Arts & Culture

It’s Knowing Who You Are – An Interview with Musician Julia Gottlieb

To be called a struggling artist is a term that sounds a bit defeating, but to those who have experienced this point in their artistic career it has been known to be a turning point.  In this time, artists of all mediums are digging deep and being challenged to not only find who they are in their art form, but also finding the chord that opens the world up to what they can do.

Julia Gottlieb is a musician who has discovered who she is and is excited to learn more and build upon this foundation.  An eclectic artist and song stylist, Julia’s sound spans generations; think Norah Jones meets Chet Baker.  Growing up in a family where music was apart of everyday life, it became apparent early on that she knew exactly what she wanted to do.  “I was playing piano since I was a kid and it wasn’t until college that I started to take vocal lessons,” recalled Gottlieb.  “Every family get together was a big music fest!  Pursuing music was kind of a natural thing for me.  I’m a real music lover and I can like anything.  I love the music of Stevie Wonder so much that I would warm up to his music before I go on stage.”

Originally from the east coast, Gottlieb came to the west coast and had to start from scratch leaving fans and fellow musicians behind.  “This is my third year in Los Angeles and in the beginning I wasn’t doing much music. I left all my musicians on the east coast and when I came out here I had to start looking for people that I would love playing with,” said Gottlieb.  “The musicians I play with now play beautifully.  I met them through a network of people.  I would constantly hear about certain musicians and it was really intimidating at first to approach them, but now with this small group we have a real intimate sound and we like what we are doing!”

Gottlieb is in the process of finalizing her next album.  With influences ranging from Bach to Dylan and Count Basie to Mercedes Sosa, Julia Gottlieb wants her music to open up people’s understanding of these great artists.  “I wouldn’t call my album a Jazz album, but more that it was influenced by Jazz,” stated Gottlieb.  “I wanted people who might not know a lot of Jazz to open up to it and listen.  I wanted to make it accessible to them.”  In such songs as Imagination and Day Dream, Gottlieb showcases her ultra-smooth, sultry voice with simple, bluesy and light-hearted melodies.

However, it never was always so clear for Julia Gottlieb to pursue her music dreams, but when she broke through those first barriers it became very clear that she was a musician.  “When I was in school in Santa Cruise, I performed an Afro-Peruvian song accompanied by a harp,” recalled Gottlieb.  “It was a packed auditorium and I was so scared that I was shaking.  After it was over people where coming up to me saying how much they enjoyed it and I knew then that I could do this, that I was doing the right thing!  I am an exposed singer and when I am not doing music I am not happy.”  Although she realized her dreams, like all artists there is the struggle.  “I used to always be critiqued that I needed to sing bigger and use more air, but that wasn’t me,” recalled Gottlieb.  “You don’t need to please everyone and that was a hard lesson for me.  I am who I am and that is unique.  I couldn’t loose my vision of who I was and what I wanted to be.”

With her album in the final stages and the common worries of every artist of how their art will be accepted, Gottlieb holds true to her understanding that she loves music plain and simple.  “I just want to do music and I want to make sure that all these great American styles don’t get lost,” said Gottlieb. “Music can get so over-produced now at days that the beauty of the raw form and emotion of music is lost.  Music should be unique and musicians need the courage to go for it, to go forward, to try, and to show what they’ve got!”

For more information on Julia Gottlieb, please visit her website at www.juliagttlieb.com  and  http://www.myspace.com/juliagottlieb

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