The angelic voice that accompanies Richard Durand’s in his song ‘Diamond in the Sky’ belongs to one Julie Thompson. Her sweet vocals and warm lyrics are often said to be a nice contrast to the UK’s cold, grey atmosphere, where she comes from. Now, you may be unfamiliar with her name, but Julie has been in a number of collaborations with artists like James Holden, Paul van Dyke, and Alan Bremner of Brother in Rhythm under various aliases. In 2009, she released her debut album Feeling For Corners, and hasn’t stopped moving since! JUICE managed to grab hold of the songstress to get to know her better before she comes our way for Music Conference Asia this 28 April.
When you first moved from Norwich to London, was it difficult, or did you find it easy to get used to London?
I actually went to study at Paul McCartney’s music school in Liverpool before moving to London so I was already used to not living in Norwich. I’d always loved London so had no problems moving there!
Before you accidentally got into dance music, what kind of music did you see yourself making? Would you go back to that?
I was always involved in the pop world and still am to this day, pop music brings different challenges to dance music. I enjoy working in both genres.
Your most recent tour was in India with Richard Durand, how was that experience?
We had a great time. I had never been to India before and fell in love with the country instantly. The crowds were fantastic and India really knows how to party!
What were some of your fears when you first started getting into the music industry?
Making music is the only job I have ever done and I love it. I don’t really think I have ever been afraid as I have always felt that this is what I was born to do.
What can we expect in your second album?
I’m excited about this new album as I’m working with different producers on each track. I still wrote the songs on the piano first so the tracks are still song led, but i guess the album in general is a bit more collaborative.
What other instruments can you play, other than the piano? Is there a particular one you want to try but haven’t been able to?
I also play the guitar. I have always wanted to learn the cello as it’s the only instrument I have ever given up. I played it as a kid but the teacher was a bit weird so I gave up before long!
What do you do with your time in between tours? Do you have a hobby outside of the studio?
I’m always in the studio! When I’m not writing dance music I’m writing songs to pitch to pop acts. I do like the odd game of golf though! I learnt when i was a kid so my swing is natural but I don’t play enough to be any good.
Has anyone approached you to collaborate with them on other projects that aren’t music-related? Like clothing lines, perfume lines, or anything like that. Would you be interested if you did?
No and no! That brand culture is not for me. I make music for music’s sake.
Is anyone else in your family musical? Did they influence you a lot when you were growing up?
No but my dad thinks the milkman had a nice tuneful whistle! My mum denies that of course.
You said your album Feeling for Corners was about “a time of letting go and trusting in what will be will be.” What are you letting go of?
At that stage I was getting over a painful break up. That album was about letting go of people that aren’t good for you.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
If I’m still doing what I’m doing now in 5 years then I’ll be a happy bunny.
Name 5 things that are always in your carry-on bag whenever you travel, and why those 5 things.
Let me see;
Make-up, so I don’t get off the plane looking rough.
Sun glasses, as I’m normally hungover on my way home.
Passport, to get in and out of countries.
Carmex lip balm, I hate having dry lips.
My laptop and in ear monitors, so I can work.
What do you miss the most about Norwich?
What’s currently on repeat on your playlist?
I’m actually a bit embarrassed by this but I can’t stop listening to ‘Jolene’ by Dolly Parton at the moment. It’s a real guilty pleasure of mine!
What’s the best part of getting on stage to perform?
Live shows are all about having fun with the crowd for me.
Besides your performance at Music Conference Asia, what else that you look forward to see or experience in Malaysia?
I hope to meet some nice people and sample a little of Malaysian life.
Tell us what can dance music fans in Malaysia can expect from your performance this April at Music Conference Asia?
An energetic enjoyable time!
Catch Julie Thompson, among many others, at Music Conference Asia this April. Click here for event details.