Watch out for SYDHX (Interview with an upcoming Electro-pop/Alt Rock musician)

FullSizeRender (1)

When did you start making music? What got you into music?
I grew up with a piano in the house and I think it all started there. I never took any lessons, I just taught myself songs by ear and when I got old enough to get online, I searched tutorials up on Youtube. For my 12th birthday, my mom bought me a guitar purely for the lack of knowing what I wanted and that’s when it clicked. I was always the little kid coming up with songs and jingles, but when I taught myself how to play guitar, songwriting became my number one thing to do.

What are your musical influences?
The first band I fell in love with was Smashing Pumpkins, and I think that group has had the most influence over me as a musician. I create a lot of different music and I definitely think that’s because I listen to so many different genres. Bands like Circa Survive and The Front Bottoms have had a really heavy impact on my writing style as a whole and I think that’s most evident in my work with Sad Vegan, but in regards to this specific project I draw a lot of influence from people like Felly, Blackbear and Halsey.

You’re so young! What are your goals as you grow in your music career?
I’m glad you think so because I feel like the clock is ticking already! The past two and a half years have been all about music, and I hope it stays like that. Now I’m 18 and I really want to step on the gas. This new single is a step out of my comfort zone, being someone who plays in an Alternative Rock band, and I want to keep pushing those boundaries that I at some time, for some reason set for myself. Some big goals for me at the moment are to finish and release this EP (SYDHX) and play some shows! I’m on the look out to do a lot of feature work as well, so if you’re reading this and want me on a verse, let me know! Ultimately, I want people to hear my music, vibe to it, and get my message.


What is your creative process for writing songs and music?
The creative process usually goes like this…
Step one: Find something that inspires me, even if that inspiration isn’t obvious, because there’s a reason I sat down to write a song.
Step two: Play something, anything. Great. Now find some chords… Got it.
Step three: Say some words, write them down, erase them all, say something else, then go back to the first few words.
Step four: Find my groove and roll with it.
Step five: Have an epiphany and realize what it is I’m trying to say.
Step six: Completely lose track of what I was trying to say… Keep going.
Step seven: Scrutinize myself.
Step eight: Fill with pride at my artistic genius, then scrutinize myself again.
Step nine: Say f**k it and demo the song.

If you could meet one famous musician, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
I actually have no desire to meet anyone, is that weird? This question is my all time least favorite. We’re all just people… I guess it would be cool to meet Gwen Stefani, I adore her. She’s my music career goals for sure. Awesome band, successful solo career, and a now Christmas special?! Sign me up.

Watch out for this girl! She is so sweet and insightful and she’s going places. Listen to her new song ‘No Stranger’ on Soundcloud and Spotify!

XX Jules

red lips + messy hair (a simple morning routine)


I am a big fan of simplicity when it comes to make-up. I don’t like to cover up my freckles. I no longer participate in contouring of any kind. I have a very small make-up bag. Although I love simplicity, I also believe in quality products and morning rituals. So grab a cup of coffee (I take mine with collagen peptides + coconut oil or black as my soul). Let’s get ready!

Here’s what I do every morning:
Cleanse: I splash my face with cool water. Not only is this very refreshing but it wakes me and my skin up.
Moisturize + Protect:  I apply serum, moisturizer, and eye cream (in that order).
Massage: I get my trusty jade roller out of the fridge and use it on my face and neck.


A lot of times I will just leave the house with a fresh, naked face but I often times with wear minimal make-up. On make-up days, I will leave the house with my messy waves, bold brows, bold lips, and nice glow à la Jeanne Damas. So, for make-up:

Minimal effort:
Protect + Correct: Juice Beauty’s Stem Celluar CC Cream
Conceal: Maybelline’s Age Rewind Illuminator
Mattify: BareMinerals Transluscent powder
Blush: Glossier’s Cloud Paint (I have Dusk + Haze)
Brows: NYX Tinted Brow Mascara + Ulta’s Ultra Slim Brow Pencil
Glow: Laura Gellar in Charming Pink
Lashes: Eyelash curler
For something extra: Mascara + a sharp cat eye with liquid liner

My Signature Scent: Maison Margiela’s By The Fireplace
For Red Lips: Chateau Labiotte’s Wine Lip Tint or NARS Cruella Matte Lip Pencil


Let me know about your morning routine! Is your routine more complicated? Is it more simple? What do you listen to to wake you up in the morning? Do you dance around to Stevie Nicks or sing along with Heart like I do? Share with me in the comments down below!

XX Jules

Have you met Aaron? (Exclusive interview with a dear friend + original song)


When I first moved to Grand Rapids, I found a six-person house on Craigslist. Four guys and a girl were looking for a roommate – that roommate would be me. Aaron (now a good buddy of mine) happened to be one of those roommates. That first spring and summer were whiskey filled nights on the porch. Over the years, it’s been guitars around the campfire at the cottage, making up silly songs. Impromptu gatherings and holidays. So many raw, fun times.

Aaron allowed me to record an interview with him on Thursday night – including him playing and singing an original song. One of my favorite things about music IS the people who love music so much. My friend Aaron is not a career-oriented musician – he plays music because he loves the process. Read the interview below or listen to the full interview all the way at the end of this post.

