Updated: Mar 6, 2020
If you haven’t heard of Julianna Joy yet you can thank me later. Julianna Joy is noted as "an author who happens to have musical abilities,” that can never stop thinking about stories she can turn into music. Starting music as the age of 9 with learning chords and composing music, she continued to grow through her childhood attending a GRAMMY Foundation‘s GRAMMY® Camp in Los Angeles at the age of 15. Located in the Chicago region, she has done a majority of her work under the artist name of "JJ" and has now re-branded her work going forward as Julianna Joy with an upcoming EP.
Her E.P “Cherries” is an excellent body of work to say the least. What standouts to me as a listener is the words she uses to describe her content. Yes, she is singing songs about love and heartbreak but using lyrics like “I made fun of your last name because I like the way it was written, and how easy it fit in my mouth” as she does on “Mouthes”, grabs your attention and make you pay attention. It can be overstated the level of awareness and talent it takes to talk about popular topics in a new way but Joy handles it well and makes it seem effortless.
In today music space there are so many carbon copies and recycled lines and phrases so its very refreshing to hear someone use a wider range of analogies and vocabulary to express their sentiments. The combination of her voice, word play and production creates a listening environment. One that is a unique. When the music comes on the listener has no choice but to conform to the mood of the music. Often people will play music in attempt to fit the vibe of the room or the people they are with. Sure, Cherries can do that but its impact is in bringing the listeners into Julianna’s world.
Standout Track: Cherry Bomb - I’m not sure if she did this on purpose but Cherry Bomb has all the makings of a record that could be her single and it just so happens to include the name of the project as well. Beside from that being an efficient marketing strategy the song carries weight. It seems to be a perfect representation of what this album brings to the listeners. The lyrics, the production and catchy chorus make this an easy choice for the standout track.
Reasons To Listen: Julianna Joy writing is top tier. The way she write songs allows the listener to view situations that have been spoken about before but from a complete new perspective.
We personally enjoyed this EP so much over here that we wanted to talk to Julianna more in depth about her and the project. Below is our conversation:
Q: There sounds like a good amount of emotion and energy behind each song on your EP, what was the inspiration behind this project?
A: I feel like this answer might be disappointing, but the EP was inspired by my life when I was 16. I was in a lot of complicated situations - I had a crush on my best friend, experienced friends with benefits and the horrible outcome that it always ends in, and was in a toxic long-distance relationship. The EP talks about all the emotions that I felt at 16; angry, depressed, anxious, doubtful, basically every negative emotion.
Q: What was the process involved in the creation of this project?
A: The process was kind of weird. I started recording “Nevermind” in January of 2019 with Dylan Gardner sort of as a test run. It was my first professional session, I had never met Dylan before, and I was extremely nervous. Little did I know that that song was going to end up being the most important thing to me. It led to me recording “Cherry Bomb” in April, and I ended up living in Los Angeles during the summer to finish the EP. We spent 6-8 hours in the studio everyday and it was so fun. Some of my fondest memories of 2019 were in that studio with Dylan, watching Fun. conspiracy videos, listening to Cupcakke and Charli XCX, meeting his friends and his brothers, and I watched him perform one night through SoFar LA.
Q: Just a few months ago you re-branded your music as an artist from JJ to Julianne Joy, what was the motive behind that and did your re-branding influence the sound of this EP at all?
A: I re-branded to Julianna Joy because “JJ” was way harder to find and it didn’t fit me anymore. Everything I had released under “JJ” was more dark pop/trap pop that was not something I was really proud of as I started working on the music I have now. The re-branding was influenced by the sound of everything I was writing. It felt more comfortable and more fitting for me as an artist.
Q: You have been working on music for quite some time now and continue to improve and grow as an artist. Now releasing an EP of this caliber, what’s your plans and goals for the year to come?
A: My plans for this next year are to be preparing new music and hopefully performing a lot more in the LA and Chicago areas.
Q: Any performances or events in the coming months that listeners can catch you live at?
A: I don’t have anything scheduled currently but if you follow my twitter @recordsbyjj, you’ll get updates as they come!
"Cherries" will be available on all streaming platforms this Valentines Day, February 14th, make sure to check it out and show her some love.