Described by Daily Mail as 'Australia's answer to Justin Timberlake," Simonsz has an impressive vocal range and is making a name for himself with his one-take recordings in the studio. With impeccable falsetto, this upbeat pop tune with old school soul undertones was 'originally written about my wife, but it soon turned into almost an anthem to appreciate and celebrate those who deserve it," explains Simonsz. 'There are a lot of songs by women about female empowerment, but not many male singers sing about the importance of women and the role they play. There are so many inspirational people out there, I felt like this was the perfect way to say thank you to them."
After putting a call out for video extras to his fanbase of over 35,000 on Facebook, Simonsz says, 'it was really amazing, we received so many touching responses and some of the inspirational stories were just incredible... It was quite a special idea and tied in with the underlying meaning of the song that I wanted to portray." Filmed in Melbourne by Lloyd Will from Hats Off Productions (Private Life, Neighbourhood Youth), the clip for I Do It For You tells a beautiful story of appreciating women and celebrating people.
Recorded and produced by Michael Paynter and Michael Delorenzis at MSquared Productions (Nussy, Masketta Fall, Imogen Brough) and co-written with Simonsz, the EP showcases an impressively smooth vocal with memorable melodies and toe-tapping beats. 'The boys at MSquared really helped me nail my sound and create something fresh and new, but still true to who I am," beams Simonsz. Comprising three brilliantly produced soul pop songs and two raw acoustics; this is a strong debut release from one of Melbourne's brightest newcomers and works to highlight the super talent that is Julian Simonsz.
Also a contestant on this year's The Voice on Channel Nine, Simonsz says, 'going in to the show I was thinking what a blessing it would be to turn even just one chair, but when all four turned it was pretty surreal! Then getting to work with Will.I.Am who is a massive inspiration of mine to making it through to the top 24 and now releasing a single and EP, it's been a crazy experience. I couldn't have asked for a better launching pad for my music career and it really made me realise how badly I want this."
Tickets to the Northcote Social Club on November 23 are on sale now
Check out the video here and listen to the self-titled EP here.
Question: How would you describe your music?
Julian Simonsz: My music doesn't fit in to one genre or style, it's really a mix of a lot of the different styles I love. It's mostly pop but there's a bit of soul and old school RnB too. My new single definitely has all those elements and it's definitely say something to get you bopping to!
Question: What was the main motiviation behind the track, I Do It For You?
Julian Simonsz: I wanted to write a song that appreciates people but at the same time I wanted it to be based on my life. There are a lot of songs out there about love but not many that really speak about the idea of celebrating those people who do so much for others, and to me part of that appreciation is doing something back for them. I really wanted to have a song with a positive message for my first single but something upbeat that will also get you up and moving as well.
Question: Can you tell us about filming the video?
Julian Simonsz: It was pretty awesome to take the idea from the song that I had co-written and turn it in to a story. For me the best way to get the meaning of celebrating people across in my video was to have real stories and real people not just actors, and what better way to do this than involve my fans! I announced it on my Facebook fan page to see who wanted to be involved and I received so many amazing stories. It was a really humbling experience to have them involved, for this reason the video was really special to me.
Question: How does it feel to be described as 'Australia's answer to JT"?
Julian Simonsz: That's such a huge thing to say! He's been such a massive inspiration to me so to read and hear comments like that is pretty mind blowing. I hope that with my new single though everyone can see the real me come out too and get behind me just as much.
Question: What can you tell us about the upcoming EP?
Julian Simonsz: The whole EP is about love. Each song describes different forms of love and there's a mixture of upbeat songs, slower tunes and some stripped back acoustics. I didn't really want to stick to one genre so there's a bit of variety in there to suit different tastes and moods!
Question: How did it feel to hear your song played all over the airwaves?
Julian Simonsz: Actually I just heard it for the first time today! It was pretty exciting. Still doesn't feel real... I'm feeling a bit in awe about everything that's happened so far.
Question: Did you have any pre-conceived ideas about the music industry?
Julian Simonsz: That it's a tough industry to crack! I've always heard about how difficult it is, and now getting myself out there as an independent artist it's proven what I've always thought. There's so much to learn and discover though so it's been a great experience.
Question: Do you write your own songs? What's your inspiration?
Julian Simonsz: Yes I do write my own songs, this EP was co-written with the producers Msquared. When I write I prefer to write about real feelings and get that meaning across in the song. My inspiration would be my life and things that I go through. I feel like that's when I write my best, when I'm honest.
Question: What music/artists do you listen to when you are not playing your own?
Julian Simonsz: I really love to listen to a range of music from pop to dance to anything! As a mix engineer I've learnt to appreciate all music. At the moment though I'm really enjoying listening to Ed Sheeran, he's such a talented musician and writer and really natural.
Question: What's next? Tour/Album/Single?
Julian Simonsz: My single has just been released which is so exciting, and I'm really stoked about releasing my EP in November. To finally have my music out there is pretty amazing. It will be launched at the Northcote Social Club on the 23rd and if all goes well maybe there will an opportunity to tour after that.
Question: Was there a moment you contemplated throwing in the towel?
Julian Simonsz: There have definitely been times when it's tough, it's a lot of hard work with plenty of hurdles, and the fact that how far a song goes depends on what everyone else thinks of it can be a bit scary at times. But none of this has ever made me want to give it all up completely.
Question: Do you prefer performing live or recording?
Julian Simonsz: I actually really enjoy both live performance and recording. I like being able to perfect what I do in the studio and do all the harmonies and back up vocals, but I always love jumping on stage and connecting with the audience.
Question: What/who was your inspiration to go into the music industry?
Julian Simonsz: Being bought up in such a musical family and being exposed to all different types of music from such a young age I just naturally fell in to it. When I really started to take my music seriously it felt right that this was the path I was meant to chose.
Question: What is the biggest challenge you have faced along the way to your musical success?
Julian Simonsz: It would have to be right now, releasing my first single! Until now I've been mostly performing covers, and they're always songs people love. But now I will be performing my very own music for the first time, it's new and something that people haven't heard before so it's a bit daunting wondering whether listeners will like it. Seeing how this song and my EP is received will be my biggest challenge.
Question: What's a typical day like?
Julian Simonsz: These days it's pretty busy! I am still running my small business so I try to work on that a bit every day and then apart from that music is pretty much my full time job. Whether it's rehearsing, researching or working on music there's always plenty to do that keeps me busy.
Question: What has been your favourite part of becoming a music artist?
Julian Simonsz: For me definitely the best part is being able create and share my love for music with everyone. It's been a lot of fun singing covers on national television and at performances but to finally be able to perform my own music and see if it has an impact on listeners and if they can connect to it has really been my favourite part of being an artist.
Question: If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?
Julian Simonsz: Initially, Guy Sebastian has definitely always been someone I'd love to collaborate with. He's been an inspiration to me for many years. If I was ever lucky enough collaborating on a song with Pharrell would also be a dream!
Question: Do you have a website fans can visit?
Julian Simonsz: www.juliansimonsz.com has links to all of my The Voice photos and videos and I have just gone live with everything from my most recent photo shoots and my new single! It has all of my social media links too which I try to stay pretty active on.
Question: What message would you like your music to say to your fans?
Julian Simonsz: The message in my new single is just to try and make listeners think about who deserves to be celebrated in their life and to appreciate them. In general though with my music I like to send positive messages about love and being able to feel those emotions. And of course I'd love to get everyone's toes tapping and enjoy my music!
Interview by Brooke Hunter