It starts off with a feeling. Perhaps a little sadness, maybe frustration or simply the need to express something that mere words can’t. Soon enough that spirit carries itself into a quaint little home studio hidden somewhere in Pretoria. It seeps through the fingers of a humble young man, nestles itself in keys and drums then finally emerges in the form of a beautiful song. And just like that, the house world has another gem of a track from the rising star known as Jullian Gomes.
For the larger house population we were first introduced to Jullian when his runaway hit Love Song 28 invaded the airwaves but his Midas touch has been around since the days of the iconic G-Family. And even before he set his ambitions on production he was already rubbing shoulders with the likes of DJ Christos and Vinny Da Vinci as a young pre-teen boy also fighting for a chance to lay his own records down on any turntable that would accommodate him.
Whether we’d known it or not, it truly had been a long time coming for Jullian but he’s finally here.
When I catch up with him to chat about his growing success it is on the very same day his collaborative album with Martin ‘AtJazz’ Iveson, The Gift The Curse, had gone into production so this is obviously an exciting time for Jullian Gomes, yet he maintains his characteristically composed and forever humble demeanor.
Perhaps that’s what led his and AtJazz’s paths to collide for its no secret that you don’t just work with AtJazz. Jullian however notes that no matter how the friendship came about he is eternally grateful for being blessed with this once in a lifetime opportunity that stemmed from a remix project. “While I was with G-Family we remixed Love Someone (AtJazz and Robert Owens) and he mailed me back saying, ‘I love it’. After that he came to South Africa and saw me DJing and we got to tour together and that’s where the friendship started.”
The Gift The Curse not only symbolizes growth for Jullian but also ushers in a new era for the local house industry as a whole. A collaboration of this magnitude hasn’t been seen in recent years and is reminiscent of the time when Brothers of Peace worked with Masters at Work. Since then local and international collaborations have been limited to singles, remix projects and the occasional EP. With such high expectations to carry I’m intrigued by what then was thrown into the mixing pot to ensure that The Gift The Curse would live up to expectations.
Jullian responds, “In creating this album we wanted to have a theme and you see it in the album title, the album art and the songs. It was about showing the contradictions in life. The concept of how things can be tough but you get through them. It’s all a gift and a curse.” He then highlights tracks within the album that he feels perfectly embody the contrasting themes of the album such as Turn to You featuring Robert Owens and a single dedicated to AtJazz’s son titled, Awi.
It’s fast become easy to see just why at such a young age Jullian is already miles ahead of the pack. His sincerity and unquestionable passion for what he does is more than reason enough for the stars to align in his favour. And perhaps he sums it up best when he explains what he’d like to leave behind when his time comes to an end, “Something that’ll live forever!”
I have no doubt that he is well on his way to doing this. Love Song 28 has already cemented itself as an urban house music classic and the young producer’s remixes are hot property on these streets. The album comes as the perfect close to the first chapter of what will certainly be an enchanting story about a boy named Jullian Gomes.
Jullian Gomes Details