Poland,Pop,Pop music,Singer Songwriter,Songwriter,Vocals

Blog interview: Juli Chan

Hello Juli, how are you?

Hello, I’ve never been better actually, I feel fulfilled with what I became, as a person, as a woman, as an artist. Thanks to music I’ve been through this great journey towards my inner self. Thank you for having me here and introducing Juli Chan to the British public.

You’re welcome!

Congratulations on the release of “Joe Le Taxi” how does it feel?

Thank you, it feels fantastic! I’m proud of me! Before the release I was unsure how it would be received, especially in France, where Joe Le Taxi is an integral part of French pop culture and iconic across generations. It was a big question mark to me as to how the French would react to a small-town girl from Eastern Europe singing their cult song. 34 years after Joe Le Taxi topped charts around the world, it turned out that our rejuvenation has been approved by the public. More than 30 radio stations in France are now broadcasting the song every day, and this seems like a waking dream to me. I hope the British listeners will find it interesting too.

What influenced your choice of recording an 80s classic?

Well, in general, the 80s vibe is what’s hot in today’s POP. Artists such as Dua Lipa, Doja Cat or Ariana Grande are paving the trails with 80s sounds and grooves in their releases. So as a POP artist I was obviously influenced with the trend. But when I was researching Joe Le Taxi, I discovered a fascinating story behind the lyrics. Joe is the pseudonym of Maria José Leão dos Santos, a Portuguese female taxi driver who fled to France in the 1970s. Maria José was persecuted because of her sexual orientation. When Mari José’s mother discovered her daughter was a lesbian, she took her to an exorcist, later to the hospital and eventually put her in a school run by nuns. In the French capital, she took the name Joe and a profession stereotypically reserved for men. She could be herself safely traveling around night Paris with guests of LGBT clubs. I think this story about the need for tolerance, non- discrimination, is a tribute to all strong women – it is worth recalling today as well as the beautiful melody of “Joe Le Taxi” from years ago.

You are a singer from Poland, how did it all begin for you?

I smile because I often say that I’m seventeen with thirteen years of stage experience. Indeed, from an early age I took part in vocal classes and gained experience on various stages of vocalist competitions, TV music shows and festivals. I enjoy the most when I know that I inspire with my music and that I make someone’s life better, even for a moment. Music should inspire.

What did you listen to growing up?

I have always been a POP girl, so my playlist would include Michael Jackson, Rhianna, Beyonce, Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande. I still go back to these tunes today. I felt a deep bond with Ari when I was a kiddo though. She is strong and gentle. Dominant and submissive. Emotional and firm. I like that she has so many opposing qualities that sums up the quintessence of her charm and true femininity. She is beautiful, has outstanding vocal skills, and the scale of her voice is unparalleled. I even paid tribute to my long-standing mentor and music inspiration. Before presenting my original material, I released Ari’s “Bad Idea” interpreting it from the bottom of my heart.

You have quite a career, having been on The Voice Kids, what was that experience like?

Although it’s been quite a long time since my participation in the show, I feel that it was a breakthrough, a lesson I learned. I discovered my humility, but also my courage. I’ve been in a state of continuous development since I left Voice Kids. Friendships made there are bonded for life. But what’s most valuable is my audience. It all starts with a thousand fans, and I found them thanks to the show. I see a great deal of support from them as fans and professionals.

What was the most valuable thing you learned from the coaches?

I learned that being an artist means being true to yourself and either it has a commercial value or not. Fake smile and striking a pose may get you short term gains but never a long- term, successful career. Also – learning how to say ‘no’ is a vital skill in the music business nowadays

COVID impacted the creative industry in a big way, what kept you motivated?

Although life in the age of a pandemic was not easy, I have devoted one hundred percent to developing in music. Inspiring myself, creating and crafting sounds, lyrics, and melodies. Thanks to this, I got to know myself, my artistic sensitivity and musicality.

2020 was a time to reflect, what did you learn about yourself?

I like the feeling of constant development that bears fruit. I discovered a completely new version of myself that is more mature, aware of my musical sensitivity and the strength of my voice. Each day confirms how important my intuition is and that I should never let anyone, or anything drown it out. 2020 has proved to me that the artistic path I have chosen is the right one. I woke up and the time has come for a whole new me.

Did you pick up any new skills?

Cooking muffins for my family, making memes and playing the drums. (I want muffins!)

What are you listening to now?

Polish Hip Hop is very strong in my country now, so I found myself digging in the genre lately, discovering the old and the new school. Recently my favourite 21-year-old MATA was the first Pole to be featured in Billboard’s Top 100 list and interviewed by the “New York Times”. I’m so proud of you buddy and I keep my fingers crossed for your international career.

What’s next for you?

A debut album is on its way, with some great, unreleased singles. One of them is made with UK’s top producer I’m so proud and can’t wait to present this to you guys. Chan World Tour – an ultimate dream but I believe it will become a reality in the future!

Special thanks to Matt Hewitt @ Metascope Music. 

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