Radiating the world with a positive touch while creating music that echoes veracity, Julia Nunes is continuing to rise in the music world. Beginning her career with YouTube, Nunes displayed her sounds to an audience that was waiting to hear them. Now, with the release of her highly anticipated album, Some Feelings, Julia Nunes got more personal than ever before. Having no trouble expressing who she is and how she feels is an energy that her fan base clasped on to, forming an intense connection that was displayed in full force when her fans helped raise enough money to allow Nunes to display her art exactly the way she envisioned it, and completely on her own terms.
It’s safe to say we all have a Julia Nunes in us: someone who is wild, expressive, weird, fearless, and free. But through this album, we see another part of Nunes that we also carry within us: someone who is honest, vulnerable, scared at times, and trying his or her best to conquer the obstacles thrown his or her way by life. Julia Nunes shines light on how passion and persistence can pave new ways to success. Maybe you don’t always have to follow the rules. Maybe, sometimes, you can even make your own.
Cliché: Some Feelings was written during a difficult time in your life, after getting out of a 5-year-long relationship. Looking back, is a part of you grateful for having gone through and grown from that tough period because it has led you to such great success?
Julia Nunes: I am torn between feeling pissed because I should have been better to myself sooner and feeling like “Duh, I was young and dumb; of course I did a bad job at life.” Maybe I need a little more distance from it to feel that gratitude. I’m extremely grateful for the people that swooped in during that time. I have so many friends and family members to thank for getting me to where I am now. I feel like everyone I know did CPR on me for like six months before I really came back to life.
In the process of making this album, you wrote about 80 or more songs! Was it difficult to narrow it down to just 11 for the album, or was there something that stood out to you in these tracks in comparison to the others?
It feels very easy to pick the songs. I just get really stoked on one over the other. I always say my favorite song I’ve ever written is whatever is most recent, so if I’m writing one that doesn’t go to the top and replace my last favorite, it probably won’t make it to the album.
Having raised over $70,000 on Kickstarter to fund your album is such an amazing accomplishment! Did you anticipate raising as much as you did?
That was the first one, which blew me away. I was floored. So double that amount of shock when I doubled that amount of money for this Kickstarter. Baffling. I am so extremely lucky and so grateful to the people that dig my music.
Has raising that much money encouraged you to experiment a bit more than you originally would have with your music, videos, or performances?
Absolutely! That’s like record-label money! That’s like, “go make the best, most perfect album you can imagine” money. It made a massive difference. I got to hire my favorite musicians (Peter Recine, Mike Comite, and Adam Christgau) and the best producer (Joanna Katcher at Nice Manners) and it gave me the freedom to have fun in the studio, make happy mistakes, and correct unhappy mistakes. I even remixed the record when it was basically done because it wasn’t perfect. There is no “eh, good enough” on this record, and that’s because of the freedom Kickstarter gave me.
With starting your career by exposing your music on YouTube, you built up quite the fanbase. However, this past July, you wrote a blog post explaining that you decided to delete some of your old videos that didn’t fit or correspond with the person you’ve become. What factored in to making this big decision, and do you think you will ever put those videos back up for public viewing?
The decision was tough. I have eight years of music and silliness chronicled on the Internet. I’m super proud of all of those videos, so I kept up some of my faves and the rest are definitely not gone forever. I just didn’t want those eight years to eclipse what I’m doing now. I’m so excited about this record and I want people who are just being introduced to me to see that first. Later, they can get into vintage Julia with side bangs and a nose ring.
You’ve also been known to perform in Living Room Shows, which tend to be more personal with smaller audiences. Do you have a preference for performing large gigs over small ones, or vice-versa?
I need both. There’s nothing like performing for a big crowd with your band, rocking out with light-up shoes. There’s also nothing like singing sweet little harmonies to a tiny, attentive crowd. I wanna dance around on stage and also do intimate Q&A’s. I need screaming and also heart-stopping silence. I wouldn’t be happy doing one or the other.
What’s next for you?
We just shot a music video for “Make Out!” Keep an eye out for that. And we’re about to leave for a living room tour on the east coast, which is basically rehearsal for the acoustic version of Some Feelings coming in 2016.
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Julia Nunes Interview: Photographer: Catie Laffoon