Interview: Julia Bhatt
With the release of her debut single “Tall,” 17-year old Julia Bhatt is ready to take the music world by storm. Although you could classify this track as pop, rock, or even point out the bossa nova rhythms that are infused throughout, the simple truth of the matter is that Julia Bhatt, and her single “Tall,” are 100% unique and have given her a style to call her own. We had a chance to chat with Julia about the single, working with her mentor and producer Elliot Jacobson, what’s coming next, and so much more!
Photo by: Shervin Lainez
1. You recently released your debut single “Tall.” Can you tell us a little bit about the song?
It’s kind of embarrassing to talk about, but I think it’s about the pressure to take firsts. People seem to scoff at the idea of romanticizing first times, like your first kiss, your first date, etc. I think it’s ok to move slow, and it’s ok to move fast, but leave it up to the individual.
2. Why did you feel “Tall” was the best choice to be the first representative of your music?
I fucking love this song! I only want to put songs out that I would personally listen to, so if all of my finished songs were on a playlist, I’d play this one the most. Of course, it’s up to personal preference. I like a lot of music, and I know a lot of people do too. What’s the point in making music if you have to stick to one genre? I wanna do a bunch of crazy shit because that’s what I like to listen to.
3. What’s the one thing you hope someone who listens to “Tall” will take away from it?
I think I just want people to enjoy the song. I just hope it’s something they hear and want to listen to again. I still don’t fully know what the entire message of this song is, or if there really is one at all. That’s the fun part of listening to music - you get to bend it to fit your life. In a non-musical sense, I hope people want to stay tuned to see what else I have in store.
4. You have a unique blend of a lot of different genres on “Tall.” How would you best describe your style of music?
I ask myself that all the time. I have no clue. I love so much shit, from Vampire Weekend to Dave Brubeck to Childish Gambino, so it’s just kind of a combination of sounds/vibes I hear in various pieces of music that I’m like, “fuck, that’s sick.” There’s also a stark difference between the song you hear versus the original, just me and a guitar. Elliot is the one who encompasses all of my ideas, which is typically just me sending a song or playlist to him and saying “I want this kind of vibe and can we do it like this and can we use this weird effect“ etc. I really appreciate a good hook. Without some sort of interesting factor in my music, I get bored. It’s no different than anything I can listen to on Spotify. It’s more of just seeing how much shit that I like can fit into a song I’ve written.
5. You worked with producer (and your mentor) Elliot Jacobson on “Tall.” What ideas did Elliot bring to the production that otherwise may not have been a part of it?
Honestly, Elliot is genuinely the brains behind it all. I don’t know how he does it. “Tall” sounded completely different before he touched it. I’m so amazed by what he can come up with. I usually use words like “crunchy” and “dimensions” and shit. Sometimes they’re just sounds I make and he’s like, “Ok, got it. Lets try this.” It’s amazing.
6. In what ways did working with Elliot help you discover who you are as a songwriter/artist?
Elliot definitely encourages me the most. I doubt myself a lot, and when people tell me positive things about my music, I don’t really take it to heart, for some reason. I absolutely appreciate it, but I internally dismiss it as being nice. It’s shitty and I know I shouldn’t think like that, but hey, Life’s a bitch sometimes. Anyway, Elliot is someone I really respect and admire. I trust him and his opinions because I know he’d tell me if something wasn’t that good. Obviously, in a nice way, but he’s honest. That’s something I really value, so he’s helped me gain confidence, in a way.
7. Is the style of “Tall,” a similar style that listeners will find on your other music or will they discover new layers to who you are as a writer and artists as you release more singles?
Definitely the latter. Keeps things interesting for me. I love this song because it’s the craziest and the weirdest production wise, and that’s something that would hook me in if I heard it.
8. Though you’re from Boston, you mostly grew up in Miami. In what ways did growing up in Miami impact you individually and help shape your music style the most?
Miami is made up of a shit ton of different people, most with eccentric personalities. There’s so much in Miami in terms of culture. Plus, tourists are here a lot, and one of my favorite things is how sunburnt they are. It’s truly breathtaking; I don’t know how they do it to such a high degree. Anyway, such a diverse range of people and places opened my mind from a young age. It helped me learn acceptance and tolerance, because there are so many opinions, and at one point you become desensitized to weird shit. Fortunately, the world is full of weird and cool shit to accept, so I’m really grateful that I was exposed to so many different things as I grew up, because you learn to love every type of person, despite their differences.
9. What’s next for Julia Bhatt? Are there more singles in the works? An EP or album?
I’ve actually recorded a bunch of songs, and I’ll probably be adding more on as the year goes on. I’m most likely going to release another song early next month, which is actually another one that I love because it’s a totally different mood. After that, maybe I’ll do an EP, but we’ll see how things go.
10. We’re all about helping the next generation at allageszine.com, so we always end all our Q&A’s with this question. What one piece of advice would you give to someone who is just starting out with their first band today?
Stick it out and advocate for yourself. There are lots of obstacles in the way of the path of music, which include life circumstances, people, etc. As I said before, life’s a bitch. It’s our responsibility to be a bitch back. Respectfully, of course..