Simple, raw, honest. Singer/songwriter Julia Weldon offers a straightforward course to her emotions with lone voice and simple acoustic guitar inflections.
“This is what it’s all about,” Weldon says as she breaks down what being a performer is for 429Magazine.
“Getting up on stage and pouring your guts out, ripping your heart off your sleeve and holding it out in front of an audience, coming close to tears while singing a song, reliving painful experiences, having the courage to play new songs, and essentially sharing your most intimate secrets with people you often don’t know at all.”
She says this on-stage transformation of vulnerability into art delivers an immense catharsis that is converted into “immense strength and empowerment…for [her]and the audience.”
Derivative and inspired by Eliot Smith, Bob Dylan, Bon Iver, Ani DiFranco, and Cat Power, Weldon expressed that others have told her (and she believes) that she “transcends several boxes with [her]music, songs, performance, and stage presence.”
Self-taught from 12 years old, she wrote songs in high school, but was unable to focus on music as she was a professional child actor in TV and film, even playing alongside Meryl Streep in the film “Before and After.”
Stemming from a sheer need to express herself, Weldon revealed that she was always very “creatively effusive and expressive,” and thus when she picked up the guitar, the ideas flowed. She considers also that the melodies may have always been there; and now, paired with an instrument, she is able to bring them into fruition.
Songwriting took over in college and her mid-20s, as close friends and family encouraged her to play more seriously at shows in NYC.
Now, inspired by nature, the city, paradoxes, relationships, love, lust, sadness, fear, the world right around her, and family, she feels that she has discovered her “creative calling.”
“There’s no real choice which is sometimes hard because it takes so much dedication and vulnerability,” Weldon said. “But it’s what I was meant to do and I can feel that.”
Despite the struggle and determination required in order to be a musician, she made it clear that it is very rewarding.
“Right now, momentum is feeling bigger and bigger with my upcoming album ‘Light Is A Ghost,’” Weldon said.
Scheduled for release this summer, “Light Is A Ghost,” is a comprehensive 12-track album Weldon crafted with producer Saul Simon MacWilliam over a two-year span.
“Treating every song as its own separate world while also creating a cohesive sound for the whole album,” Weldon said MacWilliam took her songs and “spun them into indie-folk-pop gold.”
“This is not a singer-songwriter album, it is a versatile and fully orchestrated representation of my songs. The tracks range from quite subtle production with vocals and guitar to dancey pop-rock with drums, bass, electric, synth, viola, keys, etc.”
With the completion of the album as one of the highlights of her career, Weldon also disclosed that she might be playing at Capital Pride this June.
As an “extremely androgynous” woman in the industry, she described that she approaches the world as a person and less as a woman; which people sense and respond to.
It’s a matter of confidence. While she clarified that women in the field can be self-assured, her approach is with the assertion that she should be respected as “a person—as a musician first and foremost…before they see [her]as male or female.”
Despite her buoyant attitude, she shared that she has encountered certain biases, boxes, and stereotypes, but usually her music speaks for her.
“I find luckily that once anyone hears me play, they realize I don’t like being boxed in. Again, I feel fortunate that my music does that work for me.”
In regards to sexuality, Weldon is empowered by “feeling and looking sexy as an artist” if she is in control of her image and “sexualization” in the media.
She explained that she luckily has not encountered a requirement to exploit her sexuality, but has felt subtle pressures. However, taking charge of her semblance allows her to be comfortable.
“I can have my private life but my public persona…I don’t mind being sexy in that realm.”
For aspiring artists, she stated, “Don’t underestimate your worth and ability to do it. Be real with yourself and down to earth with others, and keep pushing for what you want.”
Currently on tour while completing her Masters in Music from Columbia University, Weldon is eager to quit her job (which is paying for her degree), and see where her music takes her.