Making a splash.

Words by

Veronica Stanford

Listening to Julia Jacklin’s debut album, Don’t Let the Kids Win, it’s hard to believe the singer/songwriter never thought she could make it in the music industry.

“I just felt like it was unrealistic to even think that could happen,” she says. “It wasn’t until I finished uni that I thought ‘OK I should dedicate a couple of years to music and just see what happens.’”

In the few short months since the release, Julia has already received plenty of recognition. She’s played headline shows to international crowds, been nominated for two J Awards and was even invited to play at festivals like SXSW and The Great Escape. I ask her to what she attributes her quick success.

“I think it has a lot to do with my manager, who is working me very hard and making me get on the ground in places,” she says. “I just came back from a tour of the UK and Europe and that was my fourth tour in about six months. I’ve just been back and forth, and it’s gone from being only a few people at my shows to selling out. It’s been incredible but we have been touring a lot, working hard to get a natural fanbase who comes to the shows.

“It’s also down to the mystery,” she continues. “The mystery of the music industry, you don’t really know exactly why something connects the way it does.”

It’s an interesting time in the Australian music scene for female artists. I ask Julia if she thinks her gender meant it took longer for her to break through.

“I don’t necessarily think it was longer. I didn’t start playing guitar until I was 20 and didn’t start writing songs until I was 21 to 22. I just came to it late...

“But then I think it’s more internal, too. I felt a lot less talented than I possibly am because I have that tendency which a lot of women have, to downplay your strengths and feel like you’re the least gifted person in a room. Which is always full of men. That’s what can play into taking longer to get somewhere.

“I’ve found it really interesting to experience what it’s always like to be the only woman in the room. I think the hardest part is just getting the men around you to understand the difficulties of that. And not have them question you about it, or not have them dismiss it as not important.”

It’s moments of reflection and self-awareness that play a key part in Julia’s songwriting. Revelations about growing up, worries about being successful and ambition form the basis of Don’t Let the Kids Win. I ask her what she’s learnt about herself over the last few years.

“I wish I had not spent as much time worrying I wasn’t good at guitar, or a good enough songwriter. I should have just been doing it. You can spend so much time and have so many conversations with your friends where you’re all going, like ‘oh my god, I’m just not very good and this is never going to happen for me.’

“Instead [I needed] to put my head down and go: ‘OK, my songwriting is pretty shit right now but what do I expect? I’m 21 and I haven’t experienced heaps. So how about I just keep working hard and be willing to be vulnerable.’ That’s the only way you can get better at whatever you’re doing.”

Next month, Julia will return to her home turf, playing a string of sold-out headline shows. She’s also been thinking about a new album and trying to determine where her inspiration will come from, now that she’s living a self-described “bizarre lifestyle.”

"I’ve been thinking about this a lot. I’ve thought 'Oh shit. Now that things are going well, what am I going to write about?' But, the anxiety of making another record has well and truly kicked in (laughs). It has been, weirdly, very inspiring.

“My life has changed so much in the last year and now I’m just experiencing different things and writing about them. I am still worried but it's because I’m human.”

Catch Julia Jacklin on her Australian tour, kicking off in May.


This interview was originally published in Fashion Journal 167. You can read it here.

