Hi Julianne, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Hey! Thank you so much for having me, I’m really excited to be here. Life has been pretty good lately. I’ve definitely been in a transitional period since I started school in Boston at Berklee College of Music. Being 3,000 miles away from home and great weather has taken some getting used to, but I think I’m doing well as a freshman. I just released my first single, life is sweet.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Seventeen”?
Yeah, “Seventeen,” is a piano-based pop song with detailed lyrics and a catchy chorus. It’s the first single off of my upcoming EP Transparent. The release has been a long time coming – my producers and I made the record back in February and we’re all super stoked that the music is finally being released.
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
Yes, actually. Back in 2015 when I was planning my birthday party, I was pretty upset over the fact that I was about to turn 18. I wasn’t excited for it at all, like most people usually are when turning 18. In fact, I was kind of dreading it. A couple of days after my birthday, I was having a conversation with my mom when I asked her, “What makes me qualified to all of the sudden be an adult and have extraordinary responsibilities thrown onto me?” My thoughts on the subject were, and still are, that one single second on the clock doesn’t make you gain any more perspective that somehow validates your newfound adulthood. I gained the responsibility of being able to vote, get married, sign up for the army, buy a gun, etc. It’s crazy how we live in a society that in one day, says we are children who aren’t allowed any responsibility and in the next, says that we’re adults who need to fend for themselves. My song is questioning and poking fun at this type of logic.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
Yes! I’m so excited for this music video to come out. My director and I co-wrote the treatment together, and it’s pretty wild. It takes the song to a bit of an extreme, which I think will translate hilariously on film. The story of the music video is supposed to be pretty linear, but I’m excited to hear how other people will interpret it. It’s in the last stages of the editing process and will be out really soon!
The single comes off your new album Transparent – what’s the story behind the title?
I named the EP Transparent because the word represents me not only as a musician but as a person. I’ve been through some heavy stuff that some people would consider to be better left unsaid because it’s pretty dark. There was a lot of drug addiction in my family that led to the passing of my father and sister in a one month time period. Through those awful experiences, and other beautiful ones as well, I’ve learned that the only way to grow as a person and to help others and influence people is to be honest and transparent. As a musician, I want to connect with my listeners, and the only way to do that is to take from my experiences and relay them transparently.
How was the recording and writing process?
The writing process has accumulated over the years, actually. The oldest song off of the EP is, “The Amethyst Piano,” which was written three years ago when I was just 16. The rest of the songs on the EP are more recent, the newest one being, “Seventeen.” The recording process was absolutely extraordinary. I had the experience of a lifetime making the EP. My producers and I arranged the songs for about a month before heading into the studio. Their talent and dedication really show on Transparent. We recorded at legendary EastWest Studios in Hollywood. All of the core instruments were live-tracked, meaning the band and I played at the same time and used one full-take for each song. My bassist has played on Marvin Gaye’s albums, my drummer has played with W.A.M., and my guitarist toured with Train – it was so fucking exciting to have the opportunity to play with these guys.
How has tragedy have influence you as an artist?
When I was grieving the loss of my father and sister, the only constant I had was my connection to music. Listening to my favorite albums throughout the day and then going home to write about my experiences helped me make it through the weeks and months that followed the traumas I went through. On the one-year anniversary of my sister’s passing, I went to Coachella and when I was there, I had an epiphany – and even though I was at Coachella, it wasn’t drug induced – that my purpose in life is to connect with people through music. As an artist and as a writer, I want to offer my stories and experiences as ways for people to connect with them, just as my favorite bands did for me.
What aspect of your heart and soul did you get to explore on this album?
I love this question because the exploration of myself through this EP is much lighter than what you’d expect it to be. For years, I’ve been going through a grieving process that has impacted me and has shaped my growth as a person, but it hasn’t solely defined me. Transparent shows that I will not let myself only be defined as someone who has lost, but someone who has gained and learned so much from that loss. Transparent explores the heart and soul of a 19-year-old girl who, yes, has gone through quite a bit of shit, and who also questions societal standards and has every-day relationship issues as well.
Any plans to hit the road?
I’m going to be playing some shows in LA when I’m back for my winter break! I hope to be able to play shows in Boston and NYC while I’m out here on the East Coast. Definitely check my website and social media accounts to stay in the loop about future shows.
What else is happening next in Julianne Glass’ world?