With his new single out and a new era in the works, Brooklyn Juliana is eager to show the world how passionate he is about his craft. The singer-songwriter-sometimes guitar player released “Thinking About You” on July 14 and, in his words, it’s his realest song to date. We spoke with Juliana about his upcoming album, rooting his new music in his own experiences and his devotion to exploring what’s next for his art.
Atlas Artist Group: How are you feeling about the release of your new single? How did this song come together for you? What was the creative process like?
Brooklyn Juliana: I’m feeling pretty good. I’m excited for people to see a little bit of what I’ve been working on. It’s the first single. I think it’s super fun and it’s a really fun little taste test of the album I’m working on.
I really felt like, after my tour, I want to come up with a sound that I was comfortable writing for my fans. So the use of the guitar on the record is very much based off the stuff that I used to listen to- I used to listen to a lot of Japanese rock music. It’s just an instrument that I was interested in writing for- although I don’t really play it all that well. I did play guitar on this record but it’s like pulling teeth to get that out of me. But the creative process- I wrote the chorus and then I sent it to my friend Noah [and] he wrote the verse. God bless him, his demo was just absolutely hilarious. He’s not much of a singer and so I did a different take on that and we kind of Frankensteined the whole thing. And now it’s the single and I really love it.
Atlas: In terms of your own creative process, do you tend to start with lyrics and storylines and then craft the melody or is it the other way around?
Brooklyn: I think I start with an emotion first; it’s not necessarily a lyric. I have this feeling of wanting to be a little more transparent about my emotions. In this case, it’s about a girl, obviously. I just found like, as a guy, we’re not- men, we’re not really super clear about our emotions. We always try to act tough and all that. That was the emotion I wanted to start with and then the melody came and then all that musical stuff, like the groove of it all. That’s how it snowballed from there.
Atlas: You started putting out music in 2019 and then we hit the pandemic and everything changed so quickly. Did that time period affect your approach to making music and does it still affect your writing now?
Brooklyn: I feel like it had a huge impact on the production value of what we do because everything turned into a remote thing. So if you want to perform live, there was a moment where I had to do virtual concerts.
So to deliver a good…and I’m really- for lack of a better term- I’m quite anal about the experience that we deliver my audience. So through the pandemic, especially the video end, it was really interesting amping up the production value to make sure I was delivering a decent concert to people. I feel like that really impacted my perspective on performing and therefore, the writing and this whole album is based off my experience on tour.
Atlas: As you mentioned, you’re a perfectionist. How do you know when the song is done- when do you reach that point where you know it’s ready to release?
Brooklyn: You know what, I think that’s my problem- I don’t know. Wiser people around me tell me [to] just do it and move on. It’s one of those things where, given all the time in the world, you will take all the time in the world unless someone takes it away from you. I definitely need people in my life who will take my work away from me.
Atlas: You said that your upcoming album is about your last tour- what was that experience like for you? Do you have a specific memory that really stands out?
Brooklyn: The specific memory for me- and I don’t often like to talk about numbers- but it was definitely waking up the morning before my last show and having this viral moment. We had a couple hundred thousand people just kind of pour in with a lot of support for what I was doing at the time. It woke me up in the middle of the night and I thought someone’s pulling a prank and it was really quite wonderful. And then the energy at my concert the next day was crazy. This was in Milan and my Italian fans were halfway through the concert [and] they started singing to me. And they sounded great by the way! That was a very special memory.
Atlas: Do you have any upcoming tour plans that you can share?
Brooklyn: I’m gonna be getting back to rehearsing and planning a show, but I don’t have any dates that I can share with anyone. All I can say is that when I do hit the road, and when I do hit the stage next, it’ll be better than ever.
Atlas: Is there a song of yours that you really find yourself connecting with more than others? On the other side of that, do you see one that the fans are really connecting with?
Brooklyn: I know my fans really like “Imagine” and that one I actually really love too because it’s dark. And you know, I feel like my heart is quite black- I’m wearing all black today, as you can see. There’s the new one- “Thinking About You” is a very real world song for me. My previous, shall we say, a trilogy of singles- that was very much rooted in fantasy. If you watch the videos, there’s a lot of fantasy elements throughout all of them- including “I’m Gonna Love You”, which looks kind of surreal. This new single is quite real and so right now I’m feeling it. I think putting Brooklyn in almost kind of 3D is just going to be such a great experience for my audience. I’m so excited for people to see that.
Atlas: With this journey that you’re on with your music, where do you hope it takes you? Do you have any specific goals or are you just along for the ride?
Brooklyn: I love performing. And I’ve said it before, but one day I want to sell out a crazy venue like Madison Square Garden. That’s like a personal goal of mine. And really, the big one for me is I feel like I’ve got a vision- this is my art and that’s something I really, really want to explore more of.
Atlas: Do you have any spoilers from the album that you could share with us or is it still under wraps?
Brooklyn: If I played you something, would you be able to describe it in words afterwards? Let me try something here. It’s a little something I’ve been writing. It’s instrumental but it’s actually going to be the first cut of the album. It’s called “One” because it’s track number one. But the inspiration behind that was I was listening to Ariana Grande- what’s that song?- “God is a Woman”. There’s this refrain at the end where she’s saying the word one a lot and that’s where I got the inspiration for the title.
[Writer’s note: the audio didn’t work and both of us were disappointed about it.]
It’s a really fun song that when I just played through, there was some guitar playing. I’m playing the guitar like I would sing and so that’s kind of a great way of describing some of the sounds of the new album.
Atlas: Is there anything else you’d like people to know about you that you may not have been asked about before?
Brooklyn: You know, people do describe me as mysterious. But I’m not itching to say anything other than what my fans already know. If someone knew nothing about me at all, I would love for them to know that I put everything into what I do. I really do.
Stream “Thinking About You”, out now!
Story by Olivia Khiel
Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Juliana