SHN Interview: Julianna Joy


by Claire Silverman

Julianna Joy is an 18-year-old singer/songwriter from the Chicago area determined to redefine pop music. Julianna has been quietly building a passionate fan base following the release of her debut EP, “Cherries,” an 80s-inspired journey of color and emotion fully representing Julianna’s synesthesia in red, purple, and hot pink.

CS: Hi Julianna! Thanks for joining me to chat a bit about your music. I love playing your songs on SHN shows. You have a really wonderful bright sound.

JJ: Thank you!!

CS: You have a new song coming out on December 18th, “Seventeen” What can you tell me about this new song?

JJ: Seventeen is a song I wrote when I was 16. I wrote it at my job over the summer before my junior year of high school about an unrequited love I was fighting for. Very melodramatic.

CS: Your recent single “Orange” is a collaboration with ARIZA, how did this collab come about?

JJ: It came about in like March of this year. Daniela Mendez from Big Deal set me up with a session with Juan Ariza because she thought we would work really well together. She was 100% correct because we wrote Orange the first time we ever met each other. Ariza is the coolest dude on the planet, hands down.

CS: What was the writing/production process like in the times of COVID?

JJ: We actually wrote Orange the week before Los Angeles shut down! So it wasn’t distanced or worrisome at all. We had finished like 90% of the production by the time we finished that day. When we went to finish it, we just hopped onto a zoom call and an audio movers link and finished the song in like an hour. COVID has made things hard of course, but not impossible!!

CS: I want to talk about your first EP, Cherries. I absolutely love it. You have this wonderful balance of sweetness and teenage angst.

JJ: Thank you!

CS: What was it like writing, recording and releasing the EP?

JJ: Cherries was the first ever project I had done with a real professional established musician!

CS: How did the EP all come together?

JJ: I met with the VP of Big Deal Music (now Hipgnosis Song Group), Jamie Cerreta, and he mentioned that he would love to set up sessions for me. A couple of emails and direct messages later, I was in Dylan Gardner’s studio on my 17th birthday recording Nevermind! It was the first song we started. Jamie loved the song and asked for a whole EP, and so I lived in LA over the summer in 2019 and recorded the full EP in a week!!

CS: That's quite a 17th birthday!

JJ: It was the craziest birthday ever! This project has brought so much into my life, and Dylan is one of the best musicians I know.

CS: Do you have a favorite song on the EP?

JJ: Right now it’s probably Carbon Copies!!

CS: I'm actually listening to Carbon Copies right now! My favorite is probably “Cherry Bomb,” I’m absolutely obsessed with it. What inspired that song?

JJ: The inspiration for Cherry Bomb is kinda funny. I had a crush on my best friend in high school and she had a girlfriend who was in college, so I basically had to bottle all these emotions because I didn't want to ruin their relationship. I put all of that energy into Cherry Bomb, which just explains what I thought would happen if she and I did anything together!

CS: I also want to ask you about your song “Poseidon.” It's a bit different from the other songs on the EP. What prompted you to write that song?

JJ: Poseidon was the first song I wrote for the EP! That song was written around the same time as Seventeen actually. I wrote it because I was in love with someone from another state who wasn’t willing to try to figure things out. It's one of the saddest songs I’ve ever written.

CS: What first got you interested in music?

JJ: Taylor Swift! I wanted to be just like her when I was little. I asked for guitars and wrote all of my songs just like hers when I was just starting out.

CS: Who are your musical inspirations?

JJ: I love Lorde, Queen, The Japanese House, The 1975, Charli XCX, and so many more. My main inspiration lately has been Pink Floyd and Declan Mckenna!

CS: Has your relationship with music evolved as you’ve started putting out your own music?

JJ: Yes! I honestly stopped being super snobby with my music taste. I know that sounds funny but I realized the best kind of music is the music that makes you feel anything at all. It doesn’t matter how complex it is, and stuff like that has made it feel more alive to me. I stopped caring about it and now I listen to bubblegum pop and EDM and all the genres some people hate.

CS: What are your plans for the future?

JJ: I want to release more music, go on tours, work with charities and foundations, and hopefully become an established musician. That’s the dream!

CS: Other than “Seventeen” do you have any new projects or songs we can look forward to in the new year?

JJ: You can bet on it!!!

CS: What have been your favorite songs to listen to recently?

JJ: I'm honestly listening to the Victorious soundtrack a lot. I really really love “Freak The Freak Out.”

CS: Thanks for taking the time for this interview! I;m looking forward to listening to Seventeen on December 18th!

JJ: I’m so excited for you to hear it!!

You can listen to “Seventeen” by Julianna Joy, out on all music platforms on December 18th.

Follow Julianna on

Instagram: @juliannajoy69

Twitter: @juliannajoy69

Spotify: Julianna Joy

Originally published on Instagram @shnradio on December 15, 2020

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