INTERVIEW: Juliana Chahayed

1. Hi Juliana, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hey! Thank you, I’ve been good! Life has just been work and music lately.

2. Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Yellow”

Yes! “Yellow” is my newest song that I put out in March. It’s one of my more pop and rhythm driven songs and probably one of my favorite songs I’ve written thus far. It was written with some family and friends – my brother Rogét Chahayed (Drake, Travis Scott, Nas), producer Wesley Singerman, queer femme producer Chong the Nomad (Alda), and my sister/fellow singer-songwriter Andrea Chahayed.

3. Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

There wasn’t any particular event that inspired “Yellow,” it was more of the mindset I was in during that time.

4. How was the filming process and experience behind the video? I see there’s a special cameo by the one and only Danny Trejo. How did that come about? When director Noah Kentis and I were coming up with ideas for the music video we kind of mentioned Danny’s name not thinking anything would actually come out of it! My dad has been friends with him for a while so we decided to see if he could ask and to our surprise Danny said yes! A month later we found ourselves in the same room with Danny for about 30 minutes trying to squeeze in as much footage as we could! He was extremely kind and supportive, I’m so happy that we were able to have an opportunity like that.

5. How was the recording and writing process?

Myself, Wes, and Alda were at my brother’s old studio and wrote for about 4 or 5 hours. We started throwing some melody ideas around first while Rogét was improvising on the piano. We then recorded a voice memo of just vocals and piano and sampled it to be the intro of the song. After that, everything else kind of fell into place.

6. What role does LA play in your music?

LA is where it all happens. Everyone has a mutual friend who knows this or that singer or writer and making connections plays such a huge role in the music world. I’ve found that during the lockdown I’ve been befriending other musicians more through the internet with tiktok and Instagram than I have ever before just growing up here. When things open up eventually I’d love to have some sessions with some of these friends.

7. Known for your covers – do you tend to take a different approach when taking someone else’s song rather than working on your own personal material? It’s slightly the same approach, of course learning a song is way easier than writing a song but I always start with the instrument usually no matter what I’m doing. Then vocals will come in once I am comfortable with the chord progression.

8. Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

Slowly but surely. I have a few songs that are already written and some that I am currently writing which I want to put together to form an EP. I think it’s going to be a mixture of some more acoustic stuff and a few more produced/ layered songs. I’ve also been working on some writing for my boyfriend’s EP as well, he’s working on a drum and bass style EP so I’ve been writing and recording vocals for a lot of the songs which I’m excited about too.

9. Any tentative release date or title in mind?

I’m hoping for sometime during the fall to put this project out! No title as of yet though.

10. What else is happening next in Juliana Chahayed’s world?

The past few months my routine has been to get up early to work at a cute cafe, then come home and work on music. I’ve been trying to focus more on music content for tik tok since it’s a much better algorithm than other platforms right now. I just uploaded a tik tok with my sister Andrea singing in an echoey room that hit about 2 million views in a few days so that has been pretty interesting and fun.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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