New Jersey-based Singer/Songwriter Alex Julia began her musical journey playing live shows across her home state and began writing her debut album with the life experience she collected along the way. She has had quite a journey of discovering all parts of who she is and learning that we are not identified by just one thing, but all the parts together.
Alex Julia’s multifaceted personality shines out in the song “What’s Going On," a zealous addition to her recent EP debut 'Better Part of Me.'
She brings on artist Jean to help tell the story of a despairing breakup through both sides and bring to life the feelings of hurt and confusion that follow. The song starts off with an overwhelming electric guitar, setting the scene for this throwback-like breakup song.
The feelings of knowing it is time to let go, but not quite knowing how to do so from the root of “What’s Going On,” giving the song a relatable and charismatic atmosphere.
Alex Julia pours sentiment into her vocal delivery, and her counterpart Jean gives an emotive performance as the second half of the relationship that has ended.
When you are introduced to the chorus, you are able to fall into the emotions that Alex Julia is feeling with her repetitive phrasing and stirring production.
“What’s Going On” is quite a short track that embodies the anxiety felt when going through this sort of trauma, and the harmonies between Alex Julia and Jean are a beautiful addition to the story.
Alex Julia’s ability to project her soul into the music and analyze her experiences give rise to many other moving songs on her EP, 'Better Part of Me,' so make sure to give it a listen.
What kickstarted your songwriting process for “What’s Going On?” At what point did you decide that having a feature on “What’s Going On” was the perfect way to bring it to life?
I had met Jean when I went to school for audio engineering in the city. We both had similar music tastes and decided to collaborate. We both had writer's block for a while and decided to sit down and try to come up with something. We were both going through tough times and I think that energy really came through in this song. I had written the chorus riff for the song on my guitar and we both harmonized to it and wrote verses. This song kind of came out of nowhere and gave us hope in our songwriting. It comes naturally when you work really well with someone. I was surprised at how well our voices blended together. I had actually recorded the song by myself years later and it didn't sound right without his vocals so we decided to record it professionally and finally release the song that we wrote five years ago.
The production style for "What's Going On" had quite a retro/old school vibe, what are some artists you look up to that influenced this style?
"What's Going On" was inspired by the 90's grunge alt-rock vibes. We wanted the production style to be very loud and dramatic to really emphasize the heaviness of the lyricism and music. I grew up listening to a lot of Nirvana, The Pixies, and Soundgarden. Jean produced this EP and he referenced bands like Oasis to really bring out the dynamic of the song.
What is your process for choosing which songs make it on to your final album? What stood out to you about “What’s Going On” that made you choose it for your EP?
I had been playing a few of these songs live for over 5 years so it was mostly inspired by people's reactions to the melodies and lyrics. I realized a lot of my songs were really catchy and I wanted to pick songs that people could relate to the most. I chose my best storytelling songs that really painted a picture of my feelings and identity. The songs that described me as a person who is constantly growing and trying to understand the world. "It's Coming" and "What's Going On" were songs that people really enjoyed live so I really wanted to expand on those acoustic songs and give them a more full-band effect. The rest of the songs on the EP such as "Feeling More" and "Better Part Of Me" were my newest songs. When I wrote "Better Part Of Me" I realized I had really found something special and that's really what kickstarted the recording of this EP. "Feeling More" was kind of a last-minute track it was super simple yet really emotional and uplifting. We wanted that track to be as natural as possible and people really resonated with it.
Your secureness in who you are and what you stand for is inspiring, how do you transmit this confidence into music? What does this EP release "Better Part of Me" mean to you?
Music has always been the best way for me to express myself. I've always wanted to be authentic and unique and I've really strived towards that. It took me a while to find my sound, my unique style is not one that everyone understands but I've learned this is who I am and I'm very comfortable with that. "Better Part Of Me" means a whole lot to me because it has the beginning works of my career and ties in the newer sounds I've created.
What has been keeping you inspired this year? What can we expect to see next from you?
It’s been very challenging to be inspired with everything going on in the world right now but I wanted this EP release to be a glimmer of hope for people going through difficult times. I've been inspired by all of the support I've gotten throughout my music career I've had a lot of people encouraging me to believe in myself and record these songs. I am working on getting back to live shows once the time permits. I am also coming out with an animated music video for "What's Going On" in the next few weeks.