Wonderland.

NEW NOISE: JULIUS BLACK

The alt-pop artist makes a triumphant return with track “Do You Still Dream” ahead of the release of EP, “Together We Go Down In The Dark”.

Julius Black
Julius Black

Aiming to inspire others by not conforming to social norms and exceeding boundaries, Julius Black is the Shanghai-born singer-songwriter whose sound demonstrates a creative twist on the alt-pop genre. The 20-year-old artist’s first EP release, “Dopamine” can be described as a mellow sound with instrumental undertones to portray anxious emotions. However, Black’s newest single, “Do You Still Dream” contradicts this lower mood with an upbeat tone and romantic storyline, with the song boasting a narrative focusing on his first experience with love.

“Well, I just really want to cross boundaries and surprise people and do something I would be excited about,” explains Julius. “I think there’s definitely similarities between ‘Do You still dream’ and the first EP. I had actually started DYSD as a ballad for EP1 and scraped it and came back to it after a year. I’m really excited for people to hear the next project. It’s really diverse, and I think it fits well with the first EP while being an evolved project.”

Ahead of the release of his new EP “Together We Go Down In The Dark”, Julius Black sits down with Wonderland to discuss his successful career and upcoming single “Do you Still Dream”. Take a look at the interview below…

Hey Julius! How are you? How has this past year been?
Hey! I am doing ok, thank you. This past year has definitely been good in a lot of ways, but also a big learning experience for sure.

With everything that happened last year, how has your creativity been affected?
At first, I found it really difficult. Last year, I was in China when the pandemic started, and I was stuck at home from around January until May. I spent most of that time with my mum and I would fill out my days making music. I normally feel like I have to be a fast-paced productivity machine in order to function, and 2020 gave me the chance to take the time to dream and make whatever I wanted to make in a low-pressure environment. Even though it has been a really difficult year for everyone, I really appreciated this time for me.

How did you first get into music? What sparked the interest?
I started music when I was really young and I was obsessed with rock and hip hop music. I guess I wanted to be able to express myself, and eventually, I started writing my own songs when I was 17 and I’ve kept going ever since.

You were raised in Shanghai before moving to New Zealand, both are so rich in culture, do you think this move impacted your sound?
It was definitely a cultural shock! Shanghai is so big and busy, and New Zealand is so small. I love both places so much! In New Zealand, it’s really easy to meet people that are in the industry because it is such a small place, whereas it’s a bit more difficult in Shanghai. I’ve been lucky to gain a lot of knowledge from really great songwriters and producers.

Julius Black music
Julius Black music

Talk us through your debut EP, did you feel any pressures surrounding it?
The debut EP took a year and a half of writing songs and re-producing them to finish them fully. I think the reason it took so long to finish was that I wanted to write as much as possible and create an identity or build a world. I’m super proud of that project, and I get a lot of fulfilment because I worked really hard, and I was really lucky to make it with my favourite producer, Struan Finlay.

I think when the first single “Mirror’s” came out, I put a lot of pressure on myself and I wanted it to do well but I think after the EP came out and I felt like this weight had come off my shoulders.

And now you’re here with “Do You Still Dream?’ It’s a lot brighter than your EP, why the change?
Well, I just really want to cross boundaries and surprise people and do something I would be excited about. I think there’s definitely similarities between “Do You still dream” and the first EP. I had actually started DYSD as a ballad for the first EP and scraped it and came back to it after a year. I’m really excited for people to hear the next project. It’s really diverse, and I think it fits well with the first EP while being an evolved project.

What do you want people to take away from your music?
I just want to excite people. I love telling interesting stories and creating intricate moments. I want to push boundaries and not conform to anything and, hopefully, that inspires people.

Who are your inspirations?
For my first EP, Frank Ocean was my biggest inspiration. Also, Moses Sumney, Dominic Fike, Ryan Beatty, Choker and the 1975. But for this next project that I am putting out, I was listening to a lot of Beatles.

What’s next for you? What are you most excited for?
My sophomore EP, “Together we go down in the Dark”, will be coming out in November. It’s really ambitious and bold, I am excited about it.

NEW NOISE: JULIUS BLACK

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