YouTube Celeb Interview: Julia Nunes

By Carl Perks

Julia Nunes is a New York born multi-instrumentalist whose father was a composer for child songs. She began posting YouTube videos in 2005 under the screen name ‘jaaaaaaa.’ Hits on her videos took off from her post for the Bushman Ukulele contest where she covered I’m a Survivor by Destiny’s Child. She now has two studio albums and one EP to her name and countless YouTube video song covers.

After a short trip to the back of the stage at the end of her show at Le National on Sept. 3 and a swift meet and greet with her fans, Nunes, exhausted from the excessive length of her plane trip and the energy expensed during her show, came to the now empty floor to pack her merchandise and answer to the press.
*Polite greeting discussion skipped for entertainment purposes.*

How does releasing your own album contrast with being a Youtube celebrity?
JULIA NUNES: They’re kind of the same thing, releasing your own stuff and doing it your own way is the youtube philosophy.
And how does a live crowd compare to a Youtube crowd?
JULIA NUNES: I think most of this crowd was a Youtube crowd *laughs* They all seemed to be very familiar with the video website that I’m on.
Why did you decide to play Ukulele in the stead of guitar, bass and other more popular instruments?
JULIA NUNES: Because I was in college and my roommates were angry at how loud a guitar was. I had a Ukulele but I didn’t play it all that much and then I had to. It was my only musical outlet.
Did you learn to play it from the internet?
JULIA NUNES: No I learnt from just kind of what I knew about guitar.
Even though it’s not the same chords?
JULIA NUNES: No it’s not the same chords but it’s but it’s a transposed version. If you put a capo on the 5th fret, that would be a Ukulele.
If someone would want to be an internet celebrity like you, what should they do?
JULIA NUNES: Make videos that you think are interesting and then hopefully other people will think their interesting.
Do you ever get recognised on the streets?
JULIA NUNES: Yes
Only in the U.S. or also in Canada?
JULIA NUNES: Well it happened here but that’s because I was on the street where I was playing the show. So I suppose that kids that were about to come see the show were milling around at the stores.
In the Pork and Beans video by Weezer, I was expecting to see you show up at some point. But you didn’t. Are you bummed by that?
JULIA NUNES: No, not super bummed. I got to play with them at Maneroo so I think I got the better end of the deal. We played Trippin down the Freeway.
If you had one piece of advice for Lady Gaga, what would it be?
JULIA NUNES: Never get old! That’s what happened to Madonna.
In your song, Into the Sunshine, where does the first line: ‘the way you pick the fuzzies from my sweater’ come from?
JULIA NUNES: Don’t you ever get little pills on your sweater? It was just a situational observation.
I wikipedia’d you, and you have a Wikipedia page. Did you make it?
JULIA NUNES: No.
How do you feel about being one of those people who has a wikipedia page about them?
JULIA NUNES: It’s a little unnerving. They have a little too much personal information I think. But it’s kind of cool. I think it’s a good sign to have a Wikipedia page.
Your songs are much more upbeat and happy that your tour mates (Natalie Dawn and Lauren O’Connell). Why do you think it is so?
JULIA NUNES: Different song writing styles. I think it’s really important to hear the lyrics in Lauren’s songs which is more conducive to slow music.
What made you decide to first post yourself on Youtube?
JULIA NUNES: I was just trying to send Lauren videos of new songs I was covering.
So you knew her before?
JULIA NUNES: Oh yeah, Lauren and I were best friends from high school and then we left for college so we both started making Youtube videos to send each other. That’s how it started.
And the question on all of our minds: Does Lauren really have long fingers for a girl?
JULIA NUNES: Yes she has incredibly long fingers. (Lauren: Actually I have especially large thumbs.) And her palms are big, she should really play the piano. 

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