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Interview: Juliana Hale
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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I’ve always really had a love for singing and music, but my brother is very musical, and he got me into guitar at a young age which really started me in the right direction. Once I started writing songs at age 10, I knew it was what I wanted to do, and my family relocated from Southern California to Nashville so that I could pursue my dreams. Songwriting became my therapy and biggest passion.
If I hadn’t gotten into music, I would be a research gastroenterologist. I actually turned down over half a million dollars in full ride scholarships to study pre-med so that I could focus solely on music.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
When I’m not playing music, I like to paint, drink tea, and hang out with my cats. Painting helps me channel creative energy in a different way and has really taught me to let go and be less of a perfectionist.
How long has music been your career?
Music has been my career and main focus for a while now. I started writing songs and playing guitar, piano, and flute when I was 10 (I now play bass and ukulele as well), and my family moved to Nashville so I could pursue my dream shortly thereafter. I went on my first tour at 17.
After that, my first official pop show was the Leather & Laces Super Bowl Pre-Party show with Flo-Rida in 2018. I have since opened up for people like Snoop Dogg and Marianas Trench and played SXSW, Common Ground (Halsey, Zedd, Jack Harlow, Brandi Carlile), Breakaway, Freaky Deaky, Hawg Fest, Daytona Bike Week, Ubbi Dubbi, Numbers Fest (Marshmello, Lil Uzi Vert) and more!
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I was born in Southern California, but I’ve been based out of Nashville for over ten years now. I feel like these places have influenced my music a lot. California gave me the carefree pop vibe, and Nashville taught me how to tell a story and use music as a way to connect.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
The worst show I’ve played was probably Numbers Fest. I only say that because the power went out 5 times during my set and our tour bus got stuck in the mud, which resulted in my step dad breaking his thumb; however, I still had fun and ended up sitting on the edge of the stage and talking to everyone when the power went out. We kept restarting the same song, so by the end people were singing along. I think every bad show has a bright side, no matter how muddy.
The best show I’ve ever played was either the Snoop Dogg show or Common Ground in Michigan. Common Ground was my favorite because I got to close out the second stage after Halsey played, and I am a huge fan of hers so that was crazy for me. The crowd was amazing, and I met so many people I still talk to to this day, and they even came back the second year to see me again. Somebody even got kicked out for breaking past security and playing my piano right before I went on which was pretty funny.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
So far, my favorite venue that I have played is the Wild Horse in Nashville. The venue is beautiful, and the crowd is always great. There are so many places I want to play that I haven’t already, like the Roxy in LA and Madison Square Garden haha
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
If I could play a show with any lineup, the ticket would include Halsey, Blackbear, Hozier, Kehlani, Doja Cat, and Anderson .Paak.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into music?
My advice to someone who is just getting into music would be to make the music that YOU want to make and know what you stand for. Also, really do your homework before going into business with someone or paying anyone to do anything, because there are a lot of people ready and willing to take advantage of artists in this industry.
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be?
If I could go back in time and give myself advice, I would probably give myself the same advice I just mentioned. That or I would simply tell myself not to take everything so seriously and just focus on figuring out who you are as an artist.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Out of all of my songs, my unreleased song “Head in the Clouds” means the most to me. I wrote it about feeling disconnected from others and trapped in my mind by anxiety, so the lyrics really feel like a musical embodiment of my daily mental struggle. I can’t wait to share that one soon.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
My favorite song to play live is Chill because everyone starts dancing and the energy feels very fun. The song that gets requested the most is either Chill or One Last Time.
What is the creative process for you, and what inspires you to write your music?
The creative process really differs from song to song. Most of the time I start with the lyrics. I’m always writing down lines, whether I’m just going about my day or venting about something I’m going through, so I just pick one of those ideas to go off of. Other times I’ll write to a beat or write a riff on guitar to go off of.
Life inspires me to write my music. The themes that weave their way through daily life are so beautiful and I love how the smallest thing that you are going through can be relatable to so many people in big ways. I can be pretty emotional, so being able to get all of those feelings out in a healthy way is very therapeutic for me.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
I like to get positive and empowering messages across with my music. If it’s not positive, I want it to be relatable and make someone out there feel less alone. The goal of music is to connect, so if I’m doing that, I’m accomplishing my goal. Even when I write breakup songs, I like to make them empowering and about growth and strength. I just love how music can completely shift the energy of your day, so that’s the kind of energy I try to put out.
Do you ever have disagreements when collaborating and how do you get past them?
I’ve never had any huge disagreements when collaborating. My favorite part of collaborating is bouncing ideas off of each other and getting feedback, so I don’t take an opposite opinion negatively. I’m all about whatever is the best for the song, so I don’t let ego get in the way. The best way to get over disagreements for me though is to try everyone’s idea and really talk about what we think is the best for the song.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
I plan to release a handful of new songs the rest of the year, starting with a track called “Crazy” featuring Derek Minor. The song will have an accompanying music video and acoustic video that I can’t wait to share, it’s definitely “crazy”. A movie that I’m in called “And You Call Yourself a Christian” is coming out on Amazon on September 19th. I am playing Hawgfest in New Mexico next month and Freaky Deaky in Texas on Halloween Weekend. Socials: https://ffm.bio/julianahale