Meet the singer-songwriter on the edge of a breakout. About to release her debut EP, Don’t Let the Kids Win, Julia Jacklin is an artist to watch. Bringing us sweet melodies and poetic lyrics all the way from Australia this past weekend at TURF, Jacklin took a minute before the performance to talk. We learned that behind the scenes the singer has a winning personality and sense of humour that makes her more endearing.
Check out our interview where we learned a few unknown things about the singer.
1. She makes men cry
Q: What’s the most emotional song you’ve ever written?
JJ: Don’t Let the Kids Win, which is the title track for the album. I didn’t think it was super emotional, I mean it is, but the reaction I’ve gotten from crowds is just great, weird and amazing.
Q: Weird how so?
JJ: Just tears, a lot of tears. I just did a tour around the UK and grown men were coming up to me and were like ‘I cried and I feel ok about it.’
Q: How do you feel about that?
JJ: *laughs* I feel a little bad about it actually! It’s pretty crazy that it brings out such an emotional reaction from people that I’ve never met. I didn’t realize the power of it before I started playing it outside of Sydney.
2. Her break-up songs bring people together
Q: What is your favourite part of performing?
JJ: I like being able to talk to people after shows and learn something about people I’ve never met before and hearing all of their stories and how they have a totally different emotional reaction to a song than me, or what I thought possible.
Q: What’s been your favourite fan story you’ve heard so far?
JJ: I played a show in Sydney and this couple came up to me and were like ‘Oh, we did our first dance at our wedding to this song.’ and I was like…that’s interesting. That’s a really sad break up song. It makes you realize what someone is taking away from your music, even if it’s not what you intended, it’s rewarding.
3. She used to phone it in
Q: What was the first song you ever performed?
JJ: It was a song called something really lame like The Sea Captain. It was a folk song about a wife waiting for her sea captain husband to return home.
Q: Why do you think that’s lame?
JJ: Looking back I can see what I was doing. I was trying to be a folk song writer and I was listening to a lot of better writers than me. I was like, I have to be singing about these things that mean nothing to me…like…a sea chanty. When I lived in a landlocked area and I grew up in the 2000’s. Obviously I have no idea what it’s like to lose a husband to the ocean.
Q: How did you find your own song writing skills?
JJ: I realized after I had written a bunch of those terrible songs. I was like, ‘these sound terrible and no one wants to hear them.’ Because they feel bad to sing if they’re not coming from a real place. Even if you have a good voice, when you’re singing disingenuous lyrics it doesn’t matter. Get over yourself and have a bit of fun. No one needs melancholy folk songs about forests.
4. She laughs at herself
Q: Worst song you’ve ever written?
JJ: Oh, I have so many. I listened to one the other day that was just so bad. My friend sent it to me because I asked if he had any of my old demos, because I was curious. It was called something like, Wolf at The Door and it was talking about a man and some relationship I had never experienced. He was a wolf and I was a sheep…it was just really, really bad. I was like ‘please never show this to anyone ever.’
5. She knows how to play children's cartoon theme songs on the sax.
What was your first instrument and why did you play it?
JJ: *Silence* Do you have Bob The Builder here? The first instrument was the saxophone. I played it because the school training band needed a saxophone player…and that was all that was left. I played it for six months and I hated it. The first song we had to learn was the Bob The Builder theme song, the kids show. It was just so bad. I wanted to learn some cool cheesy sax line, not a children’s cartoon theme song.
What did you do after that?
JJ: I moved on to theatre.
What was the best play you acted/ sang in?
JJ: Fiddler on the roof. I had no lines, I was in the chorus, chores member number twelve.
Don’t Let The Kids Win is out October 12th. Check out the video for the second track, Leadlight, off of the album below and photos from her TURF performance here.