The late dreamer, a Jullian Gomes Interview
Each of the tracks on Jullian Gomes solo debut album, are like the strikingly colourful individual pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
They are all designed delicately, but their deepest beauty is only revealed when they are connected to reveal the rich emotional soundscape that is ” ‘Late Dreamer’.
This album was released officially on all platforms last week and given its depth and quality, it can become one of the standout releases on the South African House Music scene this year.
Together with Jullian we explore the rich textures making up “Late Dreamer”.
“Late Dreamer” is a very personal title. Can you briefly explain how you came about it?
Jullian Gomes Interview: This album is based on a true story, where I fell asleep in my own reality trying to build other people’s dreams.
Late Dreamer is the spark of realisation which made my mind go into overdrive thinking way back to a time where it all started for me.
Working my day job to make my daily bread and falling asleep in my home studio in the dark of night pushing to carve my musical career.
Waking up one morning ‘late’ to go to my day job, I asked myself the question, “What am I late for?”
This lead to my priorities shifting and I made a decision that I could never turn back from.
All I hope for is that my story can spark the overdriven mind of another “Late Dreamer” to follow their Dreams.
You have been in the industry for over a decade and could have released an album at any particular stage. What made this particular season the “perfect timing” for you?
Jullian Gomes Interview: I’ve released two albums in the past, one with my cousin Michael G as G. Family (Break The Silence, Deep House Chronicles Vol.6) and one with Atjazz (The Gift The Curse).
I just felt like it was my time to step out on my own and tell my story.
I never planned the date, the year or time.
Everything happened the way it was meant to happen.
Which record label is the album being released and distributed under?
Jullian Gomes Interview: House Afrika (Africa), Sony Music(Africa) and Atjazz Record Company(Europe, USA, Asia).
Where were the tracks recorded and mastered?
Jullian Gomes Interview: On airplanes, trains, people’s basements and my bedroom studio.
What kind of sound/s were you aiming to put across with “Late Dreamer”?
Jullian Gomes Interview: I really wanted to make an album that would just help and inspire people the same way House Music helped and inspired me.
So what I did is I took myself back to my school days when my mom would pick me and my brother up from school.
We would drive to Pretoria CBD (where my parents worked) and we would listen to YFM.
Back then DJ Monde was the music compiler at YFM and the House Music that was compiled always lifted me up.
It was a sound that was deep and powerful.
It was pure House Music with a message to get you through your day.
I would describe my sound as Soulful Techno as it doesn’t sound like Soulful House Music inspired by New York or Chicago, but rather a Soulful Techy experimental sound coming from my overdriven mind.
When I listened to the album I was particularly struck by its cohesion. It’s more of an experience or a journey of sorts as opposed to being just a collection of songs. How important was it for you to put out a full-length album at a time albums are fast becoming a rarity as more artists opt for the singles/EP format.?
Jullian Gomes Interview: I’m really glad you mentioned that.
It was one of the things I really focused on with ‘’Late Dreamer’’.
I wanted to tell a story rather than just make a House Album with 10 songs on it.
I think these days in the modern music world a lot of DJ/Producers are pressured into putting out singles/EP’s in order to keep the gigs coming in.
I just felt that if I was going to put out my debut album, that I might as well tell people my story.
If someone out there can relate to it and the music makes them feel a certain way, my purpose would be fulfilled.
How did you ensure the fluidity of the album in terms of how each song flows effortlessly into the next?
Jullian Gomes Interview: I really just let the emotion of each song dictate where it would be placed on the album.
When you make an album you have to create a theme and each song complements one another in telling the full story.
If one song doesn’t work, it’s all out of place.
So everything is based on the emotion of the songs.
As the chef of this particular offering how best do you recommend people can maximize the listening experience? Should they play it at a low volume in a car stereo, blare it at a chisa nyama or even savour it eyes shut listening to it through earphones?
Jullian Gomes Interview: You can play this album anywhere and however you feel.
All I suggest is that you play it from start to finish, so you don’t miss the hidden details and ultimately the beginning and the ending of the Late Dreamer.
In terms of audience responses what kind of reaction do you hope this album invokes? Do you want it to get people “losing their morals” on the dance floor, “catching feelings” or simply vibing to it?
Jullian Gomes Interview: Let the music hit you the way it hits you.
Don’t think, just feel.
One the criticisms of modern House/Electronic music is that it tends to become monotonous as one track sounds pretty much the “same” as the next dozen or so. How did you manage to keep each individual track fresh yet still connected to the other songs?
Jullian Gomes Interview: I don’t think there is a formula I use.
I guess I get bored easily and chopping and changing up vibes is the best way I can get along.
A journey is not a journey if it stays the same.
We need to change and embrace the journey.
That’s how I see it.
The feel of the album is very uber international and quite metropolitan in terms of being on par quality-wise with the work being released in the States, Europe and other global markets. How did you achieve this international feel and quality?
Jullian Gomes Interview: Every time I finish a song I sit back and listen to it and I ask myself, “Are you happy with this being out there forever?’’
If the answer is yes… I get fulfilled and put it out.
That feeling doesn’t last long though, as I keep myself up at night asking “what’s next?”
It can always be better.
The question is what is your definition of better?
Each track on the album has a guest feature. What influenced your choice of artists?
Jullian Gomes Interview: I generally gravitated to the people that vibed with me and was just as excited as I was to work on the album.
I had the great pleasure of working with great people like: Ziyon, Sio, Kabomo, Bucie, Atjazz, Daev Martian, Martin Iveson, Bobby, Lazarusman, OVEOUS and Sarai Jazz.
Talking of features, Martin Iveson (Atjazz) not only features on one of the tracks but has been quite an influential part of your career in the past few years. What other input did him make in the creation of this album?
Jullian Gomes Interview: Martin has been a big influence on my music as well as my life.
I see him as another one of my Big Brothers, giving me advice about the music industry and pushing me to just do what I feel.
He was the first person to take me under his wing and mentor me.
I’m forever grateful for everything he has done for me.
What other initiatives such as tours, listening sessions or even radio appearances, are you carrying out to support the release of the album?
Jullian Gomes Interview: I did an album listening session in September which was amazing.
I also did an album release party on the 30th September in Johannesburg to celebrate the release.
Then I will be touring the album in and around South Africa for the rest of the year.
Also getting interest on dates for Europe next year June and July.
There is an interesting twist (which we won’t give away to readers!) in the last few minutes of the last song that reveals some of the challenges you have faced in your career over the years? What are the personal sacrifices you have made in putting together “Late Dreamer”?
Jullian Gomes Interview: You listened the whole way through. Laughs
Yeah there is a little twist towards the end of the album.
I’ve always just been a vessel for the message.
Sacrifices are part of the calling.
My music will be my legacy and in order to leave a legacy there has to be sacrifice, no matter how hard it may be.
Which song/s on “Late Dreamer” hold the greatest personal meaning to you?
Jullian Gomes Interview: Each song forms part of my story, so each and every song means everything to me.[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/283169495″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]
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