2014 was a huge year for Gold Coast songstress Julia Rose, with a 31 stop tour, festival play, recording and and releasing. With a three octave range and unique and charming personal performance style, it’s no wonder she’s been in such demand. Julia Rose is looking forward to kicking back a bit in 2015, but still has a few tricks up her sleeve. Natalie O’Driscoll caught up with her to get the low down.
You’re so musical. Can you tell me a bit about your musical background?
I started singing and playing piano at age 5. My family are ALL musicians. I didn’t pick up the bass until I was 18 so, that came later. But I’ve been singing the whole time.
Whenever someone has such a unique sound and presence, I’m always curious about who they would consider to be their influences.
Because I grew up learning classical music, I had a lot of exposure to that kind of vocal stuff. It wasn’t until later until I discovered bands like Red Hot Chili Peppers and Eilen Jewell, who’s amazing. PJ Harvey was a big influence.
I can hear shades of Kate Bush sometimes when I listen to you.
I looove Kate Bush. There are multiple influences I haven’t said but yeah, she’s amazing. We used to do a version of (sings) “Heathcliff, it’s meee Cathyy..”
Yes! That’s it. I couldn’t remember the name.
Congratulations on your performer of the year award at the Queensland Pride Awards! What did it mean to you to win that?
Yes it was very exciting. It was humbling. I felt like I’ve put in many years in the music industry so it was lovely to have been voted as performer of the year.
Did you win a prize?
A trophy. I recommended that they make a prize next year, like $5000. (laughs)
But then won’t someone else win it, and reap the benefit of your suggestion?
Oh yeah, I didn’t think of that! They can call it the Julia Rose Award then – I’m kidding!
Who are your top five Gold Coast artists, currently?
Oooh yep I’ve got it. Felicity Lawless, Hussy Hicks, CC the Cat, Kim Churchill, Tijuana Cartel.
So we know you sing, play the bass and the piano. Any other instruments?
I played the saxophone for ten years. I wanted to play the violin in grade 3 and they said no, and put me onto the saxophone. I get by, I’m not as good as I’d like to be.
Have you ever met a hero?
I think when I was a kid the first hero I ever met was Cathy Freeman, just randomly at an airport. I’d just watched her win her famous run back in the nineties and she really really made an impression on me.
Did you get a pic?
No well this was before the days you could just whip out a smart phone unfortunately and take one.
You played a few festivals on tour in 2014. Did you have a favourite?
Good question. Yup. Island Vibe was pretty amazing. Just the proximity to the beach, and it was a kind of community run festival and usually when that’s the case it’s quite organic. And there was lots of support for local acts which was also really exciting.
What does your ideal 2015 look like?
Mainly it’s just finishing the album. We are looking to have it done by the end of the year and then tour in 2016. 2014 was so mega it will be good to have it just a little bit slower and put as much love and energy into it a possible. We’re hoping to release the next single mid-year.
Julia will be a featured artist in an upcoming Mudgeeraba summertime Session. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for details.