Julia Perla may have just released the most relatable song of the year. Although it’s a “Quarter Life Crisis,” Perla’s frank honesty and introspection chronicle problems many of us will find relatable regardless.
Julia Perla knew she would be a musician from an early age. She credits her parents for this early musical awakening; having been to her first concert at age 5 (Britney Spears, no less), her parents would also take her to see Broadway shows and many other concerts. Having been inspired to pursue a music career, Perla started taking piano lessons from a young age, which evolved into voice and cello lessons.
Having thrown herself into the world of music extremely early, it should be no surprise that Perla has graced the stage from a young age. Having pursued music at Syracuse and even subsequently relocating to Nashville to study audio engineering and obtain her master's, it’s clear that Perla’s dedication to her music is real. One thing is sure; Perla is fixated on providing the best music possible for her fans.
This fixation, dedication, and refreshing transparency lead to the “Quarter Life Crisis.” Over upbeat, bouncy instrumentals, Perla takes an honest, introspective look at the challenges your mid-twenties bring. Lines like “I'm looking back at my life / What was I doing” probably hit close to home for a lot of us, and when combined with lines like “I'm only halfway to 50 / Everyone's married and having babies”, at times it feels like the life Perla is living is somehow connected to ours.
Julia Perla’s “Quarter Life Crisis” is a bouncy, relatable song that perfectly captures the angst of figuring some of your shit out by 25 but still having more shit to figure out. Life, in many ways, is just beginning, and we’re all just figuring it out. One thing is for sure, though, we’re rooting for her. Stream “Quarter Life Crisis” today, and keep an eye out for more music in the future.
We gotta say, “Quarter Life Crisis” was ultra-relatable and hit pretty close to home for a lot of us. What was it like growing up in a household with such a profound love of music, and how did that help shape your approach to music as an artist today?
It definitely influenced my writing and how I perform. I was exposed to different genres from a very young age. My parents would take me to NYC often to see Broadway shows. I listened to opera and classical music in the car with my grandpa, and my grandma always had the radio on. I started playing the cello when I was in the 4th grade. Besides this, I attended many concerts and shows. I didn’t grow up with family members working in the music business or performing, but their love for music inspired me to look for new music, listen to music, and pursue it.
You did your undergrad at Syracuse and your masters in Nashville. How were the music scenes different? How do you incorporate these different types of styles into your music?
For me personally, it’s not about the music for every city, but it is about the people you meet and the opportunities that are presented to you. Syracuse is where I grew up, learned my foundational music skills, and learned about the music industry. At Syracuse University, I took my first songwriting class and it was the first class where I was co-writing with other writers. I studied classical music but was exposed to all genres. While in Nashville, everyone you meet is a songwriter. Nashville made me a stronger songwriter and gave me tough skin.
My style comes from exposure to many genres and subgenres. I am always looking for new music and trying to expose myself to different genres, whether it’s through streaming services, social media platforms, TV shows, and movies or attending concerts, shows, and open mics. My creative process comes down to the story and what I want to tell people. Personally, I believe music is a universal language. It truly speaks to the soul and allows the listener and performer to be transported. I hope in the future to incorporate different styles of music.
You mentioned that a huge part of who you are as an artist is making music that is both relatable and emotional (we definitely noticed that on “Quarter Life Crisis”). Take us through your creative process. What did making a “Quarter Life Crisis” entail?
I got the idea for the song when I was 23 years old from a friend who was turning 25, upset about her career, goals, and love life. She was very uncertain about her future. I knew I wanted the song to be catchy, upbeat, and have relatable and emotional lyrics. I wrote it down and didn’t finish the song until my 25th birthday. I had found myself also uncertain about my future during the pandemic. I remember seeing everyone I know getting engaged, married, having babies, and throwing parties. They all seemed like they were living their best life while I was working as a full-time content moderator through a temp agency.
At the same time, I was finishing my master’s degree in audio engineering and temporarily moved in with my parents. I wrote about how I and others my age were feeling. It took three days to write the song, but I also was in the process of writing a couple of other songs that week. I originally made two demos for the song, and it took 1.5 years to come out. As a process, I always joke that the song was a crisis because the song almost didn’t get released. Before we got to the final released version, I had recorded the song at least nine times in three different cities and through three different productions. Finding the right person to produce this song took me a while. Once the song was produced, I went to the recording studio for the last time to record my vocals, and it all came together.
You’ve been performing for more than a decade at this point. Do you have any favorite performances that especially stand out to you? Why that performance in particular?
My favorite performance would have to be my senior recital at Syracuse University. I was able to perform one of my own songs. About a year prior, I had a traumatic event that took place in my life that dealt with a very close friend at the time. A lot of stuff happened after the event, and I learned that my two closest friends weren’t really my friends. I ended up going to Los Angeles for the summer thinking things would get better, and I spent a semester there. The entire time I tried ignoring everything that had happened, but things had gotten worse. I had no one by my side, even though I did the right thing, and many people were lying about me and blaming me for things that they had done. On the outside, it appeared I was doing fine, but internally I was a complete mess and had a huge writing block.
When I came back to finish my last semester, I started writing songs and reflected on my past. I knew I wanted to perform one of my songs but didn’t want to perform the ones I had written. Two weeks before my jury for my recital, I was on an airplane and finally wrote a song about how I felt. I wrote the topline in 1 hour. I came home and knew immediately I was going to perform it for my recital and wrote the chords. I remember after my recital. My one friend had no idea that I wrote that song, but really liked it and asked me who wrote it. It definitely was a night I’ll never forget.
What’s next for Julia Perla? Can we expect to hear new music soon?
I plan on releasing a music video for “Quarter Life Crisis” and my next single!