Country singer-turned-pop musician Julia Rizik plans on releasing her debut pop EP Self Destructive this year which will be a collection of songs written during quarantine after going through a back-and-forth breakup. Rizik describes the EP as “indie-pop and alternative R&B,” as she has always felt very drawn towards an alternative, R&B-pop sound. The songs touch on breaking up and self-reflection, including one song called ‘Human’ that touches on being so infatuated with somebody that you think they are too good to be real.
Rizik is a multi-instrumentalist and began playing the piano at the age of four, later picking up the banjo and guitar. At fourteen years old, she was endorsed by Fender and by the age of seventeen, was living in Nashville. She has performed at notable country festivals including Stagecoach and Country Thunder. Ultimately, Rizik was drawn to more of a pop sound and decided to make the move to Los Angeles to pursue her career.
Rizik recently filled us in on her new single “Human,” her forthcoming album, and her background in music.
What inspired your new single, “Human”?
”Human” was inspired by something I personally felt. It’s about that feeling of being so instantly connected with someone and seeing them in such a surreal light. Like they seem so perfect that there is no way they’re HUMAN.
Tell us about the writing and recording process.
The writing and recording process, for me, is so emotional. I feel vulnerable and excited about the creation of these songs all at the same time. I always say that these songs are like my children. I know that sounds weird, but, it’s like I write them and develop them, and then recording them feels like watching them grow up. It’s bittersweet.
You have a new EP releasing this fall. Can you tell our fans what we can expect?
Yes! My EP, Self Destructive, basically covers every single stage of a relationship. It is different than anything I’ve ever released, musically and lyrically. It’s a very personal project for me and so releasing it has me all up in my feelings.
Originally a country artist, you have crossed over to pop – moving from Nashville to LA. Tell us about this decision.
I love this question because no one realizes how hard making that move is. I didn’t even realize how hard it was going to be! It wasn’t like I could just get up and go; it was looking at the life I had spent years building in Nashville and risking all of that to follow what my heart and soul were begging for. I don’t regret the move at all. I don’t regret taking that risk. I will always appreciate and have a special place in my heart for Nashville and all it taught me. But, I love LA and feel so right here.
Who or what inspires you, and how does that impact your music?
I get inspired so easily. I feel most inspired by my relationships and my sisters’ relationships. But, I have this way of observing my surroundings objectively to find inspiration. I get inspired watching strangers holding hands at stoplights; I get inspired by other’s stories. Watching people really inspires my music and lyrics because it helps me figure out how I can speak to my listeners through music.
What inspired you to pick up the guitar and play?
I became obsessed with music when I was eleven years old. Ever since my first time performing when I was eleven, anything having to do with music sparks my curiosity. I wanted to get my hands on every instrument when I was younger; I still do. Learning how to play the guitar just came with that need to learn and develop my craft. I love being a guitar girl. My guitars are my lifeline, I rely on them like they’re human beings. It’s therapy for me.
As a multi-instrumentalist, what other instruments do you play?
I love learning new instruments. I play the piano, the guitar, the banjo and right now, I’m contemplating picking up the saxophone.
Speaking of instruments, what brands do you play, and why?
I’ve been sponsored by Fender since I was fourteen years old, so I’m so blessed to be a Fender girl and get to jam on some of the coolest guitars from them. When it comes to the keys, I’ve always been in LOVE with Steinway & Bösendorfer. I have a Steinway and I feel very close with that instrument. It’s been there with me through every phase of mine as a songwriter and artist.
When choosing an instrument, what do you look for in terms of tone?
I love warm tones. Full sounds. So when it comes to guitars, the first thing I look for when strumming a new guitar is that vibration/sound to hit back at my hand. That’s how I know it belongs to me. My least favorite sound on an instrument is that tinny, empty sound.
Outside of music, what other hobbies or interests do you have?
Outside of music, I love to meditate, I’m learning how to speak French, I love to take care of dogs, and I love to travel. I also love getting new tattoos. One day, I need someone to teach me how to surf. I have aquaphobia so I want to learn how to surf to face my fears of the water.
With the cancellation of live shows because of COVID-19, what have you been doing to stay connected with your fans?
I know, it’s so sad, I miss performing so much. It’s such a special way of connecting with others. I’ve mainly been connecting with fans through social media, especially engaging through my stories, asking questions, etc. I can’t wait to play live again, but I just want everyone to stay safe. I’ll be setting up some virtual shows very soon! 🙂