Whatup world? We’re back at it again tonight with another interview for you all. As winter turns to spring, slowly we start to feel that warm tingly feeling that comes with brighter times. And what better time is it than now to introduce a lovely, young up-and-coming singer from Australia making waves this year. Please give it up for miss Julia Wu!
Julia Wu (born October 4, 1994) is a singer originally from Brisbane, Australia. Currently attending the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, Julia has made headlines in the last year in and a bit – both for her audition and subsequent appearance on the last season of X Factor Australia and co-starring in the second season of Insite TV’s ‘Miss Korea’ alongside Singaporean dancer and singer Jojo Hung. Currently working on original material, Wu has also released music for a Taiwanese movie called ‘Tiny Times’ back in 2013. Check out what this rising star had to say to us about her musical life!
Hi everyone, my name is Julia Wu. I’m currently a music student in Boston, in the progress of learning as much as I can about this wonderful art and also barely surviving the weather here.
How long have you been doing music for?
My whole life basically. I started piano when I was 4 so music has always been around.
What kind of artist do you consider yourself?
An artist in progress? I would like to one day call myself a singer songwriter/pianist, but right now I think I’m more known as just a singer that likes to rearrange a lot of songs into different styles.
As far as music is concerned, who gives you your inspiration?
My mum had a Karen Carpenter CD lying around when I was around 8 or 9 and I just remembered always listening to that record over and over again. Carpenter’s songs all have those classic beautiful melodies that become imprinted in your head. I think subconsciously that made an impact on the music I like to make these days.
You currently study at Berklee College of Music in Boston. How was the process of applying for such a prestigious school? And why Berklee?
I’ve always had the idea that I was gonna become a classical pianist, go to Curtis or Julliard one day. But during high school I struggled a lot with what I really wanted to do afterwards so I decided to risk it all and apply for a completely different route. I choose Berklee because it was the best contemporary music school in the world, filled with Grammy award winning alumnus. So it really felt like a dream to come here, and when I received a scholarship it was just beyond crazy, I would have never been able to attend the school if that didn’t happen.
The weather! Oh my goodness, being an Australian, snow didn’t even exist over there. All I knew growing was that our country was constantly in drought and had 5min shower limits. Over in the states was just a complete 180, they couldn’t understand a lot of our slang too. One time I asked my roommate if there was any ‘bubbler’ around and she couldn’t understand until 10mins later she figured out I was asking for a water fountain….first semester of college was filled with these incidents!
You are also currently one of two lead stars for the second season of ‘Miss Korea’. How was that whole experience?
It was the most insane, emotional, awesome experience I’ve ever had. The whole journey was such a life lesson to me. You’re put in a situation that is so foreign to you and you’ve just gotta hustle your way through. I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to dip my toes in the broadcasting industry, now I know exactly what goes on behind the making of a reality show!
You met Brian Joo AND Kim Johan. Talk about that!
It was unbelievable. I literally froze when I saw Brian because the staff had said he wasn’t coming so my hopes were gone a long time ago. He’s just such a wonderful hilarious human being and he’s so kind too. Plus he gave us a lot of advices on this industry and I thought it was so thoughtful. Same with Kim Johan, he was just absolutely inspiring. Everything he said to us every word of advice he gave motivated me so much and they lingered in my head, made me really think about what it is that I’m pursuing, how do I improve etc. It felt like a dream meeting and talking with them.
I was so lucky I had Jojo with me throughout the show, because we were the only ones who could really understand how each other felt since we’re in the same situation, we had to face the same things and we went through everything together. She quickly became almost like a family member and by the end we were super tight, we could say anything and everything to each other and it was just so much fun doing the show with her, cause you never know what she’s gonna blurt out and if she’s on a coffee high, she goes into sugar rush mode and does the most hilarious things!
If a third season happens, would you recommend that people apply to be on it?
Definitely! I think even if its not K-pop related for next season, this was an experience that changed me and helped me grow so much as an individual and as a musician. Making the show was such a huge effort and so many things goes on behind it which the audience doesn’t see, the staffs are working endlessly day and night, they don’t sleep. So you learn to be as independent and as strong as you possibility can because everyone is working their ass off for the show too. Its hard, I felt like I was gonna faint some days because its just endless filming and endless unexpected events and we just had to react quickly and adapt to any situation.
You were also on the X Factor Australia last year. How was that?
X Factor was an amazing platform that gave me a chance to sing for the first time to such a huge audience. And because it was such a big deal, especially with four superstar judges staring at you in such a close proximity, I just completely choked on my words but nonetheless it was so helpful to get feedback from judges who have been in the industry for so long and meeting fellow talented musicians that are chasing the same dreams as you.
I would say surviving the 3 months in Korea was a huge thing for me personally. It had obstacles that tackled every aspect of what you could possibly expect in a life as a public figure in general. Its definitely not as simple as it looks, there’s so many details in everything we film, and a lot of content in which we have to prepare in a limited time and just being able to handle things appropriately on my own in a foreign environment really gave me an insight to just a small portion of what life is like for celebrities that do this everyday.
You’ve experienced little bits of the American, Australian and Korean music markets. Name one thing about each that you really like, based on your own experience.
For the American music market, especially here in Boston, I feel like there’s a lot of freedom in which you can express. People come to appreciate the rawness of all genres of music and it’s a good balance between mainstream and indie. Especially being in a school like Berklee, we cater to every genre there is in the world. So to see talented students creating fusions or things you’ve never heard before, its almost futuristic and makes you think it could be nominated for Grammys even. Same goes for Australia, lots of indie bands are coming out with great material and you can tell there’s a lot of passion in their music. Korean music market is a whole different concept, they are not only musically attractive, but also emphasize very strongly on the visuals as well, groups especially is their forte. It’s very refreshing.
Can fans expect original material from you down the road?
Definitely, I’m working on some originals at the moment and I’m planning to start getting them out there in the open. It’s a very nerve racking feeling because I started as a cover singer on YouTube, so sharing these intimate songs with everyone makes me feel a little exposed!
Eating delicious fatty food. I love it when I don’t have to watch what I eat and just grab a whole pizza for a midnight snack.
What are your five most played songs currently?
Jungle – Drake
Look what you’ve done – Drake
The 90s – Charlie Puth
Man x Woman – Mar
Reflection – Fifth Harmony
Who are some of your favourite artists?
All time favourites have to include Emily King, John Legend, Chrisette Michele, Frank Ocean, Justin Timberlake, Amy Winehouse, Pharrell, 2ne1, Big Bang, Khalil Fong, Ronghao Li, Crowd Lu and loads more.
When you have spare time, what do you do for fun?
Cook! Make simple desserts or a dinner feast, I really enjoy the process of cooking, its very therapeutic.
I get motion sickness super easily. Five minutes in a moving vehicle and I’ll be feeling dizzy.
Any advice for aspiring singers out there?
Don’t be afraid. Sometimes we step back from opportunities because we think we’re not good enough or we shoot ourselves down before we even give it a go. I’d like you to keep in mind that you’ll never know until you try. Oh and of course you’ve gotta practice hard to show everyone your chops as well!
Any final words for the readers/fans?
Thank you for supporting me through my journey so far, thank you for listening to my music and I hope you guys stick around because I will be sharing new projects soon!
A huge thanks to Julia for chatting with us – make sure to keep your eyes peeled for her original material. Until next time, this has been a rhythm.connection exclusive!