Leave a comment


On how she hopes to change the world.
Feat. all the worst Californian rock clichés.
It’s the fun, jaunty-pop we’ve come to know Arcade Fire for.
From the rawness of heartbreak, to a place of renewed strength.
Looks like this New Orleans band has finally hit its stride.
On NYC, Panorama Music Festival and Brazillian poetry.
On music, long-distance relationships and supporting local talent.
A fat bunch of hits does not an album make.
An all-out glam rock album.
There's a certain charm about this album.
Musicians are advised to back up their music.
On band mates, women in music and overcoming stage fright.
A glimmering record full of love and heartbreak.
Talking touring, Netflix and time spent at home.
Easygoing and atmospheric.
Is it wrong to want more?
A debut album four years in the making.
Frankly, not their best work.
A voice for the angry.
The little electro band that could.
Home hangs with Emma and Alice.
We hang at home with the two best friends.
The first single off her forthcoming album.
In an unannounced Australian capital city.
Is it still relevant to rap about gangsta shit?
*By a person who didn't really know her music until now
No fashion week should be without a good hair director.
Talkin nail polish, EPs and the possibility of a Killing Heidi Reunion.
A little West Coast act doing big things.
The self-awareness sets her apart.
Inspired by the not-so-nice stuff about being a woman.
Strangely underwhelming.
Clearly a very personal album for frontman, Kele.
I didn't want this to be a hate letter....
That Rihanna reign just don't let up.
There's still nobody out there with a voice like this.
Meet the label prioritising social responsibility.
A lush and detailed listen.
Confident and charismatic.
And other handy job application tips.
An in-depth look at the woman behind the label.
The best week of Melbourne's music year is on the horizon.
We heard everything...
We get to know one of Melbourne's busiest musicians.
Talking The First Wives Club and GarageBand.
Madonna will bring her Rebel Heart tour to Australia next year.
What it’s really like growing up in a cosmetics empire.
Sweden, you’ve done it again.
Australian musicians are taking centre stage.
An album that is somehow both loud and indescribably quiet at the same time.
Talking M&M’s in ice-cream and Skittles in vodka.
With all in- app purchases going to charity.
"The mid-song break down on the title track is still one of my favourite musical moments from recent memory."
"Oh, this is what feel good music is."
Dreamy pop tunes coming to you live.
Hoooooooooboy. Get ready to start planning your trip to Byron, the lineup for Splendour In The Grass 2015 is finally here.
One of the smoothest voices in Melbourne.
Returns to Australia for Vivid Live.
The hauntingly beautiful sounds of London Grammar hit Festival Hall.
It may not be groundbreaking, but this is definitely emotional enough.
It's like it's 2012 all over again and in a very good way.
Comfortingly few muscle tees.
Get ready for your next fave artist Australia.
Take those early high school years and turn them into a bratty pop record.
The Backstreet Boys are coming back, awright.
Fascinated and a little intrigued, we quizzed the duo behind the Spanish label.
The singer/songwriter gears up to grace our shores.
Mim and Liv NERVO have taken the world by storm.
Melbourne's fun new jewellery label tells us what's up.
Client Liaison are hitting the ground running in 2015.
Because pun-derpants are the best idea.
2014 has been a pretty ripper year for music, seeing the emergence of new (and incredible) artists, the continuing domination of...
Like we needed another reason to <3 her.
Taylor Swift tells ASOS Magazine the life lessons she’s learnt.
Is there anything more 'Melbourne' than a laneway party?
Absence must make the heart grow fonder, as Chet Faker announces an Australian Tour after a year of worldly adventure
Zoe Kravitz to hit Topshop Sydney this Friday
Nostalgia for the ‘80s and an appreciation of Aussie culture— Client Liaison evoke a corporate narrative, to the point where I...
If you’ve spent time on any fashion website during the last five years – which is pretty likely – then you have encountered Julia...
Gorman is in a constant state of flux - but in a good way.
Actual great vintage tees without the hassle.
We hit up Joey and Rob from ELEVEN Australia for some insider tips, nifty tricks and picked their brains on how they made it in...
When you hear the words ‘Swedish folk music’ the first image that jumps to mind is probably men in tiny green overalls yodelling...
We chatted to Kelis about her line of sauces, the Kelis food truck at SXSW, what she loves most about fashion and of course her...
Everyone the world over just amped up their squat regime.
We love the internet, especially the endless hours of shopping fun it provides us.
How can one person have so many talents? I mean, really.
LA born BANKS has been capturing global attention. We caught up with her to chat songwriting, messages from the universe, and why...
We chat to Lily Allen ahead of her Australia tour Splendour in the Grass headline appearance
Stevie Dance’s story is pretty much a fashion industry fairytale.
Desert Designs might just be the most inter­est­ing design col­lab­o­ra­tion going around.