Friday, October 10, 2014

Julian Simonsz

Imagine singing on live television, in front of four musical superstars and not knowing if you'll even see their faces. This is the reality for an auditionee on The Voice, a musical reality show looking for the hottest new talent.

And in Julian Simonsz, a true star was found.

Following his journey in front of the nation, and his mentor Will.I.Am, Simonsz is now preparing for the release of his debut EP. With the support of his wife and his hard work, Simonsz is already excited for what the future has for him.

And with his charisma, voice and dedication, who wouldn't be?!

Mahalia: Judging by your reaction, you weren't expecting such a welcome onto The Voice. What was going through your head?
J: I was in shock! I couldn't believe that all four of the coaches turned around for me. It's always something I had dreamt of but in reality all I wanted was just for one to turn around, anyone! So to end up having all four, including Will.I.Am who was the one I really wanted, it was like a dream. It was so surreal hearing their comments afterwards, I couldn't believe that artists of that calibre were speaking about my voice and performance the way they did. It was something I'll never forget.

M: You've been described as 'Australia's answer to Justin Timberlake', how do you react to a comment like that?
J: I'm always taken away by that comment!! I really appreciate and feel honoured that people would ever think of me like that. I know I have a very long way to go but the faith that viewers and journalists have in me to make comments like that really inspires me too; and makes me want it even more.

M: Which song are you most excited for people to hear once they buy your EP?
J: My favourite track and the one I am most excited for people to hear is track two, Get Home to You. I feel like that track is really new and exciting, and the exact sound I was going for. It's a bit more edgy than the rest and has a bit of sexiness to it! The vocals are also very harmony based which I haven't really done before. I also love the production; it's simplistic but just seems to work with all the raw instruments and heavy bass line. I'm really proud of this track and it's one that I love listening to so hopefully others will too.

M: How long have you been working for the EP launch?
J: The EP has been a few months in the making. The first three tracks with MSquared actually only took seven days to record! The acoustics flowed on quite quickly after that too. But there is a lot of other work that goes in to it that takes time; like perfecting the final master, photo shoots, artwork, etc. and there's a lot of learning going on too. It's been such a good and challenging learning experience for me to go through this as an independent artist, so that's what takes a lot of time too. The actual recording has been the easy part!

Official video for I Do It For You

M: Tell us a little about your new single, I Do It For You and its accompanying video clip.
J: This single is co-written with the very talented team at MSquared (Michael Paynter and Michael DeLorenzis). For me I prefer to write songs based on my life and by tapping in to my emotions, I find it is more natural when I write that way. So that's how I Do It For You came about. It was written initially about my partner, the most important person in my life who I wanted to appreciate. But I wanted that theme and meaning to relate to anyone who listened to the song and saw the video. I feel like this song can be about anyone who the listener feels deserves appreciation or deserves to be celebrated for who they are and what they do. So leading on with that theme I had the idea to have real stories of appreciation in the music video, and what better way than to involve my fans! I asked fans to come forward and apply to be part of the music video and I received some really inspirational responses. In the end there were five groups of fans who were in the music video and it was so special to have them. There was something really nice about not having actors but having genuine stories and inspirational people involved and the team at Hats Off Productions portrayed their stories perfectly in the video. For me it was the perfect way to do my first music video.

M: Do you think you'll stay in Australia, or are you planning to take your music overseas?
J: Of course I'd love to stay here and make it big in Australia first, it's home!! I'm sure most artists can relate to the dream of making a name internationally though, so if the opportunity arises for me to take my music overseas then I would jump at it.

M: What advice would you give to anyone thinking about auditioning for The Voice?
J: Just go for it! It's always just going to be a dream if you don't try. Watching The Voice and similar shows aver the years I always wanted to be up there doing it, but it wasn't until I really decided to take my music seriously, and when I knew in myself that I was ready, that I just went for it and all of a sudden my dream became a reality. So my advice would be to just put your mind to it and do it. The hardest part is feeling ready to get out there and feeling ready to know that even if it doesn't work out at least you gave it everything. Once you are there and you do give it everything, you have nothing to lose.

M: Also, belated congratulations to you and your gorgeous wife! What role does she play in your music?
J: Thank you! She actually plays a huge role in my music. She has not only been the most amazing support that you could ask for in a partner, but a lot of people may not know this but she has pretty much taken on the role of being my manager! She's always had a knack for organising and communicating so it's come naturally to her. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes and she somehow manages to make it all work. She's also brutally honest about my performances, my music, even my styling which is really important. We work really well as a team and having my wife managing me at the moment has made this journey even more special. So that's the real place the initial inspiration came from to my first single I Do It For You!

Go back to the beginning with Julian's The Voice audition!