Photo Credit: Ashton Hugh
Whether she was in her small hometown or in the big city she now resides, Julia Bardo admits that the idea of home has never been her reality, and never been the source of her creativity. The singer-songwriter notes, “I find my creative spark in the people I surround myself with—especially in the person I love the most, my partner (or ex-partners),” adding, “Mostly, though, I find inspiration when I am by myself when I have time to reflect on things alone.”
That I can understand as a freelance writer, I spend and have spent most of my time alone for the past decade. We also both spent a lot of time alone as kids. Me, creating worlds with my Barbies, and Julia drawing, sewing and listening to music with her beloved grandma. Two women with a natural lone state came together to talk about her new EP ‘Phase’ which drops this week, modern connections, and her upcoming time on the road.
Kendra: Before this, you were working at your dad’s bar. If you had to compare ‘Phase’ to a drink order, which would it be and why?
Julia Bardo: I would compare ‘Phase’ to a white wine because it’s good and has different flavours and perfumes in just one glass. ‘Phase’ is me, but it’s still not a complete version of myself – It’s a phase, the preparation before the real event that will be the album. Or it could be a gin and tonic because after you listen to it you’re going to feel sad.
Kendra: Had you always sort of had an idea of how you wanted the music video for “I Wanna Feel Love” to look and feel?
Julia Bardo: Yes, kind of. Since I’d love to be an actress, I use music videos to impersonate people I’m not in real life. Or maybe people I am in real life but that is another side of me that not many people can see. In the video, I wanted to express the feeling of waiting; I play a retired celebrity, waiting for her lover to come back home, using her house as her temple, her safe place.
Kendra: In a world where we’re more connected than ever, many still don’t feel loved. Do you feel social media has done more harm than good when it comes to people feeling a personal disconnect with the world around them?
Julia Bardo: I think it definitely has done more harm than good. We’re more connected on the internet than we are to real people; we spend all our time on our phones not really paying attention to our family, our friends, our dogs, the people close to us.
We see people on social media pretending they’re living the best life ever but we forget to live our own. We’re not there for each other. We forget that people on social media have the same insecurities, fears, and problems that we have, the same loneliness and bad days. They just don’t show it and so we feel disheartened. We feel fragile and weak compared to these people and we are not! We tend to compare ourselves so much to other people that we forget about our own qualities, what makes us different and unique. We could be so close to each other. It’s so easy to ask “how are you?” to say “I love you” or “it’s gonna be okay, I’m here” but so many people don’t do it and all we have is lack of empathy and insincerity.
I am a listener, I’m very sensitive and I’m always there for the people I love. I am also very strong and focused, so sometimes I find it hard to bond with people because I find it hard to put up with bullshit. I need realness in my life and sometimes it’s hard to find quality and wholesomeness. I am very attracted to honesty.
Kendra: What is the story behind “Please Don’t Tell Me”?
Julia Bardo: When I started dating my boyfriend Henry, I sent him some demos of an album I wrote years ago. One day he asked me if I had written other songs since then so I showed him an acoustic version of “Please Don’t Tell Me.” He picked up his green electric guitar and started to play some riffs on top of it. I was loving it so much that we decided to record it and at the end of the same day we had a demo of this song that I’ve loved ever since, and in fact, I asked him to produce my debut EP.
I think that nobody has ever or will ever musically (and otherwise) get me the way he does. He is the most amazing person and most talented musician I have ever met—I feel very lucky that he is in my life.
Kendra: What can people heading out to your upcoming March dates in the UK expect? Will you be filling up your set with the entirety of your EP as well as maybe some covers or new material that perhaps came about after ‘Phase’ was wrapped?
Julia Bardo: I hope they don’t expect to have too much fun! I’m joking, I hope people like it and I hope it makes them feel something. In the live set, I’m going to add four new songs to the four from the EP; three of them are going to be on the next album, one is acoustic, one is a cover (it’s a mashup between two songs I love!) and one is “Desire,” the first-ever single I released last year.
Kendra: Other than the EP dropping and the UK tour, what else do you have on your plate in the coming months?
Julia Bardo: I hope to play as many shows as I can, play festivals and record my first album. I want to do as many things as possible. I am very excited to begin, I just want to experience everything. Work, work, work, work, work, and get this bread.