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The Eighth Note: Paige Julia

The Eighth Note is 8 quick Questions with Wellington Musicians. A chance for us to catch up with people & see what they’re up to, or introduce you to a new musician/band and their music.
Up next is local Electronica artist & DJ Paige Julia.

Who are you? Tell us a bit about your music:
I am Paige Julia! A creature that grew up in Lower Hutt and developed into my music living here in Wellington. I started DJing first in 2011, playing drum and bass or house music for friends in house parties and the odd small club show, and kept this up for some time until I started meeting the artists who made the records I was playing in my sets and they all encouraged me to start learning to write and compose electronic music as well to compliment my DJ performances. So this started in 2014, and now I create electronic music in a range of genres and perform this music all over New Zealand in the festival and club scene. My music is built for listening on sound systems with a focus on heavy basslines, gloomy atmospheres and broken beat structures.

What have you been working on lately? Any new tracks or albums on the way?
COVID lockdown has given us all a lot of extra time, and so I have finished enough material to put together my debut album which I got to also perform during this recent period without restrictions. The album is 11 tracks, full of inspiration from techno, breakbeat, dubstep and DnB genres. As well as this, I have a track out soon on an American record label, and a bunch of alternate material (under a different name) which is more suited to a day time…loungy situation. I wanted to create a set of music for an afternoon at a festival, maybe in a chill out tent or a smaller stage and create some melodic and downtempo styles of music using synthesisers and drum machines as opposed to DJing. I was first inspired to do this style when introduced to the art of curating the chill out space in a festival that didn’t require a lot of aggression in the sounds, and felt like I could create something interesting.

Where is the best place people can follow you & find your music?
I have everything on my Soundcloud. Tracks for sale are on Bandcamp and can be found by searching Paige Julia as I have released music on several different labels. Spotify has my first 2 EPs and some singles as well, but is not a complete body of work.

What were the 3 most influential albums to you growing up?
Lagered! 4: A rumble through the Crates – mixed by Sample Gee was my introduction to electronic music completely by accident as I took these CDs out of my Mum’s boyfriends’ CD wallet and would listen to them every day. This was a 1999 mix CD with acts like Freestylers, Dub Pistols, Binary Finary…Faithless. I still love the records on this mix.
Driving Insane – Black Sun Empire was my first Drum and Bass album.
As Daylight Dies – Killswitch Engage is not electronic music but the energy was very influential to me as a young person.

Which other Wellington musician (s) would you most like to work with?
It would be fun to make some music with The Upbeats some day! They were very influential to me early on my music making. I enjoy sessions of music making with Ed Zuccollo who is a wizard on the piano, on a synth or in conversation. I have also made music with Jake Unwell Smith. I am considering opening up to more traditional instrumentalists and vocalists with my melodic side project, so I could see my answer to this changing as that music develops.

What’s your favourite Wellington venue to play in?
Laundry Bar is the most consistent spot for me, great sounding system, lots of freedom in music programming and really nice food to eat before I play.

In your songwriting or composing (or the band’s songwriting) how do the compositions and songs take shape?
I will spend a lot of time creating a lot of raw sound material from a range of sources. I have a few different synthesizers for this purpose and the idea is to hit record and noodle through the settings on the machines and edit on another day. Most of the time the magic happens in a few seconds at some random point a few hours into this process, maybe a perfect melody or bassline or filter sweep and I can hear the rest of the track build around it. Once the idea is in place, for me personally the drums and the bass have to fit together before I will know I have a strong composition. Sometimes the idea is good but I can’t perfect this relationship and I have dozens or hundreds of these incomplete ideas that will probably never be visited again but once this is established and I get the engineering and sequencing finished I only need to know if I feel like dancing to it…that is the final test for me, before it is time to play in my shows.

Where/when is your next gig?
It is impossible to know right now, unfortunately. I have things booked that are constantly being postponed until we resume Level One COVID conditions. However, I am teaching both as a one on one tutor and in group settings for The Sensonauts, teaching introduction DJ classes and this is keeping me busy through uncertain times. The next intake for these group classes is September 19th.

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