It's official!!! My new self-titled album 'Julia Biel' will be released 9th Feb 2018!! 12 songs in all, it's been a real labour of love and I can't wait for you to hear it :). Thanks so so much for your support everyone, it means the world to me <3 <3 <3
You can pre-order it now and get 2 songs instantly!!
http://bit.ly/2yoM3Sf. Available as downloads and on CD in luxurious digipack packaging with 12-page lyric booklet.
Idris Rahman Laurent Dupuy Rob Updegraff Samy Bishai Marco Piccioni Laurence Corns Andy Gibson Roy Dodds Khanti Records Marie Britsch Jerome Dupouy brillJant alternatives HEART BEAT & SOUL handshake booking Lander PR
Photo by Jenna Foxton
It's certainly a strange time to be British wondering where exactly the UK is headed. I waver between giving in to a voracious need to devour the news trying to fathom it all out and long periods of time when I find the news too depressing and I need to succumb to the desire to avoid knowing anything outside my immediate sphere so that I can continue to function in a meaningful way.
As a mixed race person, I truly feel like a citizen of Planet Earth so it's genuinely weird to be caught up in this nationalistic colonialist-inspired 'we're better than you' throwback in the form of this thing called Brexit. And as my direction of travel as an artist looks ever outward, one of the greatest joys I am finding is experiencing the warmth that comes with taking my music across cultures to clubs, concert halls and international jazz festivals abroad witnessing first-hand musicians and audiences from all over the world being united by the language of music. It's a beautiful way to remind everyone present how very similar we all are at our core, that we all share a common human experience no matter what trappings of language and customs and nationality we also wear - something fans of 'world' music have long-since known. The feeling of being made welcome and having people 'get' the music when you are not from there is the precise opposite of us as a nation saying 'we don't want to be in your club', because collectively our goal musically is to remind ourselves that there is only one club to be part of.
Last week's show in Vauréal on the outskirts of Paris, got me thinking again about how we will fare as a nation culturally if Brexit actually goes ahead. It's not just the ease of travel for the likes of me and my musicians but also the reverse as fewer and fewer artists and musicians from all over the world will want to come here or be able to even if they still want to. How impoverished will we be through this pursuit of otherness? If Brexit does have to go ahead, here's hoping it is at least not at the expense of the open borders in our hearts and minds. Every time I see a show featuring invited guests from abroad or get to go abroad to play I'm going to think of it as an act of Brexit-busting rebellion against a political landscape that seems to be trying to narrow our world. Just don't anybody say it's 'the will of the people..' I believe the will of the people is that everyone should have equal opportunities in this life. I don't believe Brexit is the way to achieve that. If politicians were really listening they'd concentrate on addressing the inequalities that prompted so many to vote leave and see the referendum for the blunt tool it really was. If ever there was a definition of political 'correctness' gone mad, Brexit is surely it.
A short film narrative concept by director David Tallon and produced by Benn Capon, we had a lot of fun making this surreal fantasy of a video for you! Shot on location at The Clapton Country Club and at various other East London spots over a long weekend, special thanks go to Terence Bates, owner of The Clapton Country Club who not only let us use his club but also his flat and he also features as an extra <3. It was truly wonderful to behold such generosity of spirit in the name of creativity - total legend! Can't wait to play at The Clapton Country Club some time - a gem of a place. Premiered in The Telegraph, you can watch the whole wondrous outcome on this link. Enjoy!
Including this one! I'm really proud and grateful to have been awarded funding from the PRS Foundation's Women Make Music Fund towards the costs of releasing album number 3 in the UK.
Follow this link to read about all the women who are benefiting from this fund this year - thrilled to be in such great company!
Things are hotting up at JB HQ for the release of new material and I can't wait for you to hear it! The first single from the forthcoming new album is called 'Wasting Breath', a song about leaving the past behind and liberating yourself from emotional baggage.
Also, if you're not already on the mailing list, sign up today for a free download of a live track and to be the first to find out when the new album will be released!!
Just before Christmas we squished the band and gear back into the trusty Vauxhall Astra Estate and headed up the M1 to York. First ever time in York and I think we got on pretty well! Thanks to everyone who turned out to see us on the last saturday before Christmas and of course thanks to Liam Wilkinson of Northern Sky Mag for this lovely review.
Saleem, Idris and myself just returned from the last date of our autumn tour of Germany, Austria and Switzerland..!
It was wonderful getting to go back to some favourite venues (Jazzit in Salzburg we love you <3) as well as getting to know some beautiful new places - Volksbad in Jena, Fuerstenfeldbruck, Pullach and Duebendorf. A massive MASSIVE thank you to everyone who came out to see us - it was truly amazing to make all these memories with you.
The Sueddeutsche Zeitung came and reviewed the show at Fuerstenfeldbruck - read all about it here!
As a regular spectator at this amazing annual free jazz festival in London's Canary Wharf, I'm thrilled to have been booked to be a part of it this year! If you're going to be in London on 20th August @ 3pm, do come and bagsy a place on the grass and join us.
Loads of other amazing acts on offer too - you can find all the line-up info here.
It's not every day you get to play a sold out concert in a hall this beautiful! Heartfelt thanks to Ulf and his team for featuring me as one of the 'Women in Jazz' at this year's festival in Halle, Germany. An amazing trip!
