October 15, 2019
Tune-In Tuesdays #40: Julia Lambert on Blossoming into a Wild Rose in the City
Julia Lambert in the music video for “Wild Rose in the City”Source: Julia Lambert
Alluring, bold, and enigmatic, Julia Lambert has captivated audiences yet again with the release of her latest alt-pop single, “Wild Rose in the City.”
Recently, we spoke to Lambert via telephone to learn more about “Wild Rose in the City,” her career, and to get a glimpse into her upcoming work.
On your website, it says your first performance was in front of a crowd of over 300 when you were just 11 years old. What led to that first performance? What was that first show like for you?
It was a talent show in middle school. I hadn’t sang or done anything like that beforehand, but the summer before I started 6th grade I got really into singing and music. I decided to tryout, kept with it, and performed in the talent show every year.
You are also a self-taught musician. How did you teach yourself?
Julia Lambert performing on stageSource: Julia Lambert
Just through videos online. I think that I’m so lucky to grow up in an era that I’m growing up in.
YouTube was such a huge resource for me. When I got my first guitar, I sat down for two-three months just going over chords, then I started to build up and started performing live.
What tips would you give to musicians aspiring to teach themselves how to play various instruments?
[Music] is such a gift and such a tool to have, whether you’re thinking about pursuing it professionally, as a hobby, or a stress reliever. I think it’s great to put your mind towards something artistic during the day.
If you want to get lessons or teach yourself through videos and books, just stick with it. It’s hard to be diligent at first, but it’s worth it at the end.
For three years, you played in a band called “Nexus.” How does being a solo artist differ from being part of a band? What are some of the pros and cons that come along with both?
Julia Lambert poses near sunflowersSource: Julia Lambert
I was the lead singer in the band Nexus and it was a great time. We were so young, playing at all these different bars and restaurants. That’s really how I gained a lot of the knowledge that I have about music and performing now; by getting on as many different stages on possible.
Y’know, I was writing the songs beforehand, but I felt I had to go through a line of getting it approved by the rest of the band, in a sense, because I wanted it to be a shared experience.
Now with being a solo artist, I feel like I can call all the shots. It only matters to me how something sounds.
The pros of being with a band is you’re never alone. You always have someone who has your back.
With being a solo artist, you can still have that. You can resource other musicians, which is what I do now. It’s different. They all have my back and they’re going for my goal, which is awesome.
What was it like being on American Idol? Could you spill some behind-the-scenes details our readers may not know about the show?
I had just turned 15, so I met the age requirement for the final season on Fox.
It’s a more in-depth process than the audition that you see on TV. It’s almost four preliminary rounds before that where it’s open call and then a second open call. Then, you meet with the producers and you finally have the celebrity round.
At 15, I was lucky to make it to the fourth round where I met Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and Harry Connick Jr. I didn’t make it through at that point – I was disappointed, but now I can look back and realize that it wasn’t the right time. I don’t think I’d be doing what I’m doing now if it wasn’t for that and learning from it.
Clay Aiken, from season two [of American Idol], was also at my audition. He was there cheering people on and talking to contestants about nerves and how to handle everything.
Clay Aiken’s American Idol audition (2003)Source: Clay Aiken Audition | americanidolaudition
Overall, it was a really, really amazing experience to watch the show for so many years and finally be on the other side of camera.
Bringing everything to date, you recently released the single, “Wild Rose in the City.” What does the song mean to you as an artist?
Going back to what I said before, coming into my own, pulling from all the music I like and focusing on really creating the sound now. Something that’s really genuinely me. “Wild Rose in the City” is the definition of that.
Out of all of my songs, it’s really personal. It’s not about something that happened to me, but someone very close to me.
From a music and production standpoint, it’s the most authentic track I’ve had to date.
What went into writing and producing “Wild Rose in the City?”
“Wild Rose in the City” by Julia Lambert music videoSource: Julia Lambert-Wild Rose in the City (Official Music Video) | Julia Lambert
The writing took place a year before the song came out. Like most of all my songs beforehand, it was just me on the guitar and then adjusting the keys.
Again, the song is about someone close to me going through a tough time. The writing was a really cool process because this is the first time it’s been driven by visuals in my head and pushing what’s going on forward.
Going into production, it was my first time working with Nick Zinnanti at Zin Records. He was so incredible with hearing what my influences were and what songs I’d like to pull from in all sorts of genres. He really drove it home with the whole production of it.
It was such a collaborative effort. It wasn’t just one person taking control of the production; he wanted my feedback. It was really organic and such a great experience.
In the press release for the song, you say that you were very inspired by the psychological imagery and darker, alt-pop influences. Considering that “Spooky Psychology” is the theme for The Burgundy Zine’s digital magazine this month, what do you find most interesting about psychology?
No two minds are alike and you can get a glimpse into someone else’s psyche through art and music, whether it’s just the song, poetry, or any art.
You never know how they truly feel, that’s my favorite aspect of [art and music]; seeing how other minds work. Everything is so unique about the mind.
How did you get into some of the alternative pop music that inspires you today? Who are some of your idols in the industry?
Julia Lambert performing outside under clear blue skiesSource: Julia Lambert
In eighth grade, when I was about 14 or 15 years old, my friend showed me Five Seconds of Summer. At that point, I was really into Pandora Radio, which incorporates all sorts of suggestions.
From there, it was 21 Pilots, Halsey, and then Billie Eilish. I just got into it by having really good pop songs on the radio that are very different than what we generally see in pop music and they are still my main idols.
If you have a local alternative radio station, it felt like that was the only place you could really hear it. Now, you can tune into a pop radio station and you’ll hear those artists on. It’s really awesome.
What impact do you hope to have on your audiences through your work?
Julia Lambert sings into a microphone adorned in sunflowersSource: Julia Lambert
Even if it’s not in the first way that I intended, I hope they relate in a way that’s applicable to them. That’s the thing that’s great about all arts; it’s up for interpretation.
I was having people tell me what they think the song and the video mean, and it’s not what I first thought about what it in terms of what it actually means to me, but thinking it means something different doesn’t mean it’s wrong. It’s a great thing and it actually makes me think about my own music in a different light. It’s like seeing it for the first time again.
I hope everyone likes the message from my music and that it helps a little bit to know they might be going through something that I’ve gone through.
Being a music lover for so many years – besides making music – loving to listen to all types of music and going to concerts, standing next to a random person at a show they look so excited to be there, but you don’t know how that artist touched their life vs how they impacted yours.
Yet, you look at this room filled with so many people who are all there for one reason but so many different reasons, as well. It’s so cool being on the receiving end of that now.
The audience cheers and roars for Julia LambertSource: Julia Lambert
What’s next for you, Julia? Do you have any upcoming shows or additional song releases in the works?
Julia Lambert speaks to the audienceSource: Julia Lambert
Yes! I have a show coming up on Oct. 20 at Mulcahy’s Pub in Wantagh, N.Y. I’m opening up for Tiffany. She was a big pop star in the ’80’s and I’m really excited.
Then on Nov. 15, I’m opening up for the lead singer of The Runaways at the Stereo Garden in Patchogue, N.Y.
As far as additional song releases, I plan on getting back into the studio within the next month or so. I’m not particularly sure yet what song it’s going to be. I’ve been writing a lot and I have a lot of stuff that’s been saved for quite a few years, it’s just never been recorded.
It’s going to be a very creative next couple months into 2020.
Do you have any additional comments or final thoughts to share?
Portrait of Julia LambertSource: Julia Lambert
I’m really excited for everyone to hear what’s coming soon and I hope that everyone’s been enjoying “Wild Rose in the City!”
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