Can you tell us a little bit more about your background, Julian?
Yeah, i was born in Idaho, USA. I grew up in a low-income family. We used to live in a trailer until we got a little house next to the trailer park. My parents were young when they had me. My mom is a nervous, kind woman who tried her hardest to make sure we had everything necessary. Dad is a real hard worker as well, but he’s got his issues. He used to hang with gang members when he was younger but never affiliated.
I grew up since a baby listening to Too $hort, NWA, a lot of Ice Cube, Twista, Parlament, Low Rider soundtracks and Outkast. My dad was big on gangster rap and funk. That was the main part of my development. When my dad went to jail, I started listening to more of the music my mama was listening to which was a lot of Eminem, T.I, and Beyoncé. i think that had a significant influence on me as well, primarily the way I think and my musicality.
Let me get this straight. Were you born in the States but then your family moved to Portugal? How come?
Yeah, I moved out here when I was 13. My grandparents had gotten sick and we out in the States were up to our necks in debt, so my parents took the opportunity to cut out quick and come out here.
How did it feel growing up in Portugal? Was it hard to fit in?
Growing up out here was hard, my family was more broke than ever, and none of us besides my mom spoke the language. I was different from all the other kids, and they didn’t like it. They came around though. Everybody dresses like me now. I think I impacted that place profoundly.
You’ve mentioned you didn’t have a lot of money growing up. Did this affect the way your personality formed in any way?
I think it did. I have a hard time keeping cash because I’ve never learned how to use it. I also got a little bit of an “I didn’t ask to be born” mindset. It seems there are only a couple ways people deal with coming from the mud. You either fight and make something for yourself or you fold and let the cycle continue. I seem to be real on the fence with these. I have my days, you know?
When did you decide to make music? Was it a way to express your feeling, fit in, find a community, or something else?
I’ve actually always had something in me that had to make music. I feel it inside me. It’s hard to explain, but I can’t live without it.
What happened when you were 16?
Yeah, I hit a real hard spot in my teens. I was lost, didn’t know who I was, what I was doing, or why I was here. So I got depressed. I ended up trying to kill myself. After I was airlifted to the hospital in a chopper from the military base on another island to a hospital where I had to stay with no cigs or nothing for 8 days. My mama had to come through too, and I felt like shit having done that to my family.
You mentioned earlier that you have some sort of depression? It’s incredibly common in North America. How about Europe and Portugal in particular?
Yeah, I don’t know about all that, I just think the youth as a whole is depressed. We’re not growing up, and we’re always flooded with all kinds of propaganda. This isn’t right, and we can feel it.
You are a 20 years old upcoming artist. And you have a son on the way. How do you plan on managing your family and work time in the future?
Honestly, I plan on trying to give 100% in everything I do. No more half-ass shit. My whole life I’ve been slacking on anything I could. I’ve been reflecting a lot on the man I was and thinking about the man I want to be. It’s time to make a choice.
Do you work with a team? Making beats, recording, mixing, mastering, shooting a music video, marketing, etc. takes so much time. How do you manage to do everything?
I do most everything myself, but my song “MAKE UP S€X” was with a beat from YouTube by one of my favourite artist/producers Biv. As far as the recording, mixing, and mastering, it was all done with the help of one of the most talented people I know personally Tóy Tóy T-Rex. You can find him on Spotify if you want to see what I’m talking about.
As far as videos and marketing, I have a real issue with marketing as I do virtually none. My music video for “MAKE UP S€X” was directed by me and shot in collaboration with WAU.
Some days must be really rough. How do you calm yourself down and put a smile on your face when life gets in the way?
I’ve always tried to be the person who could stay cool in stressful situations and try and cheer people up when they are going through something. I never really had anyone who could do it for me, and I know how it feels to be low. Therefore, I try not to let people around me feel that way. As far as making myself feel better, I use alcohol as a coping mechanism.
What is the biggest motivation of yours?
My motivation is freedom. I want me and mine to be free from what we’re expected to do, which is work, pay taxes, and die. I wish to give my son everything he needs to grow into a beautiful person. Also, I want to give my mom the life she deserves.
I don’t want her to have to keep worrying about how she is going to keep the bills paid. My parents have no savings or anything. If I don’t make something happen, we’re all fucked.
Who are your favourite artists, both local and international?
I got way too many, but I’ll keep it short. My favourite local artists are all my homies out here making music with Allen Halloween and me. As far and internationally, it’s Kanye, J. Cole, Mac Miller, Isaiah Rashad, Kendrick, X, Future, Johnny Cash, Young Thug, Nirvana, Post Malone, Jaden Smith, Travis Scott, etc.
Before we wrap up, can you recall your favourite inspirational quote?
I like this one – “Know your worth! People always act like they’re doing more for you than you’re doing for them.” – Kanye West
Where can people reach out to you?
You can find me on Instagram and Twitter @westsidemoody
Thank you for the opportunity.
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