Julia Cole got her start in music performing the Star-Spangled Banner before her own high-school volleyball and basketball games.
Cole has combined her love of sports with her music. She has joined Mizuno, an athletic wear company, alongside Mizuno Olympic athletes, as an advocate for women’s athletics and empowerment.
Your volleyball coach suggested entering a Houston Texans’ contest after hearing you sing the National Anthem before your team’s games your junior year in high school. Can you describe that first-time experience of singing in front of 75,000 in your home town?
It was surreal! I felt like I was watching a show just as much as the audience was. Staring out at all the faces and watching the jets fly over…it was something I’ll never forget. The crazy part is, I wasn’t even nervous.
That fateful day in 2011 inspired you to seriously consider a career in music. Between honing your songwriting and piano/guitar skills, you entered (and won) other contests like The Woodlands Idol and Rodeo Rockstar. What would you tell your high school self about the challenges you’d face and how to best handle them?
I’d remind myself that no matter what you’re doing in life the most important thing will always be family and close relationships. Nothing changes you like the loss of a loved one, and the fear of losing one. Ironically that would be what seriously grew me into a songwriter. There are always silver linings around every dark cloud.
With a self-created major at Vanderbilt University in financial economics and creative enterprise, what advice can you share with female artists beginning their careers?
It’s all about being authentic and honest while establishing a consistent brand. You brand can’t be something that isn’t true to you or people will smell it from a mile away. Figuring out the message you want to say and then what is the right audience for that message is crucial.
Debut single “Trust You” about empowerment. Leading by example, you included Sign-A-Song founder Kiley Scott signing the lyrics in the song’s video. In what other ways can artists make their music more inclusive?
I loved making this video. I’d suggest involving the people interacting with your music online in the real videos. That’s how I found Kiley. She tagged me in an ASL cover video she made of “Trust You”.
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#COLETEAMQuarantine on Instagram including guests from different walks of life like the sports and music worlds. How have the lessons you learned being a team player in sports translated into your music career?
Athletics helped me learn discipline, how to handle constructive criticism, perform under pressure in front of a crowd, and as you said, be a leader as well as team player. It takes a village to succeed in the music industry. I treat every member of the team as just that, part of the #COLETEAM. Everyone is important and it’s the right thing to do to treat them accordingly.
Besides Dua Lipa, which new artists have you added to your playlist since the pandemic began?
Mood 24k Golden.
At the beginning of the quarantine, you posted that you were “doing my best to find the silver lining in all of this, while still being smart and safe to the best of my ability”. Six plus months in, what silver lining have you found?
I’ve had time to really crack down on producing new music. I have new tunes ready to roll out now! If I’d been on tour, I wouldn’t have as much new music to release.
“Don’t count the days, make the days count”. What does this Muhammad Ali quote mean to you personally?
It’s all about enjoying the little wins in this industry. There are always bigger goals and more awards to win…which means if you don’t celebrate while they come along you’ll forever feel like you’re not where you want to be.
What unique challenges did you have to overcome releasing your Honey Child EP during quarantine?
It was really weird to release a project and not tour to promote it. No EP release party, no hometown early preview show, none of the normalities.
Partnering with Mizuno to empower female athletes in their “Her Own Story” campaign. What message do you hope up-and-coming sports stars take away from your song “Honey Child”?
I hope everyone who listens to the lyrics of “Honey Child” will become inspired by the message “What are you afraid of, show ’em what you’re made of. Be You be-autiful you”. That’s the best advice I was ever given. Be yourself, no matter how hard life gets. Stay true to what you believe.
New single “Do You Mind”. How did you choose a bar as the song’s setting?
It’s where I spent all my time on tour before covid!
Knowing your self-worth and feeling confident to show it. Which female artists have inspired you to take chances not only in your career but also in your life?
I love watching the growth and business savvy of Dolly Parton and Beyonce. They both created empires for themselves and have evolved in life and in their music over a span of decades.
“Don’t watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going”. How has this Sam Levenson quote helped you keep the focus on your career and life goals during these uncertain times?
The only job that stopped for me somewhat during covid was touring. All of my other jobs kept going: songwriting, self-publishing, social media, marketing, merch sales, production, working on partnerships, planning for the future, etc. My team and I kept the ball rolling full speed!
My single ain't the only thing that dropped on my bday #DoYouMind #ColeTeam ~link in bio
Skydiving on your birthday. What else is on your sports bucket list?
Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro! I’m going next month. Tallest free-standing mountain in the world!
“The lower the latitude the better the attitude”. Where will you travel once the restrictions are lifted?
ANY BEACH. Hopefully the Bahamas…I’ve never been.