Toronto Soul Singer Ms. Jully Black Interview

conducted by Aaron “A*maze” Joseph

Toronto Jully Black InterviewCool, confident and calm, she comes out from the back room and walks quickly past all distractions (promoters, reporters, sound technicians, etc) her eyes see nothing except for what is ahead of her. She walks directly to where her heart is, directly onto the stage where she greets her guitarist, pianist and back up singer and begins to sing. The sound check was a preview of the great show to happen later that night at the Media Club in Vancouver, and those in attendance heard Jully Black perform a few of her songs she had planned for her performance later that night, including Fergie’s “Big Girls Don’t Cry.”

After sound check she attended to the media and their questions and left the venue to prepare for her performance at General Motors Place. Jully Black was the night’s special guest, where she sung both the American and Canadian national anthem for a crowd of thousands before an NHL hockey game. She sang so passionately that it incited hollering and applause from all in attendance. From there she rushed back to the Media Club to perform an intimate performance for her fans… It seems really hectic and fast paced, but it’s just another day for Ms. Jully Black.

MVRemix: So Ms. Jully Black…. First off, is it still Ms.?

Jully Black: Ms.? Oh yes! still miss!

MVRemix: Not to say you’ve been gone for a while, but for those that don’t know you been keeping busy, what have you been up to?

Jully Black: Well I’ve been hosting TV on eTalk, I’ve been working on this album, “Revival” I’ve been writing and living, it’s been a few years since “This Is Me” but, it doesn’t really feel that long ‘cause I have been keeping busy.

MVRemix: Many people have seen you on television lately doing entertainment correspondence work for CTV, how did you get involved with that?

Jully Black: I am their celebrity correspondent, I do specific interviews with people like Oprah Winfrey, Barbara Walters, Bill Clinton, as well as musicians I look up to like Sean Paul, Shakira, and Aerosmith, I just got involved because they saw me be myself. I basically bumrushed an interview that Ben Mulroney was doing and later on the higher-ups saw the footage on the cutting room floor and the rest is history. CTV has been very good to me and always support me, especially being a big network; they support me in a big way.

MVRemix: Your new album “Revival” can you tell us about it?

Jully Black: It’s the old me to the new me with all live instrumentation. It’s a record that Keith Harris (drummer for the Black Eyed Peas and Will I Am’s co-producer) produced. He and I became good friends and we were thinking of taking it back to the days of Motown, with not much technology and doing it live off the floor, it’s a record for everybody. I would say it’s an R&B pop record, and when I say pop I mean popular, like the days when we listened to Marvin Gaye & Stevie Wonder and it was Pop R&B ‘cause everyone knows about them. It’s feel good music with deep subjects.

MVRemix: How does it differ from the Jully Black in ’05 or better yet the Jully Black from the very late 90’s (Baby Blue Soundcrew).

Jully Black: It’s basically a jambalaya of everything I am ‘cause I am Hip-Hop, Gospel, Reggae, R&B, and a bit of Rock. It’s just growth, it’s evolution. Back then when I made music with Kardinal and Baby Blue Soundcrew, it was sort of my apprenticeship, in my opinion, to become the voice of Hip-Hop and R&B in Canada, to find my place, because there was no outlet then.

MVRemix: Apparently when “This is me” came out in 2005 a lot of downloading affected sales of your album, can you explain your views on downloading?

Jully Black: It’s something we do have to talk about, because it has to do with the time we are living in. We are not listening to cassette tapes anymore, and we rarely use vinyl. Nowadays I’m seeing DJ’s mix with computers (Serato/Scratch Live). So basically when it first happened I was totally devastated, but I realized that I am from that era as well. We don’t use typewriters; we are from the computer era. I just decided to embrace change, and try to use this technology to reach through to my fans through things like Facebook & MySpace. It let’s me know there is a demand for Jully and already in two weeks we’ve surpassed the sales of “This Is Me”. So I realize if people commit to you and your project then they are going to support it, you just have to be patient.

MVRemix: For those who haven’t heard of you or your music how would you explain it?

Jully Black: It’ll ignite, excite and inspire you. It is from me for you, it is music from the soul.

MVRemix: Your music has definitely evolved throughout the years and definitely gotten more jazzy/soul-ish, what made you want to change this style from the Jully black who did joints like “Money Jane”?

Jully Black: I actually haven’t changed my style; I think people are just finally peeling the layers and hearing who I am.

MVRemix: On your album, the song titled “7 day fool” speaks about a crazy love that you have, what was the inspiration for this song?

Jully Black: That’s actually an Etta James song…but my mother. My mom is old school, she’s 70 now. She had me very late and raised nine kids on her own. I remember her before my dad left, kinda just standing by her man, washing, cooking and cleaning. Keith found the song for me and I usually always do Etta James Ballads, and Keith challenged me to do this song.

MVRemix: By the way, I heard it’s your birthday in one week. If I may ask how old will you be turning?

Jully Black: Ahh…You don’t ask a woman her age! C’mon now! [laughing]

MVRemix: In closing, do you have any shoutouts or thank you’s you’d like to make?

Jully Black: I would like to thank all my new fans and old ones who stuck by me. My friends and family, there are too many to thank. I wanna thank everyone I’ve come in contact with from the age of zero ’til now…Thank You!

Original Article