Q: Can you tell us a bit about”Bulletproof” and how did it come together?
JULES MARIE: Bulletproof is definitely my most vulnerable and soul-sharing release so far. Songwriting was a very emotional process for me. I was actually crying while writing the song’s intro. I think it was really important for me to share this. I struggle a lot inside my head, and not a lot of people know that by just meeting me. I wear a big smile, and I tend to hide the darker parts of my emotions for fear of being misunderstood. As I get older, I realize how short life really is and that you have to make every day and every moment count. I also think everyone misses their days as a young kid when the problems of the world hadn’t hit yet. I grew up a little faster than maybe some other people because of events that happened in my life, but I still remember the times before I had to worry or feel sad. I remember running around on the playground, I remember when going to school was my only obligation, and I remember the times when my worries were small. Adult life hits hard. That’s where the lyrics “Rest in peace to my youth” come from. I have gotten a lot of feedback from people telling me that this song was exactly what they needed to hear. That’s all I ever want. I love that this song has become the anthem for anyone who is struggling, and maybe even hiding behind a smile. None of us are Bulletproof. I bleed, bruise, hurt, and feel emotions just like everyone else. I am glad that others can feel and relate to the emotions behind this work.
Q: Growing up in Philly, can you tell us a bit about the city? What do you love and hate about it?
JULES MARIE: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Philly will always have my heart. The number of times I am in other parts of the country and I’m explaining something about where I’m from and I just say “it’s a Philly thing”. I feel like anyone from Philadelphia and the surrounding areas understand that concept. Things are just different there. The people, the culture, the food, the music. It’s all so unique, but also all so connected. It really is the city of brotherly love. It’s all love.
I can’t really say anything I personally hate at all about Philadelphia. Traffic in South Philly is never fun. Honestly, traffic everywhere around the city isn’t fun. Pennsylvania in general is notorious for having bad roads, and constantly being a construction zone. Aside from just the traffic, I think the one thing that bothers me about Philadelphia is the people who give it a bad reputation. Just like any city, there are some not-so-good things that happen, but that does not define the people and the city as a whole. There is more love than hate in Philly and I wish that the news would reflect that more often than the negatives.
Philly and the surrounding suburbs are my home. I know almost all the roads within a 45-minute radius like the back of my hand. (Although I haven’t crossed the bridges over to the Jersey side very often) I spent a lot of late-night drives just wandering around wasting gas, but gaining mental clarity and some of those moments I’ll never forget.
Q: What do you write about?
JULES MARIE: I write about life mostly. My own personal experiences, but also the general human condition and things I think people need to know/learn. I write about topics I feel strongly about, but I also write songs about love and relationships. I have written some fun summer songs (That I might release by the end of the summer. If not then next summer for sure) I love to write about things that are relatable, but my style doesn’t necessarily stick to one topic or niche. Also, my writing process is a bit different from others I think. I tend to write in more of a stream of consciousness or almost poetic way. All songs are a form of poetry, but I tend to wordplay a lot and experiment with different rhyming patterns. I normally don’t even have a topic or a “story” before I start a song. I just start. I come up with the story and the topic(s) as I go.
Q: Where do you find the most inspiring and stimulating for you?
JULES MARIE: I always end up writing in a vehicle. It’s just what I’ve gotten comfortable doing. For years I would spend hours and hours sitting in my car/truck by myself just passing time. Sometimes not even driving, just sitting in parking lots. It could have something to do with my mental state over the years, but I’ve found that I really get a clear head in the driver’s seat. It’s also really easy for me to write that way because I can literally park or drive anywhere and have my own creative space. I can put the instrumental track/beat on through my car speakers if there is one, and I have everything I need.
Q: How is your creative process like?
JULES MARIE: I normally start with a beat made by my friend Jared (Pimp Fried Rice) or other producer friends of mine. Sometimes I just start with a melody hummed out in my head until I replace it with words. I don’t normally write a song all in one shot. I piece it together over a few different sessions like a puzzle. Some of my earlier songs were written in one 45 minute shot, sitting in my vehicle of course. I let each individual song have its own workflow. I never try and force a song to be finished if it’s not. When I get stuck I’ll either work on a different project or just stop writing and do something different altogether.
Q: What are you currently working on?
JULES MARIE: I have two fully recorded songs that are just waiting to be mixed and mastered before they will be released in the next few months. I have way too many unfinished songs in the notes section of my phone, and I have about 4 or 5 fully written songs that still need to be recorded. I also have a few collaboration projects that are in the works with some new artist friends of mine.
Interviewed by Katrina Yang
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