“Reminiscent of Ryan Beatty, Rex OC and Frank Ocean-esque vibes.” – DIY
Julius Black’s ‘Mirrors’ made a huge impact for a self-released debut track. It picked up playlist support including Majestic Casual, Chilled Afternoon and Study Zone as it raced to 100,000 streams in just two months. Further tastemaker media interest soon followed, including DIY who hailed it as, “A stunning debut, keep your eyes peeled for what he conjures up next.”
And what he has conjured up is just as essential. His new track ‘Summer’ is a heart-wrenching second chapter to the story that he commenced with his debut. His existential art pop puts a teenage twist on the reflection of Villagers and the experimental soul of James Blake to create a statement that’s just as powerful.
While ‘Mirrors’ was a poetic expression of hitting a devastating low, ‘Summer’ tells the story of one of the moments that led to that crisis. In a nostalgic flashback to summer, Julius immediately sets out the narrative of an impending breakup with the opening lyrics, “You will never love me.”
“I was moving cities, and we both knew we’d be leaving behind what we had,” says Julius. “I wanted to see it through, right ‘til the end, even though it was stupidly uncomfortable knowing that we won’t last. ‘Summer’ is that feeling; a world coming to an end.”
Julius wrote the song and called upon his creative collaborator Struan Finlay for production duties.
The 19-year-old singer-songwriter was raised in Shanghai before relocating to New Zealand. He’d always been fascinated by music spanning hip-hop, gospel and punk, but developed his own sound with the help of local musician Ezra Vine (‘Celeste’) before finessing it further with Struan Finlay. Influenced by visionary musicians such as Frank Ocean, The 1975 and The Beach Boys, he’s now forging his reputation at home and abroad.
Both ‘Summer’ and ‘Mirrors’will feature on his debut EP, which will be released early in 2021.