Julia Cole, 22 and a Houston, TX native, made the move to Nashville to develop her music career. I recently had the opportunity to sit and talk with Julia. After getting to know her on a more personal level, I must say that I was genuinely impressed.
Julia started singing in high school after her teammates and coaches convinced her to start performing the National Anthem before her high school volleyball and basketball games. Soon after, word spread and she was asked to perform at countless events, including sold-out crowds before the Houston Texans, Houston Astros, Houston Dynamo, and Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo events. Thanks to her mother, she started piano at age five. She began writing songs and immersed herself into the Texas country music scene. There, she opened for Earl Thomas Conley, 10,000 Maniacs, Tab Benoit, Cory Morrow, Jimmy Webb, and many others. She also performed before Bruno Mars, Blake Shelton, and Luke Bryan concerts at the Rodeo. In addition to graduating early from Vanderbilt University, she is now collaborating with many well-known songwriters and producers, including Chuck Cannon and Lari White. Recently, Julia signed with CAA, Holler! Music Publishing, Martingale Entertainment Management (Hunter Hayes), and BMI.
This girl has so much going for her. With her sweet nature and her unique, soulful vocal talent, she truly brings something special to Nashville. Not only is she musically talented, she is also very professional. Her drive and excitement for music shines through and lights up the room the moment you meet her. In this interview, we get a peek into Julia Cole’s life and musical journey.
What’s your favorite part about being a musician?
There are two distinct moments that I absolutely live for as a musician. One is that first breath after a song has been written and you realize that you just created a piece of art that can never and will never be erased. No matter what medium it’s recorded on…the melody is embedded in your mind. It’s awe inspiring to me to know we are capable of creating something so beautifully indestructible. The second is when a crowd sings along at the top of their lungs, showing just how much they’ve connected with my music.
What do you think makes you unique as an artist?
My music is such a blend of genres that there really isn’t one single musician I could say I’m like. The urban beats, soulful voice, country lyrics and melodies, and electronic dance elements combine into something I’ve never heard before.
Is it challenging to have a real social life outside of performing? What do you do to keep the balance? What do you do in your personal downtime?
Considering how I’ve spent my last three and a half years attending Vanderbilt University, majoring in Entrepreneurship and playing volleyball, while chasing my music career, I’d definitely say my time management skills have skyrocketed. However, having that connection to a collection of people my age uninvolved in the music scene made it pretty easy for me to have a real social life unrelated to my career. In my downtime I love running (ran the full Music City Marathon last year), eating ice cream and dark chocolate, face-timing my sisters, and drinking Fireball.
What is one piece of advice you’d like to give other artists that are out there trying to make it?
WRITE, WRITE, WRITE. The ability to write great songs is a huge asset, so work on it as much as possible. Publishing companies are very commonly becoming the discoverer of new talent in the scene. They focus on your songwriting more than anything else. Obviously work on performance skills as much as possible- practice makes perfect- but don’t forget about generating amazing material. At the end of the day, it’s all about the song.
What projects are you currently working on?
We just finished recording an eight song EP, the “Tex-Mix EP,” and are currently working on scheduling a release and recording an acoustic Tex-Mix version!
Do you have any big shows or projects coming up? If so, what are they?
I’m playing the Mountain High Music Festival in January! It will be a blast:)
What’s one thing you want your fans/future fans to know about you?
I LOVE SPORTS. I love playing far more than watching though:)
What’s your favorite way to connect with fans? Pictures, Social Media, Interaction at shows?
Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook have been my favorites!
How long have you been performing/playing music?
Although I began playing piano at age five and sang in my middle school choir, I didn’t seriously start pursuing music until my junior year of high school. My volleyball and basketball coaches would have me perform the National Anthem before all of my own games starting freshman year. By junior year, word spread around town and I began singing the anthem for the Texans, Astros, Dynamo, and NASA. After I stood before a sold out crowd of 75,000 people in Reliant Stadium (now NRG) and found myself completely void of butterflies or nerves, I knew performing was what I was meant to do. I picked up guitar the summer before college and moved to Nashville!
Who are your biggest supporters?
My family, best friends, momager (Emmie), publishing/songwriting family (Chuck Cannon and Lari White), managers (Ansel Davis and Candice Watkins), agents (Blake McDaniel and Jim Butler), BMI reps (Mark Mason and Jody Williams), and original Texas Country Family (Kyle Hutton and Bonnie Bishop).
If you could perform with one artist or band, who would it be?
Was there one defining moment for you where you knew that you wanted to play music?
I received a Facebook message from a girl asking me to write a song for her mother who had recently been diagnosed with cancer. I wrote “Beautiful Fighter,” a song about defying odds. Believing in prayer, and having hope, I happily agreed to perform it at her benefit fundraiser. The mother had no idea a song had been written for her and was absolutely in shock. There wasn’t a dry eye in the entire building. That day taught me the true power and meaning behind songwriting and performing. I’m beyond excited to report that she is currently cancer free!!!!
After meeting Julia, it is obvious that this girl is bringing music that is new and unique to Nashville and the music world in general. I can’t wait to see what is in store for this bright, shining star.
Julia’s single #GetAwesome is available for download and streaming on iTunes, Spotify, Reverbnation, YouTube, Apple Radio, Joox Music and SoundCloud. Her full 8-song EP will be available soon. You can see Julia’s full schedule on her website http://www.JuliaColeMusic.com and follow her updates on Facebook and Twitter.
(Photo credits: Christin Sites)