LIFE­STYLE IN­SIDER: BELT IT OUT LOUD AND PROUD!

Female (Malaysia) - - CONTENTS -

Ju­lia Du­c­los re­veals how she’s made it in the Malaysian mu­sic scene at the ten­der age of 23.

IF YOU EVER THOUGHT OF GIV­ING UP ON YOUR PAS­SION JUST BE­CAUSE YOU FAILED AN EXAM OR SOME­ONE CLAIMED THAT YOU AREN’T GOOD ENOUGH, THEN THINK AGAIN. VASENTA SELVANAYAGAM

SPEAKS TO JU­LIA DU­C­LOS AND FINDS OUT HOW SHE’S OVER­COME HER BAT­TLES AND SUC­CEEDED IN RE­LEAS­ING HER FIRST SIN­GLE AT THE AGE OF 23.

While most of us were go­ing gaga over our favourite boy band at the age of 10, Ju­lia’s par­ents lev­elled up and de­cided to get her started sing­ing songs that were rather chal­leng­ing for some­one of her age, like the ones by Mariah Carey. They even sent her to vo­cal classes and when her brother was in a band, they used to have acous­tic nights where they did real fun things to­gether. Long story short, Ju­lia and her en­tire fam­ily share the same pas­sion for mu­sic. And as luck would have it, Sony Mu­sic Malaysia spot­ted Ju­lia in 2016 and voilà, she went on to make her first of­fi­cial mark in the Malaysian mu­sic scene with the re­lease of her first sin­gle, Fur­ther, this year. FE­MALE: Can you tell us about your grow­ing up years?

Ju­lia: “I stud­ied in lo­cal pri­mary and se­condary schools and grad­u­ated with a diploma in Psy­chol­ogy from SEGi Univer­sity in 2016. The tim­ing was great be­cause I got the of­fer to do mu­sic while I was con­tem­plat­ing whether I should con­tinue my stud­ies or go af­ter my pas­sion. But I knew my­self very well; if I’m en­grossed in some­thing, I’m go­ing to be fully de­voted to it and I can’t do two things at once. So right af­ter my au­di­tion with Sony Mu­sic Malaysia, they told me that they wanted to sign me on and I agreed! We got down to the de­tails and it ac­tu­ally took about six months for me to sign the pa­pers. It was nerve-rack­ing and I still couldn’t be­lieve it when I walked out and they said they en­joyed my sing­ing. I’m glad that ev­ery­thing kind of fell into place.”

F: What’s the process of cre­at­ing mu­sic like for you?

J: “It’s pretty much a self-ex­pres­sion of how I feel at the mo­ment – there are days when I’m sad and there are days when I’m happy. There are also days when I don’t know what the hell I am do­ing! But I just take it step by step. There’s

“We have a lot of up­com­ing artists that Malaysians should start pay­ing at­ten­tion to.” – ju­lia

never a set di­rec­tion of what I’m go­ing to write about. It just sort of hap­pens. So I go with the flow and tweak things along the way. For my sin­gle, I must say that it was com­pletely dif­fer­ent from the first draft that I wrote – in terms of genre and lyrics. Mu­sic never ends up turn­ing out the way you ex­pect it to. Three years from now, prob­a­bly when I lis­ten to my sin­gle, I might want to change it again. I’m a per­fec­tion­ist and I feel that if I had it my way, I’ll still be tweak­ing my sin­gle. But thank God I’ve got Char­lie Lim, my pro­ducer whom I work with in Sin­ga­pore. He’s also a per­fec­tion­ist who has taught me how to tweak things and be happy with them so that we can come up with some­thing good.”

F: What are your thoughts about the mu­sic scene in Malaysia?

J: “We have a lot of up­com­ing artists that Malaysians should start pay­ing at­ten­tion to. It all starts at home. We def­i­nitely need lo­cal sup­port and it’s im­por­tant for us to pay at­ten­tion to them and recog­nise their hard work. We get to learn a lot from dif­fer­ent bands and peo­ple. It isn’t a com­pe­ti­tion in this in­dus­try; in­stead we’re work­ing to­gether to bring the in­dus­try up. I re­ally hope that more and more peo­ple have this type of men­tal­ity be­cause at the end of the day, you should only be in com­pe­ti­tion with your­self.”

F: What has been your big­gest chal­lenge to make your­self known to peo­ple out there?

J: “It has to be find­ing a sound that’s unique to me. It in­volves a lot of long nights and stu­dio ses­sions. As a singer, we are all sup­posed to have our sig­na­ture sound be­cause typ­i­cally, we all need to have that one thing that dif­fer­en­ti­ates us from the rest – be it in the way we sing, by the way we dress or even how we ex­press our­selves. At the mo­ment, I still haven’t found my sig­na­ture style as it’s al­ways chang­ing, but that’s the beauty of art. How­ever, I do know that I’m a pretty laid-back per­son who can be quite grungy or bub­bly at times!”

F: What are some of your proud­est mo­ments so far, and in three years’ time, where do you see your­self? J: “The re­cent one was at the Ram Jam Fes­ti­val in Malaysia which was quite big. I ac­tu­ally per­formed us­ing just a key­board and an elec­tronic touch­pad, which was dif­fer­ent from my usual set-up of just a gui­tar. I hope that next year I’ll get a chance to per­form at the Good Vibes Fes­ti­val. In three years’ time, I see my­self hav­ing a suc­cess­ful mu­sic ca­reer and hope­fully, ex­plor­ing more art fields. I love pho­tog­ra­phy and film but my main fo­cus is mu­sic. Once I’ve es­tab­lished my­self, I’ll def­i­nitely in­cor­po­rate these fields and try to hit the in­ter­na­tional mark. Af­ter all, you have to dream at the right time and not think too far ahead.”

JU­LIA PER­FORMED AS THE OPEN­ING ACT AT JAKE BUGG’S SOLO ACOUS­TIC TOUR

JU­LIA AND HER MUM

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