"Native New Yorker Julian Velard is currently treating Londoners to a taste of his suave voice and cheeky charm. The 31-year-old drew a crowd at the Apple Store in Covent Garden earlier this month ahead of his latest single, Love Again For The First Time’s release. Tourists and iPad browsers’ ears pricked up to the sounds of Julian’s quirky piano melodies and tongue-in-cheek lyrics during his surprise midweek performance…"
Julian Velard swaps street cleaning for music stardom
Julian Velard has worked as a Parisian street sweeper, a waiter and a nursery school teacher. Perhaps then it’s surprising that he is now an up-and-coming singer songwriter who has toured with Jamie Callum, Goldfrapp and Kate Nash.
The New Yorker, now based in north London, is about to release his second album, Mr Saturday Night.
Mr Velard, 31, tells People: “I have always been passionate about music. I’ve played all kinds of ridiculous gigs but over the past three years there has been a natural progression.”
He describes his style as pop and says he has been influenced by singers including Billy Joel, Elton John, Harry Nilsson, Tom Waits and Randy Newman.
Mr Velard, who has written for X Factor star Olly Murs among others, was signed to EMI Records for two years before deciding to set up independent label Planeteer Records.
He is now managed by Colin Lester, who also manages Craig David and Travis.
Last week, Mr Velard appeared on ITV’s This Morning and on Radio 2 with Jo Wiley.
He says: “I am going to take things as they come but it’s my passion to become an artist. Hopefully everything will work out. I am willing to collaborate along the way if need be.”
“Today’s media isn’t about quality, it’s about relevance. Does it matter that George Michael’s cover of True Faith is terrible? … As Rebecca herself says, “even a person that doesn’t like it, it’s gonna be stuck in their head, that’s the point of it”.”—Journal: The Relevance Of Relevance | Julian Velard
"A regular journal is a hard thing to keep, not unlike exercising or a diet. If you don’t stick to your guns, pretty soon your pants don’t fit so well. The same rules apply to writing. The longer I put it off, the more my mind loses shape. These days I find myself procrastinating constantly…"
(Old interview, but great nonetheless) Julian Velard chats to ilikemusic
Brooklyn born Julian Velard’s classic songwriting has already seen the twenty-something compared to legends Andrew Gold, Van Morrison and Harry Nilsson by media and tastemakers last year. After receiving rave reviews for his limited EP The Movies Without You on indie Lucky Number last autumn, Julian’s first official single Jimmy Dean and Steve McQueen has recently been released. We caught up with the man himself to chat about everything from writing lyrics, his favourite summer songs and his earliest musical memories.
"I Like Music because… it makes me feel funny inside. Like hugging the radiator after a cold, wet day of playing in the snow." JULIAN VELARD
ILM: Your new single Jimmy Dean and Steve McQueen is out now. Can you give us your own personal description of the tracks whole vibe?
Julian: The song is about nostalgia. I wrote it around a pretty dark time in America, in the dead of one of NYC’s hottest summers. I found myself in cool, dark theaters, trying to escape the heat and world. Films offer me a reprieve. For some reason I only completely let go with a bucket of popcorn in my lap. When I’m watching a movie, I’m always thinking, ‘Why am I here and now and not there and then? Why am I not Steve McQueen in Cincinnati Kid? Why can’t my life be like that?’ It’s from that feeling that the song was born.
ILM: You have recently played a number of UK live dates. How have they been?
Julian: Great! UK audiences are all about the music. In the States, people want you to be their friend on stage. Here people make up their mind whether they like you during the first song. And if you wander too much with yer banter, they tell you to shut up and play. Sets are short and sweet. Give em the hits!
ILM: Can you describe the Julian Velard process of writing and recording such good music?
Julian: I sit down with the best milk and cereal money can buy, eat the whole box, then put my thumb in the air and see which way the wind blows. It’s not quite as glamorous, but that’s pretty much the writing process. Completely random from one moment to the next, looking for an opening. Recording is hell. 5 minutes of fun, then 2 hours trying to make it work. Going in the studio is deep psychological diving and I look to do it as seldom as possible.
I am trying to think about the first time I heard of Julian. Really what I should be doing is read up on my driving theory but as you can see, that’s not happening now! I do believe the unofficial forum of Jamie Cullum, many years ago (okay two?!) posted about Julian and his music. No…. no wait… yes.. maybe.. it’s all coming back to me now, a memory of being on Julian’s old site, and listening to Steve McQueen and Jimmy Dean (or is it the other way around? I get easily confused..). How I got there will remain a mystery, perhaps the forum led me there, or I just ended up there by the chance of Google.
PN.com did however post a lot about Julian so I listened again and I recognized the site and music/voice. And I got that flash again of the deja vu feeling.. that I had heard this man before! Anywho… this is rather uninteresting probably, and confusing as I am trying to remember as I type. BUT! My point was…. I have no idea, did I have a point?
“Beginning of the work week got you down? JV’s got a cure for the mondays: B-sides. Starting today, I’ll be posting a brand new B-side every week. I’ve got a treasure trove of unreleased recordings from over the years, including acoustic versions of songs, out-takes from my new album, Mr. Saturday Night, as well as my other albums, and all kinds of unheard music. All you have to do sign up for julianvelard.com through FB Connect, then head over to the Members section of the site. Get in!”
“Yesterday’s show was such a success (aside from the brief technical hiccup), I’ve decided to do a webcast show every week until the album comes out! Tune in the next three tuesdays (March 22,March 29, and April 5) to my BlogTV channel at 5:30pm GMT London time to see me put on a show on your very own computer. You’ll also be able to chat with me while I play. I might even bring a guest or two along, or wear a costume. Anything can happen!”
It is mine! I bought one of the copies of the promo CD’s that has been sent out of the Planeteer to various radio stations and DJ’s. Thought that if I’m going to buy the CD I can just as well buy the Promo one cause I love that graphic design too much! :)
"Tune in for a Ustream show today at 5:30pm London Time. I’ll be playing some songs and taking questions if I can figure out the technology end. Link is here, or you can watch through the tab on my FB Page - http://www.ustream.tv/jvelard”
Send in requests for Julian's ustream show tonight
So the show starts (if Julian can figure out the tech sides of it ;) *side joke*) at 5:30 PM UK time. You can now send in requests for what you want to hear Julian play. Just twitter him @julianvelard.