Watch out Adele and Lana Del Rey, there is a new soulful solo artist on the rise that is coming for your chart positions. Julia Ross, a self-proclaimed gypsy singer/songwriter who grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, has been generating a lot of buzz from her heartfelt just-released “True Stories Vol. 1” EP.
Julia, a former member (alongside her sisters) of the hit Disney girl group Everlife, has been singing & touring for over 20 years, and is currently on the road performing with Miley Cyrus. The Levity Ball sat down with Julia to find out more about her ever-changing and developing music career…
1. When did you first know you wanted to become a singer/songwriter?
I honestly have been singing ever since I can remember ! My parents have video of me in my own little world at three years old writing songs and singing to my dolls. Of course I had no idea back then that it would become my dream and my career. I just knew that it made me feel whole and that all was right in the world.
2. You signed with Hollywood Records (Disney) when you were younger and were a part of a major headlining group with your own sisters, Everlife. How did that experience help transform you into the artist you are today?
The years my sisters and I had together on the road we’re incredibly life changing and I wouldn’t change a thing! We were writing since we started because someone told us that singing other people’s songs was illegal. It was the best worst advice we ever got. We went from traveling with our parents in a Ford Explorer and booking our own shows to tour buses and arena tours. It would take me about 10 books to tell you all of the stories and trials and fun times in between but it has shaped me into a business woman and a world traveler and I’m lovin it!
3. Was is hard at the time to work with your own family? Why did you finally decide to go solo?
My sisters and I started Everlife when I was 8 and disbanded a little over 4 years ago for me to pursue my solo career. It wasn’t an easy decision because singing with Amber and Sarah was all I ever knew when it came to performing. Yes we fought. I mean come on, 3 sisters in close proximity for 14 years in a business together !? BUT we were and are still best friends. We have overcome so muchThe decision to end the group was mutual and was hard at first but it made the most sense for all of us. We were all kind of going in different life directions at the time and I really wanted to explore the option of finding my own sound and my voice on my own. They are both super supportive of my new adventure and will always be by my side 🙂
4. Miley Cyrus used to open for your group, and now you are touring and working with Miley. What about Miley inspires you and what is your level of friendship like with her?
I met Miley before Hannah Montana existed ! Brandi Cyrus (her big sis) and I were best friends when the girls and I were signed to Disney which is how we met the family. She got signed to Hollywood shortly after we did and seeing her grow into an epic songwriter, vocalist, performer and all around human and that has been incredibly inspiring. She has been through so much and always comes out on top and that’s why I adore her.
5. You just performed at the VMAs with Miley… what type of preparation goes into a major concert event like that?
The VMAs were so fun! The preparation for something like that is a lot of rehearsal days and for 4 minutes of performance. It’s pretty crazy how jam packed the days are leading up to it and then in the snap of a finger it’s done. It’s super inspiring to be surrounded by so many respected artists and performers at those events though. I get super weird around celebs and tend to say dumb things so I mostly observe, perform to the best of my ability and then go home and sleep. Lol
6. You say you are a “gypsy”… what about the gypsy lifestyle draws you in?
I am a traveler through and through. My mom used to travel he world helping people in so many ways and would take the three of us girls with her. There was something so special and captivating to me about seeing new faces and breathing air that smelled differently than home. Home is where the heart is and my heart is all of the places I’ve been and all of the places I’ve never been.
7. What is the best advice you have ever received career wise?
Find yourself in you and nobody else.
8. Your True Stories Vol. 1 EP is now out. What is the theme for this EP and what do you hope people take away from it?
True Stories Vol. 1 is exactly as it sounds. I recently went through a heart breaking end to a relationship that I thought was a lifetime one. Something that we all go through. Heartbreak, honesty that hurts, love lost and life rebuilding.
9. “It Only Hurts When I’m Awake” is one of the lead tracks… What “hurts” you the most these days?
That song was written in the middle of one of the hardest times in my life. A time of loss and heartbreak. I wanted to be honest and real with the music that I release. Whether I’m super happy or just really going through it.. We are all human and we are all in this together.
10. You upload a lot of videos and such to your social media channels such as Instagram(instagram.com/juliaisofficial). Why is social media so important to people within the music industry these days?
Social media is the way to get to know listeners and viewers on a deeper level outside of radio and videos. You get to see stories and life of your favorite artist being lived as opposed to being completely unreachable.
11. Where do you see yourself and career in five years from now?
I want to be doing the same as I am now but with a bigger group of ears and hearts dancing along side me on my journey! I want to be playing live a ton more and collaborating with other artists as much as I can. I plan on releasing Vol. 2 sooner than later so if you like what you hear then stick around !
12. And final question: What do you want to be remembered for?
I want to be remembered for being reachable. For being real on all levels when it comes to who i am on stage and off, to my vocals and what I create. I want to connect and give someone a word to escape to or help them find their true feelings in the one that they are already in. To live and be like water.
For more on Julia follow her at: www.JuliaRossOfficial.com