Interview with a Songwriter: Julia Weldon

Julia Weldon is an indie folk singer/songwriter and a fellow Brooklynite. She's released two full length albums (czech em out here) and has been touring across the country, bringing her badassery to lucky concert-goers near and far. She has a frickin' Wikipedia page for Fark's sake. As The Advocate says, "Julia Weldon might be the most soulful singer you've never heard of." Ms. Weldon was good enough to share her thoughts on songwriting, touring, and more...

Do you have a songwriting method, or is it different every time?

It differs more and more actually... Ok, now that I think about it, I might've just lied. I'm writing for a variety of projects - plays, film, collaborative writing projects on my newer material. So some things feel different in terms of the process but I find that most of my best material comes out in one sitting. I'll be playing a riff or chord progression on guitar and the lyrics follow soon after. Then again, I'm changing my mind again haha! I hear melodies along with lyrics in my head a lot - on the subway, walking around, in the shower, basically when I'm not actively engaged with something else I get melodies in my head... and when that happens I tend to sit down and have to figure out where it falls on the guitar. I think it's good for me to have a malleable method and not get stuck in one way of working... it's hard for me cause I've been letting it come to me in one way for a long time but I think I'm trying to get better at writing parts and coming back to work on them to build them into whole songs. 

Any advice for aspiring songwriters?

Write write write. Be honest and true to what you feel and see and know around you. Fear is what holds us back from letting creative energy flow so try and let some of it go (I know, easier said than done). Also, advocate for yourself. Be honest about where you're at but in touch with where you want and deserve to be. 

What are your feelings on collaborations? 

I've been writing and playing solo since I was 15 so collaboration in terms of a band was actually a difficult transition but I've been lucky enough to find an awesome group of musicians and friends who I've learned a lot with on stage. It took me many permutations of different band set ups and I still think there's room to grow and evolve but I'm proud of how far I've come. ALSO... I'm super interested in collaborations of all sorts now. Like I said, I've been writing to film and theatre which has been very rewarding and all the projects are so so different. But I'd like to start actually writing songs collaboratively, it's way outside of my process but I wanna do it more and more. 

What’s your favorite song? Favorite Album? Why?

mmmmmm, that QUESTION. Is truly impossible but I will name an album just for YOU haha. one song in the whole wide world feels too hard but I'll name my favorite song off this album. "Either/Or" by Elliot Smith is one of my fav albums and the song 'Angeles' slays me every time. I listened to a ton of Elliot Smith in high school - almost exclusively him and Ani DiFranco. But Elliot Smith's style deeply influenced baby JW's music brain. So the album is full of tons of nostalgia, but also I'm pretty sure Smith recorded it on a 4-track. It's a super gritty, textured, lo-fi but brilliant and incredibly cohesive and intimate album. They (most of the time) don't make em like that anymore. Sadly I didn't get to see him perform live before he died. 

I know you're currently on tour, and have been for most of the past few years. What's your favorite/least favorite aspect of touring?

Haha, people keep asking me "How is tour? You've been all over lately!" and I have been but I'm traveling pretty intermittently right now which I like. I love being on tour, I'm that cliche rockstar who loves the open road and feeling weightless and inspired and in the middle of nowhere. At the same time, I miss Brooklyn and the feeling of home more and more. I'm sure that tension will lead to a song sometime soon. But yea, touring over the past few years in a super DIY fashion has been difficult and also so rewarding. My plan (before some major life changes) was to pick up and leave. Put my stuff in storage or at my folks' place, and just book an indefinite tour until I burnt out. I was hoping to do a year - maybe that was an insane idea, maybe I'll still do it! But I'm getting some big ducks in a row now that I'm a self-employed musician and hoping to latch onto some good tours. Sorry I didn't answer your question: Fav aspect - Tour / Least Fav - Tour ;) 

What’s your latest project/wanna shill anything?

I'm recording new and totally different sounding material with the producer I worked on Light Is a Ghost for Saul Simon MacWilliams. He tours with Ingrid Michaelson and he's in LA but we'll be releasing a couple singles to hopefully form an EP soon. I AM SO EXCITED. I have a one word hint: POP.

Ok. Now go play Julia on repeat for a few hours.

BRBRCK is a rapper and producer (and blogger, obviously) based in Brooklyn, NY. Check out his musical stylings here.