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Julia Rizik Breaks Music Genre Barriers 

Julia Rizik and her music do not fit in a box. Starting out as a country artist in Nashville, she made a daring move to Los Angeles to pursue pop music. A textbook Virgo and talented artist, she is someone to keep your eyes and ears focused on. She spoke with us about her movement between genres, various inspirations, and her upcoming debut pop EP.  

Describe the moment you realized you wanted to pursue music.

I realized that I wanted to pursue music when I was 11-years-old. I remember it so vividly. It was at an open mic night at a vocal training studio I was going to after school, at the time. I felt so hesitant and uneasy getting on that stage to sing “Grenade” by one of my favorite artists, Bruno Mars. When I got to the microphone, (which honestly felt like the longest walk of my life!) I told the crowd how extremely nervous I was feeling. The audience laughed, I stared at my mom, who was also freaking out, and then the song began and I felt something I’d never felt before in my 11 years of life. My soul lit up instantaneously. I remember staring into one of the lights pointing at the stage during the biggest note of the song and thinking Whoa. Like I had just never felt so alive.

What lessons did you learn from starting as a country artist?

I guess, starting as a country artist, I learned the “grind” of being a singer/songwriter. When I was in Nashville, I was writing almost every day from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to bed. I’m really grateful for that. I also learned to follow my heart. When I first decided to change genres, it sounded so easy. It took so much strength for me to leave everything in Nashville behind and follow what my gut was telling me to do, which was to move to LA and sing/write pop music.

How did you bring what you learned in country with you to your transition to pop?

In country, I really learned how to work hard & keep moving forward, even on the bad days, so bringing that with me into pop, that resilience really keeps me going. In country, I also learned who I was as a performer. I realized how free I am on stage and it only grows in this new sound for me.

What is your favorite part and the most challenging part about the country genre?

This is a good question. I would say my favorite part about the country genre is the history it’s built on. There are so many legends, like Loretta, Patsy, Johnny Cash, June Carter, and Willie Nelson. I think the most challenging part about the country genre is that there are more rules, lyrically. I feel like with my new music, I write so freely, like it’s a piece of paper that I write my raw thoughts down on and say “Hmm, I know this sounds honest, but maybe someone can relate to the messy person that I am.” I questioned if that was acceptable in country. I still love the genre and I am so grateful for all it taught me, that was just my personal experience.

The pop genre?

I love the pop genre. I love the variety of sounds and individual personalities apart from it. I love how unrestricted I feel in this genre. It is so challenging, though. For me, it’s more challenging melodically. I always stay on myself about keeping my melodies in this genre creative and not just writing the same melody over and over again, which I noticed myself doing when I first transitioned last year. I don’t mind it though because I’m a Virgo who thrives on a challenge!

You can only listen to one album for the rest of your life. What is it?

This is a hard question because it just depends on my mood of the day or week or month! If I really had to choose one, it would have to be an Elton John Greatest Hits album or any of his albums, really. He inspires me as a singer, songwriter, AND on the keys. I listen to his music through every stage of emotion.

Name your go-to song to sing in the shower.

My go-to song to sing in the shower is I Wanna Dance With Somebody. I literally caught myself doing this yesterday.

Who is your dream collaboration?

Hmm, I have a few. My dream collaborations are Labrinth, Post Malone, Drake, and Lana Del Rey.

Discuss your experience songwriting during quarantine.

Songwriting during quarantine was actually way different than I expected it to be. I had nowhere to go and so much to write about, so it forced me to start songs and finish them. Songwriting is one of my favorite emotional outlets, it really got me through this year.

What do you hope your fans pull from your upcoming EP?

I hope my fans can feel the honesty and emotion that I put into this project and I hope that it brings us even closer together. Music has this crazy way of connecting people from all different walks of life and that’s all I want is to continue growing closer with them, especially over these new songs. I just want everyone to feel heard and understood. Life and LOVE are messy and weird and fun and I just want them to know they’re never alone.

Is there something you’re looking forward to in 2021?

I’m really looking forward to releasing the whole EP in 2021. And then, getting back to my favorite outlet, performing. I can’t even describe how much I miss the feeling of being on stage and crying and laughing and just living with the audience. It’s my favorite thing to feel. I really miss singing in the children’s hospitals, also. I haven’t been able to visit any since the pandemic. That’s something I’m especially looking forward to.


Photography MIKAELA @photosby_mikaela
Creative Direction ALEKSANDAR TOMOVIC @alekandsteph
Styling STAR BURLEIGH @starburleigh
Hair & Makeup FRANCIE TOMALONIS Francie @francieluxe
Interview by ARIS PANGAN @arisjpangan
Production @BELLOmediagroup x @maisonpriveepr_la x @alexbonnnetwritesx @advantage_pr