Interview with JAZZ ONLINE in Germany
Sue Wilson, The Scotsman
“…Julia Messenger is widely considered to be one of the most inspiring musicians to ever come out of the studios of Australia…”
It hasn’t taken long for the exceptional Australian singer/songwriter and producer Julia Messenger to rapidly build a solid international name for herself. She has been consistently crowned by many in the U.S. as the ‘Queen of Chill’. Born and raised in Melbourne, Julia has spent years touring and singing all over the globe and perfecting her unique vocal style.
Her songs and productions have appeared on numerous compilations in Europe and America alongside artists such as: Norah Jones, Amy Winehouse, Moby, Bebel Gilberto, Boozoo Bajou, Nitin Sawhney, Groove Armada, Ursula Rucker, Goldfrapp, Kruder & Dorfmeister, Zero 7, Rae & Christian, Joss Stone, Basement Jaxx, Bebel Gilberto, Jamie Callum, Sarah McLachlan and Julee Cruise to name just a few.
Julia’s voice has been likened to such artists as: Sade, Dido, Norah Jones, Ursula Rucker, Lisa Gerrard, Annie Lennox, Sinead O’Connor and Donna Summer - although given the diversity of these artists, her style is her own. Her vocals have been called “sultry, sexy, superb, stunning, sweet, scorching, intense, dizzying, cream, aromatic, bewitching, exotic, exceptional, luxurious”.. and the list goes on!
Julia has had a record deal in the USA with a small underground label distributed by Varese Sarabande/Universal Music. She wrote and produced the album herself in her music studio in Melbourne, Milk Bar. Since then she has done 2 more solo albums to date, one in the Downtempo style, and the other Adult Contempory.
Currently she is working in Milk Bar writing and recording numerous new songs for both herself and other artists to sing. She has also had some of her tunes placed on TV shows in Australia and the United States, and was recently asked to produce a theme song for an Australian TV show that is currently being pitched. Her song Like a Magic Show was also used for a Wii Nintendo game.
Throughout her career, Julia has caught the attention of many notable artists. Most recently she is working with global superstar DJ and Producer Ferry Corsten (consistently voted as one of the top 5 DJ s in the world and whose last album was #1 on the Dance Charts in the USA). Her song Black Velvet appears on his new album Twice In A Blue Moon.
She has regularly collaborated with a number of major artists - Klaus Schulze of 'Tangerine Dream' and 'Alphaville'; Massive Attack sound engineer/mixer Jeremy Allom; Henning Schmitz (Kraftwerk); Waldeck (Dope Noir, Vienna); Hans Nieswandt (Whirlpool Productions, Warner, Germany); Soul G and Tony Match (Paris); Frank Elting (previously MRI – Berlin); PFL (Hannover), Ian Melrose (Clannad ), MOD X (Paris), Moodfood (Grammy winner- USA) and Marcus Worgull. She is also currently collaborating with grammy nominee Scott Rockenfield (who is also the drummer with renowned US band Queensrÿche) writing film music.
New York Times mentioned Julia's song Look Up Look Down as one of the top 10 on the playlist for U.S. restaurants.
De:bug claimed Myamisumi, Julia's first solo 12" vinyl, as "the best vocal album ever to come out of the Cologne electronic scene”.
As well as being a gifted pop music writer, Julia also has a passion for Jazz music, and is asked in Australia to perform at many notable venues with the best Jazz musicians in their field.
In 2013 Julia toured Germany and worked alongside producer and piano accordianist maestro Manfred Leuchter (producer of Germany’s top male artist artist Rheinhard Mey). She joined him with other artists at a large outdoor concert at Burg Wilhelmstein to release the album "Carpe Momentum" . She also played Jazzkeller Krefeld for the second time, and was a special solo guest at the infamous Jazz club Kurpark Terrassen with Stefan Michalke on piano and Anton Putz on bass. Other gigs included the Kit Club in Dusseldorf where she was joined by Ian Melrose on guitar.
In 2012, Julia was invited to Helsinki to sing with Jazz Maestro Iiro Rantala on the "Midsummer Night Train" which travelled through cities of Finland. This was telecast live throughout Europe and was an all night event.
In 2011 Julia graced European shores culminating in a show at the prestigious Beethoven Festival in Bonn. She also received a rave rewiew in the Rheinland Newspaper after a sell out show at the Jazz Kellar in Krefeld. Her tour consisted of studio work with the likes of Scottish guitarist Ian Melrose (Clannad) and Manfred Leuchter a.o., as well as an interview with noteable Jazz online.com, and performances in various cities.
In Melbourne Julia was a regular at the renowned Bennetts Lane Jazz Club, and in from 2012 - 2019 Julia has received rave reviews from all her sell out shows at the much-touted 'Salon' at the Melbourne Recital Centre. Her shows at the Recital Centre are themed and always different, whilst still pertaining to the genre of Jazz.
She was also flown to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia to perform at Jazz club Alexis for two nights in March 2012.
Julia is unique in her ability as a vocalist and songwriter to metamorphosize across genres and break boundaries into new ground. This is largely due to the fact that she has a rare talent for it, and has chosen to live her life honouring it. Because of this, she is consistently asked to collaborate with a variety of artists around the world all in the top of their field. She sings anything well from jazz, blues, soul, classical, ambient, world and all styles of electronica. She graduated with her Bachelor of Music Degree from the Melbourne Conservatorium in Opera at the top of her class. The Victorian State Opera had a reserved spot for her, but she chose a different path. She collaborates full –time overseas from her music studio in Melbourne, and enjoys working solo also.
Julia is accustomed to singing all over the world. Among others, she has performed for the Handover Ceremony in Hong Kong, supported Afro Celt Sound System at the Galway music Fesitval, achieved 5 star reviews two years running at the Edinburgh Festival, toured extensively throughout Germany including the World Expo in Hannover and for more than one Grand Prix including private parties at the famous ‘BMW Pavillion’ in Munich. In 2003 she was invited to sing at speak at the New York Global Film and Music Summit. Some other venues and festivals include: Summerjam (Germany), Lovefield, Cologne Exhibition Centre (KoelnMesse), Filmhaus, Gebaude 9 (Cologne), SlamDance, S.O.M.A., Zollverein, Kumberland (Hanover), Popkomm (Germany), The Glamour Bar (Shanghai), Woodford (Australia) among others.
Whilst living and working in Germany, Julia performed with some of Germany’s top jazz artists led by renowned jazz organist Lutz Krajenski.
In 2007 Julia sang at the famous awards night for the Brownlow Medal as well as performed at the Olympic Stadium in Melbourne for the Premiership Finals Series of the NRL.
Julia’s songs So Complicated and And We Danced were finalists in the prestigious ISC - International Songwriting Contest.
Her self titled chillout album 'Julia Messenger', which she produced and wrote herself in 'Milk Bar' (her studio in Melbourne), was released in America in through Water Music LA/Universal records. Julia has 3 solo album releases. Her single Glitter with parisian artist ModX is currently receiving airplay on european radio.
As well as a passion for working and writing with producers all over the globe, production and writing itself is one Julia's passions. When she is in Australia she spends most of the time in her studio either working as a singer in her own right, or writing for others.
Julia is consistent with her work and skills and is unwavering in her passion to bring quality music to her fans. She has been widely reviewed as a ‘world class-performer’.