You can see some lovely photos of the concert (and soundcheck) by Ruediger Schestag here and get something of the beauty of the hall from this little iphone video of 'You made me write a love song' filmed by Idris during our soundcheck and uploaded onto the facebook page here.
Hope to see you somewhere soon!
Have you seen it yet? Shot in a studio in deepest darkest Kingston, the claustrophobia of the video for Triptyc's re-working of the song 'You do my head in' intentionally highlights the unsettling nature of his version's rumbling hypnotic drums and eerie analogue synth sounds. Check it out here.
This re-working of 'You do my head in' forms part of the Remix EP 'Licence to be Cruel' released shortly before Christmas. I've been collecting remixes for a while but these ones are my favourites - and so the EP contains the work of 5 amazing remixers re-imagining my songs brought together on this remix EP for the first time,
You can get hold of all 5 tracks on a Limited Edition CD from the shop page (only a few left now!) or via bandcamp and it is also available as a digital download both in the shop page as well as from all the usual places. The guys over at The Musical Melting Pot website wrote a lovely review of the EP which you can have a read of here.
Stay tuned - more new music coming soon!
Happy New Year everyone!! I hope 2016 is kind to you as we wave goodbye to an intense 2015.
For me, as well as some much needed catching up with the people I love, it's been great to have the time to reflect back on an amazing run of shows in 2015, think about all the people I met and whose company I have enjoyed and of course on all the music we made. The time has come to make a new album and I'm happy to say it's shaping up better than I could have imagined so I cannot wait for you to hear it and I hope you will during the course of 2016.
Let's see what 2016 brings. Personally I'm hoping for a little kindness and compassion to enter the political realms. All the while remembering it all starts with us - being good to ourselves, listening to our bodies and above all, finding a stillness amid the franticness just to enjoy the miracle of being.
Wishing you everything you wish for yourself,
Ok, now I'm sorry because this is going sound like gloating no matter how I tell you - before I start I'll just say that if I could take you all with me, you know I would ;).
Just got a last minute booking to close Penang Island Jazz Festival in Malaysia, on a stage called 'Jazz by the Beach'!!! There I said it.
Fortunately the word 'wow' is great vocal warm-up so it'll tie in nicely as I expect I'll be saying it a LOT.
#ontour #jazz #singer #songwriter #Malaysia #PenangIsland
Hot on the heels of the excitement of the MOBOs comes another nomination! Voting is happening here: http://urbanmusicawards.net/united-kingdom/voting/. Get involved :)
It's a massive, massive honour to be in the running in 2015's #MOBOawards in the Best Jazz category here in the UK! I found out on tuesday this week via Twitter and it was a big, BIG surprise!! Thank you to all of you who have supported me and been a part of the journey so far, this is a reflection of all of you!
All the acts in the category are really strong and the award is decided via a public vote so if you'd like to, you can head over to http://voting.mobo.com/categories/jazz-act hear all the acts and cast your vote!! You can vote from anywhere in the world but don't delay as the final decision is made in the next couple of weeks.
Just gone up for sale on Bandcamp are some Limited Edition CD copies of the upcoming 'Licence to be Cruel (Remix EP)' release! Featuring 5 remixed songs, fully re-worked by 5 highly acclaimed producers, SON LUX, TRIPTYC, WU-LU, YES KING and OTHER WORLDS, the full release will come out on 20th november but it is available to pre-order now via bandcamp in both the Limited Edition CD version and as digital downloads.
The EP will also be available to pre-order on Itunes and Amazon etc in the next few days but CDs of the release are only available via the bandcamp page! juliabiel.bandcamp.com. Bag your copy now before they're all gone!
I am still floating somewhere on Cloud 9 after an absolutely incredible summer of touring. The shows at weekend in Norway and Sweden were the icing on the cake with just such an amazingly warm and powerful reception from everyone who came. Myself, Idris and Saleem can't thank you enough for giving us some wonderful memories over these past few months.
Back in London now, I am working hard on preparing some new music for you, so do stay tuned and remember, if you want to be the first to hear about any new releases, free mp3s or be in line for exclusive early bird access to tickets (as and when possible!), do join the mailing list. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click 'join mailing list'!
Shows for this year continue in October - London, Ingolstadt and Vienna still to come!! See the 'tour' page for details :) Over and out for now.
And cable cars... Unexpected final mode of transport to the hotel when we hit Bolzano a couple of weeks back. That was a new one! And such a gorgeous festival to have been involved with. Ruth Goller, bass player extraordinaire based in London (and part of so many great acts) but originally from the Sued Tirol area of Northern Italy curated a London-centric programme for their festival this year and we managed to squeeze in 3 shows before heading out at 5am the next to get to my cousin's wedding in Germany. Anyway, I digress..!
After a couple of 'catch your breath' weeks, we're off again for the next busy phase of coming out to see you - and this time we heading to Spain, Germany, Austria, France and Wales!! Hope you're ready! See the tour page for full details of where you can catch up with us.
Hope you're having an amazing summer so far!
Features me this evening! If you're in the Berlin area of Germany you get to tune in on 92.40 FM but otherwise I think you can hear it on the website here: http://www.kulturradio.de/programm/sendungen/150629/the_voice_1930.html 19.30 German time obvs..