London-based Austrian singer-songwriter Julia Romana combines complex vocal harmonies and ethereal electronic beats resulting in mesmerizing dreamscapes that live somewhere in the space between pensive and affirmative. Her music blends genres and creates abstract lyrical scenes.
How would you describe your music?
I write my music to calm myself down. It’s a bit like a coping mechanism to deal with reality, the state of our planet, anxiety, and other personal issues. Style wise it’s a mix. It’s got bits of electronic, folk, jazz, and even rock. Maybe alt-pop? The genre a song of mine has doesn’t really matter too much. It’s mostly about the atmosphere I want to create. Female empowerment is a theme in most of my songs.
Who inspired you to make music?
I always loved singing in the car with my dad or when I spent time with my friends. My childhood best friend had a few Madonna CDs and we listened to those on repeat while painting pictures at her desk in her bedroom. I think the first tool I used to record my song ideas was the first mobile phone that I got when I was about 7 or 8 years old. Obviously, there weren’t any apps on there but there was a voice memo function and I really loved playing around with that.
How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?
I was born in 1994 so I still remember buying CDs of artists I loved. Like Beyoncé, Nelly Furtado, Shakira, the classics of course. When “Beautiful Liar” was released I bought the single CD for that. Just one song on a CD. Feels crazy, looking back. But in a way it made me cherish the song so much more than it would if it came off on Spotify nowadays.
On the other hand… the internet of course has enabled me to explore genres much more easily, and get recommendations for new artists I haven’t yet discovered. It’s just a vast pool of music that keeps growing. It’s kind of bittersweet that everything is just so easily in reach for us that its value of it fades more and more.
Have you got a ritual of sorts when making music?
I love to meditate before I start on demos. But mostly my favourite approach is to start with a simple loop of chords or a beat and just have it playing for ages. It kind of draws me in and feels like a little sphere to create in.
I love to make demos in my bedroom but really appreciate being together in a room with musicians as well. The energy is so different. When I worked on “Coming Closer” with Duckwrth it felt like a party in the studio. Everyone was just throwing ideas in the mix. No judgement, just a really fun time.
My upcoming solo album was mostly written in my bedroom since the majority of songwriting happened during the lockdown. For my next projects, I definitely want to get together with some people in real life for a change.
What’s next for you?
Releasing my upcoming full album called “Blood Be Fluid”. It will be out this September!
After that: Relaxation. Recollecting and just taking a break for a while, and maybe finishing some new demos.
What are your top two favourite songs of all time? Why those songs?
1. Down is the new up – Thom Yorke
There’s a piano version of that song on YouTube that I really love. It was the first song that really got me into Thom Yorke and Radiohead and it still enchants me.
2. Spellbound – Siouxsie and the Banshees
It’s hard to narrow my favourite songs down to just 2 but this one has so much energy. It really lifts my spirits every time I hear it so I’m leaving it in here for now.
What was the last series you watched on TV?
I finished Stranger Things and I’m still not over it. Gotta love Eddie Munson.
At the moment I’m watching Better Call Saul. Love the show’s atmosphere.
What do you think the greatest invention has been?
What has really changed my life in the last 2 years: Noise cancelling headphones.
I hate loud environments and now there’s a way to control them a bit and just put a nice relaxing song on top of the noise to double up on bliss.
Do you have any lucky items, objects, or traditions?
My best friend Sandra knitted a little doll version of herself (about 5cm tall) and gave her to me as a gift a few years ago. I never travel without mini Sandra.
If you could ask your future self one question, what would it be?
What’s the meaning of life to you now?
If you had to describe yourself as a flavour, what would it be?
Ohh this one is cute… Hmmm. Raspberry!
Julia shares her new single ‘Blood Be Fluid’, out now. The track is taken from Julia’s upcoming EP of the same name, set for release on 8 September.
Inspired by the cult classic film Suspiria and Twin Peaks, the captivating music video was directed by Laura Manners, choreographed by Weronika Szczerek and features dancers Puisy Luong and Kajsa Sundström alongside Julia. Using lots of red and yellow hues, Julia’s performance is hypnotizingly sensual and captivating.
Speaking of the track, Julia says, “When I wrote the song I struggled to find a fitting vocal melody. I realised soon that I tried to force myself to match the mood and nothing sounded genuine. So I decided to become a character for this song. I started daydreaming about being a witch, casting a spell. A spell that would bring back childlike confidence and a sense of inner power that sometimes gets lost as you get older and deal with ‘the real world’. When I showed my rough demo to my producer Veronika Hanl, she instantly got the vibe.
I wrote the song as a wake up call for my own energy to activate and flourish.
The song also reflects on moving abroad to enrich one’s own life and learning a lot of life lessons along the way. ‘Blood Be Fluid’ is a motivation to take risks and learn how to deal with situations hands on.”
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