20 Questions is a Q&A interview series with musicians, authors, and everyone in between, celebrating experiences both shared and individual in the messy game of being human.
Through eloquent songcraft, graceful instrumentation, and dynamic vocals, Los Angeles-based singer and songwriter JULIANA says what’s on her mind and converts raw feelings and real stories into chantable, powerful anthems. Having grown up surrounded by music, she made her onstage debut at 11 years old, began writing songs in high school, and notably made it past the infamous “Hollywood Round” of American Idol when she was a teenager. However, a series of physical trials and tribulations while in Boston for college prevented her from singing for over two years. She completed her studies back in L.A. in order to recover from a successful surgery and focus on her mental health.
With newfound stability and her voice back intact, JULIANA moved to New York City for a fresh perspective. It was there that she re-discovered her songwriting and deep-rooted love of music, and has found inspiration in her songwriting from pop powerhouses like Julia Michaels, Zara Larsson, and Hailee Steinfeld, who use their raw and personal lyrics to preach body positivity, sex positivity and female empowerment. Following the release of several singles including “Call It Quits” and “Burn,” JULIANA’s latest offering “Mixed Signals” proves she has no intention of slowing down anytime soon.
I got to get caught up on all things JULIANA for a new edition of 20 Questions, where she told me about her musical roots, her love of self-help books, why writing an electropop revenge song is the best, and more.
What’s one thing that made you fall in love with music?
Ever since I could remember, my dad would sing for me. He used to be the lead singer and guitar player in a band, so I was always around music at a very early age. I couldn’t get enough of it. He made it so fun. He would pick up his guitar and sing his favorite song, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by The Rolling Stones, and tell me to sing along and dance. It was in those moments where I knew I had fallen in love with music.
What time of day are you most inspired?
I feel this urgent need to pick up my guitar and write in the late afternoon and at night. The darker the sky is, the more inspired I am. It’s safe to say I’m a night owl.
As a songwriter, which artists have influenced you the most?
I have always been inspired by Julia Michaels. In my opinion, she is one of the most talented pop songwriters in the industry right now and I’m always keeping an eye out to see what she has in store next.
As an artist, what would you say is the general theme of your music?
I write electro-pop songs about personal experiences I’ve gone through.
Who is your style icon?
I don’t necessarily have a style icon since I love to play around with different looks, but I pull from several artists including, Zara Larsson, Astrid S., Rihanna, Zendaya, Hailee Steinfeld and a lot of other pop artists. I love fashion!
How would you characterize your new single “Mixed Signals”?
“Mixed Signals” is an empowering electro-pop pump-up song with R&B influences written about a guy who was giving me serous mixed signals. So it was only fair to write a song about him and put him in his place. It’s meant to remind anyone listening that you are too good for mixed signals.
Favorite book of all-time?
I have a lot of favorite books, but the ones that have gotten me through my hardest times are: Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself by Melody Beattie as well as The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine and Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis. If you couldn’t tell, I love self-help books…
The last series you binge-watched?
Queen of the South on Netflix. It’s another masterpiece showcasing women being badasses and I’m HERE FOR IT!
The best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
My dad always used to say, “opinions are like a**holes, everyone has one and they all stink” and honestly, that stuck with me…
Favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
If I’m not writing a song, then I’m baking or watching romcoms under a cozy blanket.
What is your favorite kind of song to write?
A revenge electro-pop song about a boy who’s hurt me.
What does the word “beauty” mean to you?
Beauty to me is the confidence and love you have for yourself. There’s nothing more attractive than someone who loves themselves enough to not put other people down and instead, build people up. Confidence and self-love is radiant and contagious!
Favorite movie of all-time?
The best compliment you’ve ever received?
A few friends of mine once told me I have a way of making every individual in the room feel special and wanted. That was by far the most touching compliment I’ve ever received. I fully teared up when they told me that. If I’m able to put a smile on someone’s face and make them feel comfortable in a room where they feel out of place, then I’m happy. I will never forget that compliment and I will work daily to make sure that rings true for people I meet later in life.
You’re stuck on a long flight. Which world-famous musician would you want sitting next to you and why?
I would love nothing more than to sit next to Julia Michaels. I feel like a broken record when I say her name because I’m pretty sure I haven’t gotten through one interview without mentioning her, but I would do just about anything to write a song with her. She exudes talent and I would be honored to be sitting next to her.
One song that you will never be sick of?
“All My Loving” by The Beatles. My mom used to sing that song to me every night before bed and I will never forget the feeling of comfort and love I felt from that moment. She can’t sing for the life of her, so The Beatles sound much better… but she tried and I love her for it.
Swimming or sunbathing?
Swimming! I love being active, but only after I’ve sunbathed for an hour or so because… balance.
One thing that’s been keeping you sane during the COVID-19 pandemic?
My family. I’m so lucky they live close to me so I have the opportunity to see them weekly and spend time with my dogs. I would be lost without them.
One vice you wish you could give up?
SUGAR! I have the world’s biggest sweet tooth. I would love to give it up, but that’s not happening any time soon because, well, I have an addiction.
What can we expect to hear next from you?
I’ll be releasing a new track on March 24th, which I’m super excited about and then I’ll be releasing new songs monthly after that! There’s a lot of exciting stuff happening, so definitely follow my socials to stay up-to-date! xx
Follow JULIANA on Twitter and Instagram and stream her latest single “Mixed Signals” wherever you listen to music.