Ottawan Producer, Joseph Julien on Bomb Progressive House Record, ‘Motherland’

Joseph Julien is the guy you have gone looking for late night. For presepective, his deep into the night progressive house would be fitting for an Anjuandeep party or after. Springing from his exciting debut project, Danzfolk with a release on Armada creating a moment in time during a Armin Van Burren festival set, Joseph Julien stays steadly rising by bringing us a clean progressive house tune, ‘Motherland’.

Joseph Julien shares, “‘Motherland’, a tune I made for the ones who prefer to listen to their music in places where they need a mental pick up. Some could call it future house, progressive house or tech house I just call it another Joseph Julien piece of art.”

Since his 2020 debut remix of A.M.R‘s ‘Sailor Cry’, JJ has been getting hometown support from a big party brand 8day Montreal for both ‘Motherland’ and a prior release, ‘This Time Around’ via his imprint KRE81.  Excited to hear if he has any shows planned and more about the Ottawan producer we reached out for an exclusive interview.

What is the most experimental you have gotten with sound design? 

I’ve recorded a lot of ambiance / texture sounds in the past. I’ll head on out for a walk through nature and start recording things like rain in the forest, breezes through leaves, water shores. They’re not your typical main sounds in most of my work but it does really fill in empty gaps of tracks without over powering through the mix. One of the main reasons I love working with audio is because of the endless possibilities of things you can do. You never really stop learning. 

What is the message of ‘Motherland’? 

I intended for it to represent what creative freedom is to me. I took an old song that I had worked on and scrapped because I was lost for direction, I knew it was missing something and that it had potential but I couldn’t tell what that missing factor was. I found an amazing afro house vocal and paired it, next thing I knew I was finalizing ‘Motherland’ as my 3rd single. 

Can you describe your production techniques and/or the samples you used to create ‘Motherland’? 

It’s all a very similar when it comes to my creative process. I try and lay out the foundation of what the drums and bass are gonna be. Once those are solidified I move on to the smaller details and higher frequency sounds. Once the main mold is there I’ll look into adding samples from a wide variety of banks I have to fill in gaps. The ‘Motherland’ sample is without a doubt one of my favourites. The vocals alone had me moving and I needed to find a way to incorporate it in at least one of my songs. 

What are 5 tracks you find at the forefront of electronic music? 

Have you been supported by any major artists yet?

In past years when I was in a duo named Danzfolk, we had a lot of international support on songs we had signed to a couple major labels. One of the most notable memories was when Armin Van Burren opened with our song ‘A Night in Tokyo’ to start a State of Trance. I have worked with or have been supported by many others but that’s the one that sticks with me the most. In my second time around I started my own label called Kre81 Records (pronounced create one). As an independent label it’s harder to get the ball rolling but hopefully the world picks up on the incredible projects we plan on putting out and we get more support. 

Have you gotten a chance to play at an event yet? 

The Joseph Julien project is fairly new and unfortunately the first event I was supposed to play at got canceled around a year ago when the pandemic hit. I’m working with some incredible people on a virtual performance soon. So keep your eyes peeled for that. 

What are some of your favorite local venues, party brands, events or festivals? 

Huge fan of what the Cercle team in Europe is doing right now with their visual shows in very cool locations. In terms of local events and shows, I’m a massive fan of outdoor events like Piknic Electronik in Montreal and more intimate venues like City at Night in my hometown of Ottawa. 

photo credit City At Night

When did you first get your feet wet in electronic music? 

9 years ago, I played a gig in a local Ottawa pub. I got booed off for playing strictly house, techno, trance and nothing top 40. I was furious because I thought the crowed would love hearing amazing music they’ve never heard before. A friend of mine taught me that if I wanted to do that I had to categorize myself as a music producer/dj and not a pub dj. 9 years later I’ve been producing music and never looked back. 

What is your favorite word? 

“Patience” I honestly believe, that if you bet on yourself and apply ways to help yourself achieve goals, you will find your way. I’ve seen too many people give up after losing patience and left their dreams on back burners. 

If you could break one world record what would it be? 

To have the most essential mixes in the history of the show. I have been listening to Pete Tong‘s essential mixes for years. An amazing display of an artists true talents on the decks. My absolute dream and goal is to make it on his show. 

What does this week bring?  How about the summer? 

Excited for the arrival of my first born, massive news and a new light on inspiration. I really want to take my label further with more releases and collaborations with other artists. Launching a Joseph Julien x Kre81 clothing brand from hats to sweaters to t shirts. New music of course and judging by how well the year goes perhaps a couple more shows. Only time will tell…

Joseph Julien: