Introducing Juliette Richards.
The Budding music maestro has recently released her brand new EP and sat down with industryme to discuss her musical inspirations and bringing together two popular music styles.
Here’s what happened when she spoke to InsustryMe about bringing together the two worlds.
How would you describe your music to someone who had never heard it before?
On my EP, all of the four songs are deep piano ballads. They are very soulful, and two of them (‘Do You Remember?’ and ‘Just Like That’) also feature haunting cello lines that I think gives them a unique sound.
As a classical pianist would you ever consider going down the traditional route?
Oh yes, certainly! My aim is to keep up both aspects of my music (pop and classical) alongside my academic studies and later, my career (I also love science!). I think the main point here though is that I wouldn’t want to only be a classical pianist and have that as my main career. I can’t see myself being happy in the future while not giving piano recitals, but at the same time, I don’t think I can see myself being happy only doing that.
Who are your three favourite classical composers and why?
Chopin is my absolute favourite. A valse of his was my first repertoire piece and it was love at first hearing! His music is full of long cantabile lines, so melodic and so poetic. His first Ballade will always be the piece that means the most to me – I have grown up with it. Liszt is my second great love. I have played both intimate, poetic Liszt (e.g. Un Sospiro) and flamboyant Liszt (e.g. the Tarantella from the ‘Venezia e Napoli’ suite), and I find both styles exhilarating to play. The only downside in the Liszt repertoire is that he had crazy big hands and mine are relatively small. I also really love Beethoven’s music. I remember how I was dying to play the ‘Tempest’ a few years earlier, and now I am enjoying his ‘Appassionata’ even more. The sense of sheer drama in it is unbelievable, and I think it suits me really well. I could go on to list many more favourite composers though!
What inspired you to combine pop music with classical sounds?
The amount of people I hear saying ‘classical music is boring’, or ‘pop music is stupid’, is just sad. It seems so wrong to me to just completely shut out a whole genre of music simply because you haven’t given it the chance. I’m in no way trying to force people to listen to a type of music that they don’t enjoy listening to, because that is equally wrong. I just wish that people could have a bit more of an open mind. I have already seen examples of where people have followed me on social media for my pop music, have consequently heard my classical music and have then thanked me for introducing them to a new genre of music which they now really love. This has also happened in the reverse too: people have visited my webpage because of my classical music and have then stumbled across my original pop songs. I can only hope that I will be able to do this for more and more people in the future.
Describe your typical songwriting process?
I know that most people tend to write either the lyrics first or the melody… Well, I’m that person who writes them both together! Whenever lyrics come to me they are always accompanied by a melody. Once I’ve worked out the lyrics and melody for at least the majority of the song, I then go to the piano and try to work out which chords sound the nicest underneath. Once I’ve done that, I try to develop the piano part to make it sound richer (and also to exploit my ability to play more complex parts on the piano!) and see if I can add other instruments as well. It’s a weird process I know, but hey, it works so….. 🙂
Where do you see your musical career 5 years from now?
I hope that I will be playing in big concert halls and singing in large arenas. I hope that I will be in a position where I can inspire others, help others, and be a role model to others. I hope that my music will take me all over the world, to places I’ve never even heard of before. But most of all, in the same way that I once did, I hope that little children will look up at me on the stage and turn round to their parents saying ‘I want to be like her’.
Who is on your playlist right now?
Ummm, Shawn Mendes, Shawn Mendes and….. Shawn Mendes. Haha no I’m kidding. I mean, I’m a HUGE Shawn Mendes fan so yes, he does take up most of my playlist but anyways… To be honest I have way too many artists on my playlist, but some of my favourite ones (except for Shawn LOL) are Camila Cabello, Freya Ridings, Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, Tom Odell, Birdy, Maisie Peters, Adele, Charlie Puth, Sigrid, Ed Sheeran, 1D, Taylor Swift….oh dear I got carried away, didn’t I?! Oh and me, I’m also on my playlist, of course 🙂
Which three artists would you most like to work with and why?
Well I don’t think it would surprise you if I said I wanted to work with Shawn Mendes haha. I want to work with him because he’s just such an amazing songwriter. I mean, I have listened to his songs on repeat more times than I’d like to admit (!), but I never get sick of any of them. The same goes for Camila Cabello, she’s also an incredibly talented musician who I’d love to work with. I think the third person I’d choose to work with would probably be Ariana Grande, obviously because she’s another amazing songwriter, but also because she can hit high notes that I can only dream of ever hitting, as I was blessed (or cursed, depending on how you look at it!), with a naturally lower singing voice.
Any final shoutouts or plugs?
Huge shoutout to my parents for helping me do all of this, and for giving me the opportunity to make my dreams come true. I also have to give a massive shoutout to my incredible friends – you guys are the best friends I could ever ask for, you support me in everything I do, you are always there for me, and you make me who I am, so thank you. I also want to thank everyone else out there who has supported me, listened to my music, and followed me on my journey so far – it means the world.
Keep up with the latest from Juliette over on her website: https://juliettepiano.com/