from you in the coming months?
Fans have a lot to expect in the coming months. October is the month of my debut single release, which is massive for me. Fans have had a taste of it with the music video but I can’t wait for it to get out there. Then next month is my EP release, which is pretty exciting. I’m just so excited to have my music out there finally and to make music I love that hopefully others can enjoy. Fans can also expect a showcase of this at my EP launch where I will be performing with a band, so that’s going to be one to look forward to.

Success, what is the secret to it and what has been your biggest career highlight so far?
I’m not sure that there’s a special secret to it! For me, perseverance and determination has really been key. I am pretty focused on what I want, but I also want to make sure I do something I’m proud of and something that’s true to me, so far with this journey I’ve tried my best to do that so I’m hoping it ends up being a successful one! My biggest career highlight so far would have to be making it through the blind audition with four turns and going through to the top 24 on The Voice. It really was the turning point in my career and everything else has flowed on from there.

Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?
So many people have inspired me throughout my life. Growing up it would have to be Michael Jackson, in so many ways. And still I see elements of him in a lot of the artists that inspire me now. Then in my teens I was really inspired by artists like Craig David, Joe, Usher and Jamiroquai. And at the moment artists like Justin Timberlake (and his work with Pharrell and Timbaland) is so inspirational from a production and performance point of view, and Ed Sheeran is definitely one of my favourites for his raw talent and incredible songwriting skills. 
How would you best describe you and your music to your fans?
I’m pretty passionate about everything I do and people I love and I think that really comes across in my music and the way I sing and perform. I try to make sure I tap in to those emotions when I write and make music. I also really enjoy and am inspired by a lot of different music so this means that my music tends to vary and isn’t really a single specific genre. It’s mostly pop but there are elements of soul, funk and some subtle old school RnB undertones too. A lot of it is to do with interpretation too, I find that the same song can be described in many ways by people listening to it.
What can you tell us about your latest album?
My self titled EP is about love. All different types of love from that appreciation to show your partner, to that really sexy love to just having some quiet time together, to really showing emotion. It has smooth vocals and harmonies, falsetto, upbeat songs and the slowed down tracks too. I wanted to be able to have a good variety of style showing my listeners that I’m not limited to a certain style but I can broaden my genre just that little bit more, and keeping them intrigued right throughout the EP.
Are there any new exciting projects in the works?
The EP release is probably the newest and most exciting project in the works now that the single is out! I will also be jumping back in the studio with MSquared to start working on another track or two so I’m really looking forward to that.
The music industry is huge, where do you see yourself a few years from now?
It is a huge industry, and a difficult one to break in to. A dream for me would be to win an Aria award and to have my music fairly well known at a national level in my home country Australia. If I could take my music to fans internationally too that would be a bonus!

Name a few of your favourite Aussie artists.
If I’m thinking Aussies artists of all time I’d have to say someone like John Farnham. His tone and the emotion when he sings is pretty amazing. At the moment though, Guy Sebastian is definitely one of my favourite artists. He’s been an inspiration to me since Australian Idol and has just proven how hard work, talent and determination can pay off. 

The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye?
It’s hard to know whether the industry has changed for better or for worse because most of what I have done has been mostly in the social media era, but one thing for sure is that there is so much to learn! Especially as an independent artist I am learning everything from scratch and there’s so much to research and know. It has been a challenge but also really rewarding experience learning about the music industry. In terms of social media it seems to be one of the most powerful tools for artists by taking interaction between fans and artists to a more immediate and personal level. It really is the biggest platform to get out there and to connect to so many people at once.
Thank you for the interview! What can you leave fans of theaussieword.com with here today?
I guess I’d like to leave you with the message to just stay true to yourself but work hard, and don’t have any regrets, because at least if you do all that then you know you’ve tried everything you can. And also, to remember the message from my new single, to always celebrate the people who deserve it and take time to tell them you appreciate what they do.
Facebook: facebook.com/JulianSimonszJulez 
Twitter: @julian_simonsz

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