Hip Hop Artist Julian Delivers Hot New Single, Tells How Eminem Inspired Him & Why He Has Love For Cardi B
Hailing from Detroit, Michigan, Julian is not your typical artist who can spit 16 bars over a beat. He is in a class of his own, with classical musical training under his belt, along with a skill set that includes production, writing and even engineering. Being of Iraqi Chaldean descent, Julian’s sole purpose is to create music that tells his authentic truth. And what you see primarily is what you get. There are no masks. No fake stories of where he comes from. No gimmicks. There is only the treat of pure, raw talent he shares.
I got a chance to speak with Julian and by the end of our conversation, he told me that our interview was the best time he’s had. Read on and get to know this rising Hip-Hop phenomenon who’s already taking the world by storm.
Parlé Mag: I like “Got It On Your Own”. Tell me about the single and how you and Jeremih came to do a collaboration.
Julian: Thanks so much, I’m glad that you like it. I produced and wrote that entire song. It’s based off of a girl I used to date. She was so into looking into other girls, how they act, dress and go out. It was like a competition thing. You know, they look at each other trying to be something they’re not. The song is my way of telling her hey, you’re perfect just the way you are, stop trying all of that and be yourself. People just want to fit in. As I worked on it, I kept playing it back and Jeremih popped in my head. I knew that he had songs with this type of story and he could relate. He liked the track as well and we put it together.
Parlé Mag: What would you say separates you from other artists in terms of your artistry?
Julian: I play the piano, the guitar, I rap and I sing. I also write and engineer my own music. I wouldn’t put myself in one category. I like to do it all. My dad was playing the piano since he was four. He’s unreal. My grandfather was in the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra for over 20 years, other relatives, were into music too, so it has always been in the family. Music has always been a part of us. It’s in the blood, it won’t go away. My baby carriage was next to the grand piano every night. Growing up, I was also classically trained and able to play classical artists like Bach and then I switched to rap, because it was my path.
Parlé Mag: What made you turn to rap, as opposed to classical or any other genre for that matter?
Julian: When you’re here in Detroit, the only artist that you listened to was Eminem. I was around six or seven when he released ‘Lose Yourself’’ and that blew up. Everyone was like who is this guy. Everybody went crazy and we all look up to Eminem. He was the first one to inspire me to become a rapper. Besides that, I don’t talk about my emotions face to face like in a regular conversation. I feel that it’s corny, however, with music, it’s easier because I can get everything out that’s on my mind. I get my message across. I mean, I’m not the type to say, ‘hey, I ‘m sad’…(laughs) breakups are the most hardest and awkward moments, but if you put it in a song, you get it out. It comes from the mind through the music. She could get the message then.
Parlé Mag: Historically Detroit is famous for the legendary Motown sound. Were there other artists from that era, or any other time period, who inspired you?
Julian: My dad was a huge Michael Jackson fan. We always had Michael’s music playing in the house, in the car. But I love all types of musical genres. One of the people that blew me away was Biggie. Biggie was that artist that made rap commercial and worldwide. It may be cliché to mention him, but he’s a legend. I love his flow, his voice and what he stands for. He’s old school, like the OG. What the Bad Boy Family did was amazing. I related to Biggie more… I like the production. I look up to Puffy. His energy is always on 100. He’s always on the move. What he did with music is unreal. He made anthems. He had that New York bounce. I listen to old school stuff as well, like Nat King Cole. I love Nature Boy.
Parlé Mag: Now that you’ve worked with Jeremih, do you see yourself collaborating with any female artists?
Julian: Absolutely. I have this one song that is about to drop called ‘Really Good’. It’s more of a hard core club banger underground song and I spit hard on it. Cardi B would be great to get on it. I think she could kill it. I also got another one called ‘Barbie’. If I could get her and Nicki (Minaj) on there, that would be great. I give respect to Cardi B… “Bodak Yellow” is a great song. I don’t care if she was a reality star, a stripper or whatever, if it’s a bad ass song, it’s a bad ass song. It’s a huge hit. You can rap, you can spit, it’s cool. No matter what your background, if it’s a hit, that’s all that matters. I appreciate her body of work. She did that!
Parlé Mag: Tell me about growing up and did you experience any racism?
Julian: I was born in Detroit and I lived part of my life there, and the other in Dubai because my dad moved there for work. So I was exposed to two different worlds, backgrounds and culture. With Dubai, you had the desert and it was making bond fires and cooking, camping. Then you come back to Detroit it’s all green and trees. In Dubai, my friends were from everywhere: Palestine, China, India. In Michigan, you would sometimes here comments like ‘go back to your liquor stores or gas stations’. You know references to terrorists, derogatory things. But in Dubai, people are from all over the world. Racism, unfortunately, is felt more here in the US and it shouldn’t be that way at all.
Parlé Mag: Was music also a part of your education?
Julian: For piano and guitar, my dad put me in classes, then opened his own music school. I did go to college, but I dropped out because it just wasn’t my thing. But I then went to this institute and studied sound engineering. I felt like I am not gonna do anything besides this.
Parlé Mag: Hypothetically speaking, what could you see yourself doing besides this?
Julian: That’s a good question. Something in business. I’m not an office guy. I love the food and beverage industry and franchises. I like the business world. I would love to just be able to say, ‘I own this restaurant’. I’ve been learning things about real estate too. The first company I’d open would be a label in the long run.
Parlé Mag: In reference to you and your journey thus far, what would you say inspires you?
Julian: This may sound weird, but I always look at Instagram photos and think to myself, I don’t wanna be like that. I was like this kid that said I’m not gonna be a doctor, or a lawyer, because that was the norm. I want to be as great as I can be no matter what I do, you know. I’m the type of person, I get a lot of drive from people I know. I feel like a lot of people don’t push themselves. You can jump and go a different way, you don’t have to be like everyone else. I like to push myself. Everything that I say is real. It’s me. My music is gonna speak for itself. When I create a song, it’s like my child. I like to show my emotion in a song. I let it all out. I’m not worried about what people are gonna say or think.
Parlé Mag: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Julian: I love when people ask me this question. I see myself progressing and developing even further in my career and music. Visualizing, dreaming and creating… my songs are gonna be something. I hope I’ll be considered one of the greatest, to be put on the pedestal of the next great one… but it takes time. You can’t come in this game thinking of only the money, the cars, the homes and all of that. It’s fine because everyone wants to make it. Everyone’s grinding. But for an artist who only thinks of those things, I can’t take them seriously. But someone like Kendrick (Lamar), he would do this if he was in a box somewhere. I truly have a passion for this.
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