Julian Lamadrid is 18 years old singer/songwriter/producer/film maker originally from Mexico born and raised in Dubai, currently studying film in new york at NYU. He has just released his 2nd EP titled ‘Untouched’ last month with ‘Marimba being his latest single which he has released the video recently.
Twist Online : First of all tell us about the start of your professional career and how music
influenced your career path?
Julian Lamadrid : Music was always present for me, when I was around 5 years old I hear Elvis for the first time, and that was huge, he was (and still is) the king for me. I would listen endlessly to his music and gradually, I found myself getting hooked in to the music world. Also, since a young age my father exposed me to the sounds of Pink Floyd and ‘The Who’, which initially got me interested in rock. At around 14, I was only really listening to rock music. Joy Division, Suicide, Velvet Underground, David Bowie, The Stooges, they all shaped me as a young teenager. Which was quite strange since I was growing up in a Muslim country with little or no punk presence. To channel all of that pent up young teen rebellion and emotion, I started a band named “The Younglings” with 4 of my class mates at the time. We played a couple of shows and basically had the time of our lives playing the music that we loved and emulating the rock life. Eventually everyone went their own ways because as a young kid in Dubai, people are always coming and going. Almost all of my friends moved back to England in 2013, and I was just this lonely kid with a lot of emotions, so I decided to start writing my music solo , I had some old illegal torrent of Logic 9 (I hope Apple isn’t reading this) and basically just got to it. In that first year I wrote about 100 songs, seriously, every day after school I would be locked up in my room on Logic writing and wiring and writing. That being said, most of these early tracks weren’t very good, but after some time I ended up with about 8 songs which I truly believed in and therefore I decided to take the next step and make them sound professional. Unfortunately, if you are interested in the arts and creativity, Dubai isn’t the best place to grow up in. There were about 4 studios in Dubai that I emailed, only 2 replied, and the cost of recording in those places was ridiculous. I tried to do my own vocals at home but I realised that if anyone was gonna take me seriously, I had to take myself seriously. Lucky for me, during a meeting with one of these expensive Dubai based recording studios, I met an awesome independent Producer named Mohammed Bailouni, who really took interest in my sound and helped me mix and master my record. One year and two EP’s later, I’m in a pretty comfortable position. And the music coming in the future is way beyond anything I’ve released.
Twist Online : Who or what inspired you to get into the music industry?
Julian Lamadrid : I’d be lying if I said that the lifestyle didn’t appeal to me. I mean, I grew up idolising Bowie, Iggy Pop and Lou reed and all those guys that just knew what it was to be cool. It was the sunglasses, the cigarettes, the girls, the drugs, the rock and roll, the parties etc. All of it was incredible, and then when you add the power of music to that, I just didn’t see myself doing anything else. I honestly don’t know how people are able to cope without the creative outlet of music, or any form of art for that matter. Writing these songs and creating is literally what keeps me going. The music is simply catharsis: a raw and uncontaminated form of self expression and creativity.
Twist Online : Your single ‘understand’ from your previous EP has done wonders and has received appreciation from all over the world. You must be happy with the kind of response you got?
Julian Lamadrid : Yeah, it’s pretty overwhelming. I remember I had just woken up in my nasty dorm room here in NYU, and my roommate like woke up me up saying that my track was on the global viral charts on Spotify. I straight up ignored him and tried to go back to sleep. The whole idea of being an international known artist and having a song go viral is obviously the goal, but like, when it happens like that, in this baby stage of my career, it’s truly unbelievable. I still get goosebumps thinking about that morning. But like, when you really look at it, I’m still just making tracks looked away in a dorm room and eating at a university dinning hall. A couple of hundred thousand listens on Spotify is no where near the end goal. I got a long way to go.
Twist Online : Tell us about your recent EP ‘Untouched’?
