What got you involved with music and ultimately made you want to pursue music as a career?
Julie Burton: From as far back as I can remember I was singing. Singing felt as natural to me as breathing, it was definitely in my blood. My parents bought me records that I would listen to & sing with over & over. Both of my parents loved music; my dad wrote songs & I started singing on his demos when I was about 8. My favorite way to wake up in the morning was having my mother come into my room & put on my favorite record; that was my alarm clock! I don’t think I chose music as a career, it chose me! There were no other options.
You are originally from Washington D.C., but what made you move to Nashville?
Julie Burton: I knew I needed to be in an industry town, but I just wasn’t sure where for a while. I spent some time commuting back & forth to New York & L.A. doing demos & working with various producers & writers. Most everyone kept telling me, “You’re country, you need to be in Nashville.” So here I am!
You admired artist such as Stevie Nicks, The Eagles and Carly Simon and what is it about these artist that you found influential?
Julie Burton: Well, I have to add Olivia Newton-John to the top of that list because she was my singing idol! My friends referred to my bedroom as the “Olivia Shrine!” I loved the strong melodies & harmonies with all of these artists; that is what I think initially drew me in. I also loved the earthiness & realness these artists had.
What did you learn from listening to your idols?
Julie Burton: Musically speaking, I learned how to pick out harmonies & sing them at a very early age. These influences also made me want to write very strong, catchy melodies. Olivia helped cultivate my love for animals, making me want lots of them & Stevie influenced my love of platform/high heeled boots & flowing hippie clothes which I still wear as often as I can!
You have worked with Sheryl Crow and Willie Nelson and what were those experiences like?
Julie Burton: Being able to do what I love to do is the biggest blessing ever so I’d have to say those experiences are the extra icing on the cake! Both of them are wonderful talents & wonderful people to work with! Anytime opportunities like that come along, it feels like opening a surprise present from God!
What are some other experiences that have had a significant meaning to you thus far in your career?
Julie Burton: I once auditioned for David Foster for a Pop/R&B girl group he was putting together. I am a huge fan of his; I can’t tell you the thrill I had just being able to sit in a tiny room & sing for him! People coming out of the auditions warned me he would most likely stop me before I got to the chorus of a song & he not only had me finish my song, he asked me to sing another one! Even though I didn’t get a part in the group, he was very complimentary & encouraging! Over all, the genuine friendships I have made through co-writing have meant so much to me & have really impacted me in so many ways on a personal level. Songwriting is such a personal thing & I am grateful to have built some wonderful & lasting friendships through sharing our common passion!
Your music is described as earthy country pop, but how would you describe your sound?
Julie Burton: Oh gosh! I’ve never been good at describing my own sound & I’m terrible at selling myself, but with that being said, I’d like to encourage anyone reading this interview to go to ITunes or CdBaby, buy my cds & tell me what you think! (laughing!)
What are some of the things that inspire you to continue reaching for your dreams and making music?
Julie: If something I put out there can move a person emotionally by bringing that person joy, helping to heal, feel comfort or simply offer something he or she can relate to, I am motivated to keep writing & singing! It doesn’t matter if it’s just one person!
Is there any one specific thing you would like to achieve for you to consider your career a success?
Julie: My career so far has gone much differently than I ever envisioned. I’ve done things I never expected to do & I haven’t done some things I thought I would do. I already consider my career to be a success because no matter how much the industry has changed, I am still here & making money using the talent God so graciously gave me! God always seems to put some wonderful new project in my path. My goals & desires have changed since moving to Nashville & more than ever it is important for me to please God with my talents & life since he is the one who gave them to me…so I’m excited to see what else he has planned!