South African popstar Julanie J burst onto the local music space earlier this year when she released her debut single with Warner Music South Africa ‘Dalk Is Ek’. Now, she’s back with her second single ‘Sandkastele’ and proves that she’s on the road to superstardom with her approach to Afrikaans pop music. We caught up with the star as she opens up on her journey so far.

How does it feel to be signed by Warner Music South Africa, one of the major record labels in SA?

Honestly, it does not even feel real to me yet. I’ve always been a singer but then putting their stamp of approval on me made me feel like I haven’t made all of this up in my head. To have dreams be put into reality is the most encouraging thing you can live through.

Tell us more about your debut album ‘Spirit Breakout’.

Thinking back, that album was probably the best learning experience of my life. One of my fondest memories was the day I saw that the album reached the top 3 on the local iTunes. I remember that I was in awe of the fact that people honoured my craft and wanted to hear what I had to say.

You recently released your Afrikaans singles ‘Dalk Is Ek’ and ‘Sandkastele’. Has the transition between singing in English and Afrikaans been easy?

Honestly, it’s been harder than I originally thought it be. I was nervous that my fans and followers would not like the new material but, truth be told, expressing oneself in your mother tongue is the most natural feeling. It feels so effortless and that’s when good music is born!

You turned 21 this year. What are you looking forward to for the next year?

The only thing I’ve ever wanted to do is make music so for me to know that I’ll be doing that is immensely rewarding. I’d like to grow myself and work hard at achieving a few personal goals I’ve set – like living a healthier lifestyle.

What do you find most rewarding in your music career?

When people share their stories of what my music or a specific song meant to them, that is the most rewarding feeling. I like to think my songs are a source of comfort to those who need it and, for others, a good time. The fact that a song I wrote in my bedroom meant something to someone is gold!

What do you find most challenging in your music career?

Sharing some of my personal moments. Most of my songwriting comes from personal experience and many a time that was birthed from hurt, trauma or just a sad situation and to bare yourself with an audience can be scary! But, I’ve learned that you can’t sugarcoat the truth. It’s what made you stronger.

Listen to Julanie J’s brand-new single ‘Sandkastele’ here:

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