Silk Stocking District
Julie Curly is an award winning musician with passion for singing in both English and French. Her music is inspired by storytelling and visual imagery. Her new English release Silk Stocking District tells the story of feminine power, and the strength of a woman who won't sleep her way to the top. We have conducted an interview with her.
Do you sing in other languages?
Yes, I sing in French, my native language. If your like « la langue de Molière » you can listen to my self-produce debut album (12 tracks) called Confessions, launch in 2014. You know I may be born a francophone, but I grew up listening to the music of The Beatles, so going for the Shakespearian language was kind of natural for me. Still, I do believe that music is a universal language and has the ability to touch people and make them dance, cry, laugh even if they don’t understand the lyrics.
How long did you take to produce your new English single "Silk Stocking District"?
I started writing the lyrics of that song, way back in 2012. There was multiple edits, and with composer Gilbert Cantin, we made a first draft somewhere in 2013. Of course, this summer we played the song in a couple of shows…With live shows and the help of our musicians, the song shaped organically. Thanks to our keyboardist Jean-Yves Cardin for his great arrangements ideas, and to our drummer Robert Massé, who also did an amazing work, as well as our composer/guitarist Gilbert Cantin, and of course, on the acoustic guitar Sylvain Beaudoin and Didier Renaud on the bass. We all went to Benoit Labelle’s studios to record the song. Afterwards, the mixing and mastering took a couple of weeks, let’s say a month. The music video was a long run to create: I did produced/directed and edited the music video myself…but the joy of shooting on location in New York City was an amazing experience! So producing this song was kind of a long journey, that evolved to the rhythm of creation.
What inspires you in your music?
My music is inspired by storytelling and visual imagery. I love to tell stories, have meaningful lyrics, make people think, and not just dance. I don’t want to sound pretentious here: what I mean is that it is important for me to both share entertainment and a positive message. You know like a great movie that you can enjoy with a pop corn (full of butter), still reflect on it after the ending credits. I mean, think of The Beatles: they would make a crowd go crazy like no other and John Lennon is an amazing poet and songwriter… Music inspire me, even if l’m not necessarily the one who compose the music. Working with great composers, sharing their ideas & mine, is what inspire me in music: the act of sharing art and creating it. From that point, l’m able to write the singing melodies and lyrics. Often, in the process of songwriting, l’m beginning a song with the lyrics and afterwards going for a music that can translate the message I want to convey…But still, sometime, I do begin with a melody on the guitar, let the music transcend me, and some lyrics emerge from there.
Which other instruments do you play other than singing and songwriting?
I began music by learning guitar. But when I discovered singing, it was my ultimate love…So the guitar stayed in the corner of my room - untouched and not in tune- for a long time! When I began to write lyrics, the guitar came back…but still I need way more practice….I also took piano lessons with my singing teacher Monique Dumas. But there again, I need way more practice to call myself a pianist…Yeah, must stay humble on this one;)
What is the story behind "Silk Stocking District"?
Silk Stocking District tells the story of feminine power, and the strength of a woman who won’t sleep her way to the top to achieve success. I’ve used the idea that the Upper East Side of Manhattan, was once called Silk Stocking District: it’s a part of the city in which the wealthy class is part of the neighbourhood and where visitors will find world-class restaurants, luxury shopping and finest hotels. Silk stockings may not be as much in vogue than some past decades, but the Upper East Side still is. Women wearing silk stockings had long been associated with seduction (even prostitution). So I used the history of the silk stockings/women seduction in conjunction with the history of Silk Stocking District, to metaphorically tell the story of a young woman who seduces rich men, living in The Upper East Side, to get a wealthy life and make it on Broadway. To advance her career. I put myself- the singer - as the narrator of the story. In a way it’s a critique of many arts (music, theatre, cinema), entertainment and other social spheres, and what some women do - or too often have to do - to advance their career. I like to think that the song is feminist in a way.
And it is no surprise that New York plays a central role in Silk Stocking District, nor that I chose to write about a powerful woman with strong convictions. I was born prematurely in Montreal, during the time John Lennon was murdered in NYC. The song Can you imagine? (The Killing of John Lennon) is telling this story…No doubt the connection to this fateful day has influenced my music, my love for The Beatles and for the Big Apple.
How did you decide about where to film your latest music video?
My music is inspired by storytelling and visual imagery. So to combine both, I had to shoot the music video in New York City, since the story of Silk Stocking District is taking place in the Big Apple! I wanted it to look authentic (and you know spending a couple of days in New York City is always memorable!) I know for a fact that Montreal, my hometown, is often made-up to look like NYC for movies…but I did not have the budget of an Hollywood movie for my music video… Beside, I wanted to feel the rhythm of New York City while shooting the video, since the music translate the unique vibrancy of the city!
On December 10th, 2 things! First, we play live at the Crowley Arts Center in Montreal. Second, on December 10, we have a Pay Per View show (the show was previously filmed on November 13, in Montreal). So you’ll be able to catch us live in concert on the internet from around the world! It’s part of a Canadian music series concerts in December, with many great artists of Rosner Management Services. And because winter is cold in Quebec, we will be going in hibernation in the studio to finish our EP… But even if the thermometer is in the minus, we’ll still go out to give a couple of shows.
Our single Silk Stocking District is available on iTunes and the music video on YouTube:
YouTube music video:
Here is the link for the Pay Per View show on December 10:
Our first album in French (Confessions, 2014) is available on my website, with many videos:
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