Updated: Mar 3
The graduating pop singer hopes to use Hamilton to expand her horizons.
Julianna Jones' passion for singing started at an early age.
"I started young- I was probably eight or nine," said Jones. "I would just sing around the house, sing for my friends at school, and then a lot of my friends were like, "You should take up lessons and see how it goes." So my mom put me in lessons, and now I've been singing for about fifteen years."
The vocalist's inspirations mainly come from powerhouse women.
"I guess it depends on the genre. When I was young, I used to compete in a lot of bands, and I usually took inspiration from bands who had a female vocalist," said Jones. "For example, Hayley Williams from Paramore. As I got older, I started listening to Whitney Houston, Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato, a bunch of powerhouse female vocalists."
Originally from Brampton, Ontario, Julianna grew up in an artsy home.
"My family is kind of artsy, but not in a musical sense," said Jones. "My mom was a fashion designer, and my dad is a visual artist. My sister and I are the only musical ones- I'm more on the musical performance side with gigging and such, and my sister is more into musical theatre."
After graduating from her arts high school, Julianna realized that she wanted to pursue music as a career.
"My parents were on the fence," said Jones. "Obviously, deciding to go to school for music was difficult. But I knew there really wasn't anything else I wanted to pursue, or knew that I wanted to put one-hundred percent of my life into. So they eventually opened up to the idea of it."
Although advertising as a solo act, Julianna hopes to experiment in most areas of music.
"Competing in bands at a young age gave me a feeling of what being a part of a band would be like, then when I got to high school it was a lot of singer-songwriter stuff," said Jones. "Playing the piano and singing on my own, like a solo thing. I started dabbling a bit with playing with different people, sharing ideas and such. And when I got to college, same idea, I was able to experiment and try different things, see what my solo ideas could be if I worked with a band, but kept my songwriting circle as well."
Julianna chose Mohawk College because of it's comfortable atmosphere.
"I chose Mohawk because the program was a little smaller than most," said Jones. "It's still produces the best of the best music-wise, but it worked out in my best interest to come here. My grandmother was here in Hamilton, so I got to live with her, then I knew a bunch of people who were coming here, so it was really welcoming. The environment here was really familiar and nice to come into."
The singer-songwriter creates music that she describes as a mix between pop and R&B.
"If I were to choose a genre, I would probably label myself more of a pop/R&B type," said Jones. "Not so much of an in-your-face pop sound, but not so much of an in-your-face R&B either. I mix the two a lot."
"I actually released a single earlier this year, called "Stranger". It's on all streaming platforms. It was a really cool experience to be able to work with different people, musician and producer wise, and be able to see what my extensions and networking connections could do for me," said Jones.
"I worked on it with some students from here, but also some alumni. I wrote out the entire instrumentation and I sung on it, then I gave it to a good friend of mine Noah Rastagar," said Jones. "He's a producer who a lot of my friends have worked with, he's actually a former student. Then I had a couple of alumni come in and do parts for it."
Julianna is excited to be a part of the blossoming Hamilton music scene.
"A lot of people really underestimate how much music is in Hamilton, and assume that it's a lot of underground stuff," said Jones. "It is, but it's so varied- there's quite a few jazz bars, indie/alternative shows, hip-hop shows, and of course punk. There's a lot more variety than people assume."
Although proud to be performing in the city, the pop artist hopes to expand her horizons.
"Besides trying new things, I'd like to tour more. I've done local shows, but I'd like to play around and try more cities," said Jones.
"The end goal is obviously to make a career out of it, but I'd say that if anything, my goal would be to grow. In every aspect too, whether that's singing, learning an instrument, or production. I'd like to do this professionally, to make this my title."
Julianna is making sure to not only promote herself, but other local musicians as well.
"Networking is huge, it's the number one tool that I'd recommend for anybody in this industry," said Jones. "I try to go out to as many events and shows as possible, and making the effort to go and meet new people as often as possible. Promoting local talent is really important to me."