Born in the North East council estates of Paris where hip-hop and funk were strongly apparent, Julie Bernouis aka Turismo Girlfriend World Tour, grew up on a diet of zouk and pop. Obsessed early on with the 80's LES-era Madonna and pop music, she rekindled her passion for Caribbean rhythms and catchy pop tunes during her travels to Jamaica and american living life. With echoes of Madonna and Rihanna and with a twist of Charlotte Gainsbourg. The EP is straight out of a dream where Robyn might have been raised in Kingston, Jamaica. It races through four epic melodies with haunting, eerie harmonies, embracing bleak subject matter. The songs linger on the dance-floor like dark shadows of a cloud, a little twisted for sure but also upbeat and seriously fun. It brings those real life moments to the party. Rather than being dramatic about the ups and downs, it encourages you to forget about your troubles and dance. Turismo Girlfriend released their single titled “So Fucking Cold”, the dark and nostalgic hit with augmented and stretched out harmonies and an oddly supernatural aura that makes it a little bit more magnetic and captivating. A unique trait I’ve noticed in this song is that whenever Turismo Girlfriend World Tour sings she has backup vocals in a falsetto range alongside a third added on vocal in a sort of distortion sound, making it way more chilling and hauntingly cultivating. If you could paint a picture with this song the way I have, I’ve pictured “Numbness”. Lost in the moment , absorbed by the content in the music, relaxed in the vibration of the song. All are emotions I’ve felt while listening to "So Fucking Cold". At the end of the song, she repeats the hook without any background instrumental or studio recordings, it is haunting and raw leaving you completely captivated.
Listen to Turismo Girlfriend World Tour's new song "So Fucking Cold" and be sure to check out our exclusive interview below!
Hi Julie! Care to introduce yourself to our readers!
Hi BuzzMusic readers! My name is Julie aka Turismo Girlfriend World Tour. I'm French but live in New York.
Can you tell us a bit about your musical career?
I got into music very young and went to music school for a while. I used to love writing poetry age 7 and singing and started singing in a choir and doing ballet. I was told at age 11 I was no good at dancing and stopped music school altogether because of that, but the passion for dancing and singing stayed. You couldn't stop me from humming during dinner or organizing choregraphies at school when we had birthday parties going on. Then I was briefly in an indie rock band when I turned 18 with my friends. I had been writing lyrics for a little while now. I guess the poetry helped. I actually turned to working in the music industry. I met a lot of inspiring people along the way which led me to New York and drove me to reconnect with my original love. I started writing songs in the studio next door to the record label office I was working for. They were indie rock demos in the style of Courtney Love (I was always a fan as a teen, must have been the angst) but I didn't release them and then I kept writing and it became apparent that was really what I wanted to do. I jumped in and created songs that fitted my new life and personality more. I was managing a band at the time and one of the guys was building his own studio in Greenpoint and was a producer. I made two songs with him. And then I put fillers in totally randomly and found my second producer that way, all the way in LA where we had a try out on the track Fussy. He’d already made the instrumental and I improvised on it and we both liked it.
Turismo Girlfriend World Tour is a unique name! How did you choose this name?
It is right?! Some say it's a bit long but I don't listen to them… Well, I had a long winded story about it but I guess it’s a little personal but I guess it’s about holiday flings and being a tourist girlfriend and having a man in every port. Have I said too much?! It all started in Cuba when on travels with a bunch of girlfriends. It started as a joke like everything else but it sounded good so I kept it.
Out of all the locations you’ve traveled too, do you have a personal favorite? If so which and why?
I love traveling and like a lot of places. The Caribbean islands are one of my favorite area but also South America. I just love the culture and the people there. They are more open minded, kind and simple. They seem to appreciate life more than people anywhere else and seem to be more grateful and content although sometimes life is more precarious. The streets are always full of sounds and joy. The nature is beautiful too. It's green and vast and luxuriant and the beaches are incredible. The colors are vibrant. And obviously I love the music. Rhythmically It's all pretty African based: soca, zouk, reggaeton, dancehall etc… I love it all, it puts me in a good mood. So those places are pleasing for my ears, my eyes, my taste buds.
You have a unique style, we love it a lot. Do you have any inspirations?
Thank you! I do have very eclectic inspirations and references. I love RnB and hip hop but my main references would have been Fka Twigs and maybe Banks for the darkness of the tones. And then I also wanted to add some very tropical rhythms to the mix. I grew up in the suburbs of Paris and all my friends were from Martinique and Guadeloupe so I have always been surrounded by this sound. As I said before, the places I travel to inspire me a lot. I forgot to mention Brazil. Brazil is very important to me. When I recorded the E.P. I had just come back from Jamaica and I was totally obsessed with it so I introduced some baile funk and reggaeton / dancehall elements to the tracks too. I guess you can guess that there is a huge influence from 80's pop as well. I was obsessively crushing on Madonna when she did the whole True Blue/ Like A Prayer albums. That summed through the whole concoction without me even trying to include some of those references. It organically happened.
“So Fucking Cold” seems to be a little more complex and detailed. How would you summarize the single for our readers?
"So Fucking Cold" was written fully without music at first and I gave it to my producer- it's actually the first song that got worked on altogether- and he came back with a very dark, cold, echoey sounding track enriched with metal eerie noises that I thought was very fitting. We both made changes and added some instruments including violins and refined vocals, as you do.We left it there for a few months and finished the other track. I thought something was missing. I got my audio files back but there was a problem with them so I decided one day to just tweak the mp3 track in my bedroom on my laptop. Ghetto style. I added a lot of extra harmonies and haunting backing vocals, another violin and cello loop and a few more things and I guess that's the version you can now hear. It’s pretty busy with a lot of weird lines coming in and out and also a lot of layering. It's also a very emotionally heavy song as it's about domestic violence and abuse. So it had to be complex I think. To reflect the spirit of the song. It’s not an easy subject.
What’s the appeal your songs have on others you feel?
I think the songs have a message but it doesn't take away from the entertaining quality to them. People only read lyrics every so often and that’s only when they have passed the stage of liking the melodies I think… So that shouldn’t stop anyone from enjoying the songs despite the serious topics. I think the main appeal and draw of the E.P. is how catchy and infectious the melodies are! they make people dance. I hope so anyway!!!
What’s the next step for you entering the new year?
I am very excited about the forthcoming year. This was my first stepping stone in the creative process. I absolutely love writing so am gonna write loads more. Maybe for other people? In the meantime, I am going to release some remixes of the E.P. tracks. Some really good versions are currently being worked on and there are some great surprises and some dance floor club bangers! More videos in the work too. I am going to play a string of shows in New York, LA and London in the spring. And last but not least… I also have a single mixed and ready to go that I am very excited to release so that will come probably later in the year. It's gonna be hard to keep it under cover though I admit!
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