Tell me a little bit about your background. Where are you from and how did you get started in music?
I am from a small town called Hemingway, SC but I reside in the Washington, DC area. I started with music back in Hemingway singing with choirs in church and in school. I started my professional career back in college recording R&B music and sharing it with my friends as well as at talent shows when performance opportunities came around.
When did your professional career begin and how did it happen?
My professional career started back in college when I started recording music for a small label. I was singing in my dorm room one day and there was a guy that had an interest in gathering talent for a label so I started recording with his label and performing around the city.
What challenges do having your own independent label?
The main challenge is finding resources to break you as it relates to money and connections.
In your opinion, what does it really take to “make it” in this business?
In my opinion it takes consistency, time, and most of all money. You can get money by social media revenue or any forms of revenue.
In your opinion, what's the best and worst part of being an independent artist?
The best part of being independent is creative control and timing. You can choose to make what you want, how you want and whenever you want. There are no contracts binding you to an obligation of a certain about of projects. This also leads to getting your own money without a middle man. On the flip side you do have to have your own money to operate which is the worst part.
Have you ever released a song that you really thought would be a major success, but it didn’t do as well as you expected? Tell me about an experience you had like that?
I would say my song Soap Box. When I attempted to release it my manager at the time didn’t believe in it. Once I released it outside of his liking it started doing pretty good but could have been much better if I dropped when I was supposed too.
Do you have a daytime job or is music your full-time job?
I am an IT specialist during the day. The great thing about being an IT specialist is that you can easily find remote jobs that will allow you more time to put in musically.
How important is it that your friends and family support your music by purchasing and downloading your single? How crucial is their support for the success of your career?
I believe that it is very important but not so much as a deal breaker. I think that having friend and family support does assist with your confidence level as well as showing others that they believe in you.
How do you feel about the concept of likes and dislikes on an artist's social media music related post? In your opinion, is that an accurate assessment of the artist's talent, worth or ability?
Likes on social media can be kind of tricky because of the fact that people can buy likes, views, and followers. Just because you have a couple of likes doesn’t mean you are a bad artist or you have a ton of likes makes you a great artist.
What have people who have heard your music say about your vocal style that sets you apart from another vocalist?
Most people say that I have a very wide range. I sing with a soulful strong tone.
If you can speak to your fans from your heart and tell them one important thing that you want them to know about being an independent artist, what would it be?
Most importantly that I love all of them and that the support they give me allows me to give them exactly what they need from me as my fans. They are the driving force of me being able to continue my music career and I need them to make all of this a complete success.
What advice would you give to new artists entering the changing industry?
My biggest piece of advice would be to stay consistent and don’t let the hiccups discourage you. This can be a rocky road but there are some patches of paved pathways ahead. Most of all enjoy the experience and make the best of every legit opportunity.
If you can speak to DJ’s from your heart and tell them one important thing that you want them to know about being an independent artist, what would it be?
I would let them know as I do often that they are very important to the careers of indie artists. They give us an opportunity to be heard as well as open us up to their fans which I believe is a very selfless profession. They are a form of marketing that has the potential to break an artist and I really appreciate every DJ that has given my music a chance.
How would you describe your music to those who have never heard it before?
I would say that my music is a bit diverse due to my influences from all genres of music. I have put out music in different genres such as gospel, pop, R&B and funk. My music is based on what I feel and how I want to express myself at the moment.
Do you write and produce your own music?
I write all of my music. I usually work a producer. I used to produce my music at one point but I found it a better experience to work a producer to assist with ideas in bringing the best possible sound to my supporters.
How do you prepare yourself mentally for public opinion (either positive or negative) when you’re preparing for a new song release?
Honestly, I take it from a standpoint of everyone isn’t going to like my music but for those who do I appreciate the love and support. I will always work very hard to be consistent and put out music that will be able to touch the masses but I have to be satisfied with it at the end of the day so I make music that I enjoy listening too.
Have you ever felt so discouraged in this business, for whatever reason, that you just wanted to throw in the towel?
Of course you will have those days where it just seems like things aren’t going your way no matter how hard you work. Those moments can be very discouraging. Some times you may not get the support that you were expecting or it may get difficult to get tour dates setup or the radio isn’t picking up your song well. Its so many things that can discourage you but just keep going and remember that you do this because you love it.
How many singles/albums do you have out presently and what is your favorite album/song to date?
I have about 6 singles and an EP that I have already released and another EP coming up soon. My favorite song of mine to date would have to be Soap Box.
Tell me about your latest album/ song and what was your inspiration behind it? Is it out now and where can people buy it?
My latest song is Let’s Dance. My inspiration behind it was the pandemic and thinking about how
we have been in the house for such a long time and there was once a time that we could invite someone out for a drink and dance. It made me think about happy fun and hoping that the pandemic would soon end and we could get back to what we were used too but in a more classic way.
Just for fun - *The Indie Post pointless question of the month*
If music had a cellphone, how much time does it take to eat a hamburger in a pool while swimming in orange juice?
I would say about 3 minutes. I don’t have an explanation why except 3 is my favorite number lol
Website – www.diquanjulius.com
Facebook - singerdiquanj
Youtube link: EPK: http://www.diquanjulius.epk.fm/