Julie Clark: The OUTmusic Interview

-by Jeremy Gloff
-appeared on OUTmusic’s Myspace Page
-March 15th, 2009

Please welcome our latest featured artist Julie Clark! You can hear 3 of Julie’s songs in our music player! For more info about Julie check out www.JulieClark.net. For more out artists please go to www.outmusic.com and also to www.queermusicheritage.com. Thanks to JD Doyle for his great radio show and for his help with this feature. Julie Clark was kind enough to answer ten questions:

1) how long have you been writing songs?

I wrote my first song in the 5th grade and vaguely recall that it sounded a little like Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly with his Song.” It must have been a bit awkward for my parents to listen to a love song from their 10-year old daughter. I remember them saying, “Well, it sounds like a song.” That wasn’t exactly the enthusiastic encouragement I might have hoped for, but I’ve learned never to hope for that from family members. I started getting serious about my songwriting 7 years ago. That’s when I began working harder on the actual craft of writing and started to bond with my rhyming dictionary and thesaurus.

2) tell us about your latest project?

My new CD is called “Change Your Mind” and it runs the gamut from deeply personal songs to a civil rights anthem that I wrote to help mobilize our GLBT equality movement. Despite the different themes and tones, all of the songs share an underlying theme of hope. They all speak to the strength and resiliency of our dreams and desires.

3) where do you live and what does this place mean to you?

I’ve lived my whole life in Virginia, except that now (with music as my career) I’m seeing more of the world than I ever dreamed I would. The rest of America and the world beyond our borders represents adventure and excitement. I’ve come to equate Virginia with the powerful emotional connection of Home. That gets to be very important when you’ve been on the road.

4) who are some artists that have inspired you?

To me, Patti Griffin has the ultimate voice and the ultimate artistic insight combined. She’s magic. She can see through other people’s eyes and take us inside their hearts and minds with her. Paula Cole blows me away with the contrast between her crystalline, airy highs and her fierce, no-holds-barred power. She seems absolutely fearless in exposing both her voice and her heart. Artists like these have certainly inspired me, and I’d also love to think they’ve influenced my work – even a little bit.

5) have you ever felt discriminated against for being an out artist?

I believe I’ve actually benefited from the amazing loyalty of our GLBT community, rather than having faced discrimination. I think being open about my sexuality has helped move my career forward, among other reasons because being true to yourself is a core part of what being an artist is all about. I’d definitely encourage other GLBT artists to come out of the closet professionally and be proud of who they are.

6) do you write the lyrics first, or the music first?

My songs usually start with a phrase that pops into my mind, including the words and the melody combined. That first little snippet tends to be a piece of the chorus (the main point or concept of the song) and then I build out from there.

7) do you do more of your writing during the day or at night?

I do my best writing in the morning, before the distractions of the day set in.

8) what feeling do you want your listeners to walk away with when they leave a Julie Clark show?

I hope they’ll have been moved, soothed, awakened and entertained after hearing my songs. I hope my listeners walk away feeling a little more alive, a little less afraid, and full of hope for their future.

9) any advice for other out artists?

Work your ass off, stay focused and believe in yourself no matter what anyone else says. And most of all, be true to yourself.

10) favorite madonna song?

This Virgo’s gonna vote for “Like a Virgin”!

Til next time my loves,
OUTmusician Jeremy Gloff

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