Musician, Julie Elody, sat down for a bit to discuss her new music video for her single, “Lighthouse,” as well as her fun side project, “Bath Tub Beats,” and how she’s conquering mental illness through her creative process. Check her out on facebook for all her latest news and be sure to check out her Bath Tub Beats on Instagram.
On Insta @bath.tub.beats
Side Stage Magazine: How are you doing today?
Julie Elody: I’m great. How are you?
Good! I was watching your video this morning and reading a little bit about it. It’s exciting! Who came up with the concept for that video?
So I kind of went to—I had the idea for the TVs, and I was just like “I feel like they represent this idea of having so much noise in your life,” and I had this concept of there being like a “real life” setting and then an “in my mind” setting, and then I also really wanted to light things on fire. So those are the three things I went to the music video company with and said “it has to represent this feeling of anxiety. I want to have a representation where there’s parts where I’m inside my own head and there’s parts where I’m in quote-unquote ‘the real world,’ and I want to set things on fire,” and they sort of made the idea around those perimeters.
I definitely got that. It was like you were in a prison in your own mind, and then when you were smashing the TVs it was like you were breaking out of that prison.
Exactly! They did a good job of making an idea out of the little inspiration I gave them.
Yeah, It looks awesome!
Thank you! I’m so happy with it!
Yeah, and I was reading that you wrote that about how you deal with your anxiety and someone said it was like “reading pages out of your own diary.”
Yeah, it is!
Does it help you get over your anxiety, or help you deal with it?
You know, I am somebody who’s had an anxiety disorder for a really long time, and it’s gone undiagnosed for a really long time, because I’m definitely somebody who prefers to just not deal with things and just kind of shove them down. So, the past year has really been a long journey for me basically accepting that this is going on and I do have this problem with anxiety. So, I started going to therapy and started just acknowledging it and I’ve noticed that that is a very healing process. Definitely talking about it helps, because all this stuff had been shoved down for so long and I’m finally saying “This is a problem for me” and I can take those first steps to making it better. It’s definitely important for me to say “this is a problem.” Cause I was denying it for a very long time.
I know you’re working on your new single right. A new single or a video?
Just a single for now. I might do another video in about 8 months or so.
Bath Tub Beats, that’s not your single, right? That’s a side project?
Yeah, that’s a side project I’m really excited about. Basically Bath Tub Beats started—I was out on a run, and when I came back I was tired and hungry and sweaty at the same time, so I decided “I’m gonna eat a burrito in the bathtub. Why not?” So, I took a picture and it kind of blew up. People were really excited about it and they thought it was funny and quirky. I started this Instagram where I eat weird things in the bathtub. People, you know, drink wine or eat strawberries in the bathtub, but I’m eating like lasagna and things you don’t normally eat in the bathtub. So that was “Bath Tub Eats,” people got it confused cause I’m a musician and thought it was “Bath Tub Beats.” So, then I started playing music in there too, so I did two songs with other people in there too. So, I don’t know, I’ve just gotten such good feedback. And sometimes with Julie Elody that’s where all the raw emotion comes out and I focus all my time and energy on that, but sometimes that can just be a little overwhelming. Bath Tub Beats for me is pure fun. It’s a music project I don’t have to worry about the numbers or how many people are watching, and I’m doing it because it’s fun. I’m doing it as a side project where I can just let loose.
That is really fun. It sounds like it’s kind of becoming your signature.
Yeah! It’s nice that music can be fun again. And I don’t have to be so caught up in how successful I am. That was a big reason for having a pretty significant mental breakdown and where the anxiety came out. Where I feel like I’m getting so old and “why have I not made it yet?” It’s just been fun, you know?
So you’re going to have to do a cover of “Bathwater” then soon!
Haha yeah, that’s a good idea. I’ll put that on my list!
And you should eat a burrito [or beets] while you’re singing and combine your true loves.
So what’s next on your horizon? I know you said you’re going to take it kind of slow with your next single.
