Julia Messenger Blog

My Life in Music 

For as long as I can remember being creative in the performing arts has always been up there aligned with my biggest passions. When I was very young I thought I wanted to be a dancer, but then when the categories of ‘Song and Dance’ came along it was clear to my ballet teacher and friends that I was a five year old busting to sing (or shout in tune as I did back then!) 

Fast forward to my teenage years and I discovered I truly had a voice. My older sister’s and I would sing together in 3 part harmonies for family and friends – we got so popular that we ended up performing around our hometown of Melbourne in Australia. We sang covers of Andrew Sisters, Aretha Franklin and our own originals. The passion for songwriting had started… 

As there was nothing much else I knew to do with my life, I studied singing at the Conservatorium of Music in Melbourne. The technique was Opera and I topped my class in my final year. The Victorian State Opera had reserved a spot for me, but I had other plans… 

During my Uni years I supported myself singing in Jazz bands around Melbourne. I had a regular gig at the Rainbow Hotel and the Night Cat. But I wanted to do original music too...

I joined an all girl band called “Ruby Fruit Jungle” and we toured the world. This band and this life of touring opened my eyes to a world of possibilities to do with my music, my life and existence. We supported Sinead O’Connor and Afro Celt Sound System in Ireland, frequented the UK, Asia and the rest of Europe. Robert Plant came to one of our gigs in Hong Kong and we partied with him afterwards. Meanwhile my passion as a songwriter continued and I wrote many songs for this outfit. 

But I wanted to branch out – be autonomous, create my own rules, my own sound. I stayed on in Germany after a tour once as I had been asked to work with the legendary Klaus Schulze. He is quoted as calling my voice “murder!”. I think that’s  a compliment. For those who don’t know, Klaus Schulze was from Tangerine Dream and Alphaville – the first band to be signed to Richard Branson’s UK label Virgin Records. Kraut Rock is what they call it. My most popular recording with Klaus Schulze is My Ty She.

I have been lucky enough in my career to have sparked the interest of many notable figures – including Henning Schmitz from Kraftwerk. One of our tracks together was mentioned in the New York Times as being one of the most popular played in Cafes and bars... 

I love collaboration with other musicians. I love producing. I love doing things on my own too. People often connect with me to ask if I will work with them, and if I like what they do and feel I can contribute I will often say yes. 

My first solo album was signed to a label called Varese Saraband in LA.  A press quote for that album that took off was that I was the new “Queen of Chill”. I guess I helped create a European sound for the American market, in a genre that wasn’t yet popular in the States – but is now, of course  - everywhere! 

I’ve done a load since, and am always working and performing. A lot of my live music passion in the past few years has been in the field of Jazz. People get confused by that, but to me it’s all a musical and seamlessly ties in. 

I guess my point is, is that music in whatever capacity has always made me feel like I am part of the world. 

But perhaps even more importantly than any of this, is that YOU, the listener, makes all of this matter. 

I look forward to many more challenging and worthwhile experiences along this musical journey. Here’s to hoping that you are part of that journey. 

If you’d like to hear the most recent addition of that journey, click here to listen to my most recent Jazz album: “Live at Bennetts Lane.” 

Thank you for being a listener and for making it all matter.

Julia 

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