If you didn’t get the gist from your Spotify playlist, we’re living in an increasingly genre-less world. Newcomer Julian Rose amplifies this notion on his recent EP, titled How Deep, blending R&B with classic rock, pop, hip-hop and electronic elements.
A songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Rose comes from a family entrenched in the entertainment industry. His late grandfather Jerry Heller helped aid the profile of West Coast rap, while both of his parents were involved in music video production.
Rose began taking piano lessons at age 5, and over the next few years, he learned to play guitar, bass, and drums and got an understanding of both production and music video processes.
Due to his family’s work, he came in contact with multiple musicians who inspired his current efforts to make a name for himself.
How Deep emerges from both a sense of hopelessness and breaking away from life’s monotony through music. We spoke with Rose about his background and genre-transcending EP that dropped at the end of May:
You come from a family involved in the entertainment industry. How did this shape your interest in music?
I have always been surrounded by a plethora of fantastic music. My family has vast musical taste, which has been very fortunate for me because, from a young age, I was able to learn from many different music genres. I’ve never felt the need to be boxed into one genre.
You also started playing instruments at a young age. At what point did you switch to songwriting?
From the minute I started playing music, I always looked at instruments as a tool to express myself. I’ve been songwriting pretty much since I could form educated sentences, which was when I WAS about 6 years old.
You came in contact with several artists during your youth. How did they inspire you to pursue music?
My favorite experience meeting an artist was when I met Dave Grohl. He sat me down for a good two hours and showed me a ton of records from artists like The Gap Band and Parliament.
It was super interesting to me that he picked those records, since he has always made grunge and alternative rock music. He really showed me how you can pull inspirations from any type of music to create your own expression.
Your sound on this EP crosses multiple genres, including rock, soul, funk, hip-hop, and pop. How do you integrate these elements together when writing and producing a song?
When I sit down to write a song, I don’t really think about what genre I want to create. I usually start with a guitar riff I like or a melody and then I just run with it. My influences are already inside of me, so I don’t press too hard to create something specific. I just let it flow.
How Deep includes three tracks. How would you say they represent you as an artist?
The songs on How Deep show my ability to flow through funk, soul, pop, and rock easily and fluidly. The EP also shows my previous relationship —questioning the love, moving on and then relapsing, and missing this person who affected me so deeply.
What made you select these three tracks for the EP?
I selected the three tracks — “How Deep,” “Movie On” and “Her Majesty” — because I feel like they demonstrate who I am as an artist at this current moment.
The monotony of life is one theme behind this EP. What about this theme influenced you to put together this EP?
This theme was what really jump started my career as an artist. I realized that if I’m not risking it all, then life isn’t worth it.
Have you ever thought about collaborating with any other artists, and if so, who?
There are many artists I’d love to collaborate with, like Kanye West, Childish Gambino, Tyler The Creator, Steve Lacy, Billie Eilish, Young Thug, Lil Durk, NBA YoungBoy, Lil Baby and more.