Yeah, so I think since I’ve spoken to you, I’ve sort of changed directions a little bit. The video did pretty well, as far as how many people watched it and I kind of have a couple features coming out. I don’t know if you know my song “Mountain Lion” with MKJ, but that one did really well about a year ago and went viral in Poland. I have a new feature with him coming out and 2 other features with some other artists. As far as my own music, I haven’t played a live show yet, and it’s because being in a rock bad, we wrote the music on a guitar and then we played it. With this music on the computer, it’s harder to translate that into a live show that I understand how to play live. So, I think I’m going to focus on just getting my craft together more, and playing the piano getting to a point where I can perform live and just really getting back to the craft of it. It may be a little longer than I said before one of mine gets released, because I really just want to get back to the writing and just practicing.
Yeah. Back to basics and just focusing on what makes your sound.
Yeah, exactly! And also, Hope [manager] made an interesting point, she was telling me that it’s so brave of me talking about my anxiety and being so open, but to be careful that it’s not my only identity. I don’t want to get into this place where I’m pigeon-holed into like “The anxiety girl.” I sort of need to reassess what my brand is and be seen as a versatile person, and not just be seen as a victim of mental illness. So I’m really jut trying to figure out everything in the next few months and just make sure the the music is something I can be proud of.
Well, I can say, instead of you having that persona of being a victim of mental illness, it seems like you’re a conquerer of mental illness.
True, yeah. I’d like to think that. It’s been a good journey so far just acknowledging and feeling.
I read a little bit of an interview you did, where the feature said “it’s like you’re singing your diary,” It kind of made me think of Lauryn Hill. I love that iconic song of hers, “Killing Me Softly,” but it’s like you’re coming out on top cause you’re putting it out there first.
Yeah, totally! It’s definitely been weird having people know how hard I’ve struggled lately, I don’t want people to look at me weird like “Oh you’ve been so sad. How have you been hiding it?” Well, I don’t know. I’ve been really good at pretending everything is OK. A really big step for me has been NOT pretending it’s OK. It’s been weird, but good.
Do you feel like the mask you kind of put on as a performer, do you feel that helps you deal with things, or almost makes it worse cause you’re always on stage sort of?
Well, one of the things I’ve been talking about with my therapist about. He says that it doesn’t have to be an “either or” thing. It’s not like you can’t pretend you’re OK. It’s a little bit like ignoring your problems and a little bit of dealing with it. Being able to maybe go to a party with a few musicians and just talk about music, just being able to pretend I’m not going through this process of a feeling is really refreshing cause I can just be my best self. Then when I’m at home, I can go on a run and just process what I’ve been going on the past week or so. I don’t think that it’s necessary totally a bad thing to let yourself get distracted just sort of get through the days. So, I think it’s a little bit of both.
Yeah, I think we all need distractions.
So do you see any new collaborations and new features coming up on the horizons while you’re perfecting your craft?
Yes! So, after that song went viral in Poland with MKJ, I’ve had a lot of people want to collaborate with on their songs. Which is cool, cause now I get to kind of be choosey and be like “OK, this one will be worth my time.” I don’t want to do too many cause I don’t want people to get sick of me. I have about three songs that I’m working on. One with MKJ, called “Half Life,” and I’m really excited about that one. He is currently talking to a sub-label of Warner Music. I’m really hoping that will pan out and we’ll have a decent label distribute that one. Then there’s two other noes that are sort of in the works and I’m still recording on them, so I’m not really sure when those ones will come out. Definitely like three songs in the next like five months will be coming out.
Oh, wow! That’s a lot!
Yeah! It’s definitely, a lot of the features, there’s been so many of them, and I don’t really have to do much. I just have to write the song. I don’t have to promote it really. I mean, I’ll post about it, but I don’t have to hire PR and do all the copyright and all that “business” stuff that goes with your own stuff. It’s nice. I can just do the writing and send it off to them and they do all the ground work for it.
It’s like the “good” kind of group project you get assigned in school.
Well, that’s exciting! It seems like you’ve just been working hard and writing a lot, so I’m excited to see what’s coming out for you soon.
Thank you. I’m definitely excited for that first song, so we’ll see how that goes.
Well, thank you for your time today. Good luck with the rest of your songs coming out in the near future.
Thank you so much! Have a good day!
You as well!