Julian Lamadrid : Untouched is a collection of songs written over the past two years. Most of the songs on it chronicle my experiences with relationships and loneliness during my late adolescence. I remember some pretentious kid here in NYU asked me why I never write about politics or world issues, and I was straight up like “If writing about love isn’t a political statement I don’t know what is”. The title track is probably the most personal one I’ve ever written, delivering the honest message that I’m sick of being alone and yet, every time the opportunity of love presents itself to me, I shy away. I’t’s like a form of self torture really, a constant internal battle. And then when you get to the end of the record, and a track like “How You Fall Doesn’t Matter”, well thats just the truth right there. I don’t want to be put in
a cage, like “this guy is a pop musician”, and so HYFDM was basically me trying to explain that I don’t care if I don’t conform to someones standards.
Twist Online : What kind of response has it received so far?
Julian Lamadrid : Everyone really seems to be vibing with it. A lot of kids messaging me about how the tracks coincide with their particular situations and are helping them out, which is awesome. I really just make the pop music that I would like to hear on the radio, and I write about my true life experiences, so the fact that others are attracted to that and are showing interest is so humbling.
Twist Online : You’ve recently released the Music Video for your latest single ‘Marimba’. Our readers would like to know more about it and how the concept came about?
Julian Lamadrid : About 2 years ago I set out to make the most ‘pop’ song I could think of, and out of that came ‘Marimba’. It’s ridiculous, I mean actually listen to it, its about a boy who is sad alone at home because his girl won’t send him a snapchat or a text, as she is too busy out having fun. Like, honestly thats the most absurd shit i’ve ever heard haha. But that is genuinely the world we live in, we live through our phones, we can’t even eat an ice cream without throwing it all over our “stories” and showing everyone we know what we aredoing. It’s eating me alive man. So the video is basically a representation of that. People are loving it because they can relate to it, that is genuinely how we view the majority of our lives, through that screen. So all I have to say is try to live real life, love those who are in front of you, and take in every moment using your senses, not your phones.
Twist Online : Tell us a little about your songwriting skills. Do you write for other artists as well?
Julian Lamadrid : Back in Dubai I wasn’t ever really collaborating with anyone because to be honest, no one was really concerned with music, when I would state that I wanted to be an international pop star people would just laugh man. But since I got to New York last year, I’ve been writing for a few artist here and in Los Angeles. I just recently helped produce a record for a Hip-Hop musician named Rence, which we released in February. Song writing for other people is great but at this point, I only really do it if I believe in someones music. Which is rare.
Twist Online : Singing, songwriting, production and film making, how do you manage all that at such young age?
Julian Lamadrid : It’s like I said before, its catharsis. It keeps me alive, just like breathing. I doubt I would be able to wake up in the morning without the prosper of doing something creative everyday. I am hungry, and when you are hungry you want to be everywhere at the same time. And its a plus because I love it. The film making aspect is actually the most fulfilling part of it all. Cinema is my life, and to be able to represent myself to the world and my vision through my own lens, well that’s just the finest luxury.
Twist Online : Have you set some goals to achieve?
Julian Lamadrid : I want to be one of the greats. I want to release timeless records, direct classic films, design beautiful clothes, be the architect of my own home, paint, see the world, travel, and just make sure that when I look back on the time I spent here, I know I always did what I wanted to do. Its all about the art. Earth is a pretty mad place, but if you are really hungry and keep running, you can conquer it.
Twist Online : Are you working on any new projects?
Julian Lamadrid : Always. I got a new single coming out late may, the song is called ‘New Found Love’ and it’s probably one of the funnest songs I’ve written, delving in and out of 90’s R&B and smashing down with a tremendously catchy hook. My indie rock influences are heavily prevalent on it and I can’t wait for the world to hear it. Then in early June, I have a record coming out with a hip-hop musician named Rence that I met at NYU. The whole project is a true collision of artistic styles crashing together to form some of the best tracks I’ve ever written. Finally, before the end of the year, my third and final EP will be released. The EPremains untitled, but it will be the third and final part of my trilogy of EP’s. The songs on that record are everything, a true culmination of my songwriting skills and as a musician
and child of the world.
Twist Online : What’s the best way to follow you online?
Julian Lamadrid : Follow me on twitter, I write whatever comes to mind on there. If you want some previews of new music and nice clips, link up on Instagram. But honestly, just listen to my music, if you want the true me that’s where you’ll find it.
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