Today, I get to feature emerging artist Julius Black, who is a 19-year old singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist. He was born in Australia, raised in Shanghai, and comes from a mixed background of Chinese-Irish. As a result of the different continents he lived in, he searched for musical influences everywhere he could, thus developing this 'alternative soul pop' sound that he creates today. He released his debut single "Mirrors" last Friday, which is a song about the anxieties our generation faces each day and the unsettling thoughts of what our futures will be. He moved at 18 to a completely different city, leaving behind comfort to enter isolation, but in doing so he has been hard at work creating more music that he will soon share with the rest of us. Be sure to check out his single above and stay tuned for what’s to come for this budding new creator.
Here is our interview:
Channel Sounds [CS]: How did you get into music?
Julius Black [JB]: “I got into music around my early teens after discovering punk rock and hip hop. It felt super rebellious to me at the time and it pushed me to learn instruments, this lead me to R&B and Gospel music, and eventually into producing and writing some of my own songs. I was really angsty in primary/ intermediate school and wanted to start a punk band and only wear black (which I still do haha). I guess that part of my life kind of morphed into who I am now.”
[CS]: How has music fueled your ability to channel your self-expression?
[JB]: “I felt like music gave me a sense of purpose and confidence just because I had attention problems at school and couldn’t focus on things really easily. I found it really easy to focus on a piece of music for a long time, especially if I was producing or writing. I also moved from Shanghai, China to New Zealand and I was this shy mixed-race looking boy who was (is still) kind of awkward haha, so being relatively good at something gave me confidence to reach out and make friends.”
[CS]: What was the process and inspiration behind making "Mirrors"? [JB]: “I wrote ‘Mirrors’ when I had just turned 18. I moved out of home to a different city to pursue music. I was living in this weird apartment that felt haunted and was constantly comparing myself a lot to other people, which started to freak me out. I spent a year trying to make an album in my weird apartment and ‘Mirrors’ felt like the most sincere I had been in my songs up to that point, so that’s why I picked it as a first release.”
[CS]: What other plans and/or projects do you have in the coming year? [JB]: “I have a bunch of songs that I’ve written and produced with my bff Struan Finlay (shout out haha). I think he might move in with me and we brave out the winter in NZ by releasing a few more things while making more music. Hopefully, [we'll] start playing some shows through our summer and take things as they come!” ——- Thanks, Julius! We can’t wait to see what’s in store for you! Be sure to follow Julius Black on Spotify and Instagram and be sure to check out our feature of him on Channel Sounds here.