When and why did you start making music?
Oh, wow. I started in fourth grade. I don’t really know why. I think because my older brother was playing the guitar […] and I thought everything my older brother did was really cool so I wanted to do it. And I just kept playing.

What keeps you playing?
I just love it. It’s something great to do when I’m relaxing or tired. I just pick it up and keep playing. And I just loved new instruments as well.

What new instruments have you picked up?
Violin, […] mandolin. I started playing [the violin] freshman year [of college]. You’ve heard me play before. It’s pretty bad! It’s not an awesome sound but I really wanna learn bluegrass fiddle. Something about bluegrass and the mandolin, the violin… it just really gets me.

When did you start playing guitar? Fourth grade?
Yeah. Then I got really into it and I started taking lessons in middle school. Then through highschool is when I paid for my own lessons, which made a huge difference. When you pay for your own lesson, […] you’re invested in it. It’s not just like you show up because your parents want you to. It’s like I wanna do this enough to put my effort and money into it. I feel like lessons is a really important drive. If you really wanna get better, it’s not like the lesson itself is gonna make you better, it’s the act of committing to the lesson and now that you’ve paid for it, you wanna practice more. I’d like to take lessons again.

More guitar lessons?
Piano. It’d be nice to actually get some basis on theory of music behind the stuff I just play by ear.

What inspires you to create music?
I don’t really know. Maybe it’s not what inspires me but one of my favorite [things] about playing music is the atmosphere around a campfire. There was one time when we were up in California… […] someone brought a guitar and there were maybe, like, twenty people around the fire. I only knew Dan, Nick and Ben [Aaron’s best friends from childhood]. We were all sitting around this fire and there was a guitar […] and I was like, “oh, I’ll play a song.” We ended up playing for an hour and a half and everyone was singing. It just made a really cool environment and it was really exciting to be able to contribute to that.

It’s comfortable for me. And […] you’re not on a stage. You’re behind everyone. You’re in a corner but you’re bringing this atmosphere that wasn’t there before and that everyone can contribute to and be a part of. Why do I pick up my guitar when I go home? It’s more because I just enjoy it.

Listen below for tidbits on original songs, a special mention of the terrible song I wrote in highschool, and my nervous cackling. Also, a recording of the awesome original song (skip to 9:30 for just the song) my dear friend Aaron wrote most recently.


XX Jules

All I want is to see you smile (Let’s talk about positivity + mutual respect)


There’s a very serious condition plaguing the entire world all the time and I need you all to be aware of it… it’s called negativity. Plain and simple. As a yoga teacher, I would like to say that I am immune. But as a human being, I am not. Negativity can rub off on everyone around you. If all you do is sit around and complain about your “shitty life”, how is that helping you at all? It’s not. And it makes people dread spending time with you.

Think about it. When you’re around someone who is being positive, how do you feel? Probably uplifted. What about when someone has nothing positive to say? They are just sitting there, gossiping and complaining, angry at the world. This either pisses me off or it affects me negatively too.

At my job, I spend a lot of time with teenagers. Some of them are extremely negative and I have been noting how I feel when I encounter them. For example: A patient this week was complaining during an entire class that it was stupid and pointless and boring. The other patients, who had started the day off on a good note, joined in. As staff, we were a little bit affected by this as well. However, when I have a good interaction with a patient, I feel uplifted and happy. I very much prefer positive interactions. Don’t you?

Today was my 90-day review at the mental hospital. My peers and manager told me that they feel uplifted when around me because I am positive and always in a good mood. That makes me feel incredible even though I know for a fact that I’m not always in a good mood. Sometimes I wake up and I am angry and sad and moody. But I try to get those feelings out of my system and trade them in for my classic sunny disposition.

My Grampy always stressed the following words:


Happy is a choice. We can lay back down and choose to let the world crush us or we can get out of bed and greet the new day. So find a way to get rid of your negative thought patterns. Maybe you need a morning routine to help yourself relax into the day. Maybe you need to find some positive coping skills. Maybe you literally need to make a complaint jar and put in a dollar for each complaint, donating it to charity each month. However you do it, remember that happy is a choice. Each interaction has it’s own tone and you can control it.

I’m not saying that nobody can ever feel bad. It’s okay to be angry and it’s okay to cry. We all have our days. I am talking about the people who excessively complain and talk negatively about others. It is important to learn how to express negative emotions in a healthy manner. What do you think of this? How can we spread a culture of positivity and mutual respect? Let me know in the comments!

Smile. Relax. Yesterday’s gone.

XX Jules

Chasing Ella (Interview + Review)


Chasing Ella is currently a solo project by Jason Wozniak. My first listen gave me some serious retro pop-punk vibes. Elements of the 80’s are woven into the music and gives it a very cool sound. I had the chance to chat with Jason in an interview below!

Q: How and when did you get into music?
A: I got into music at a very early age. My parents signed me up for piano lessons when I was just 6 years old. I remember fighting them every time I had to go to a lesson, but that time served as a foundation for everything I would do musically in the future, so I am so thankful they made me stick with it! I got into my first band in middle school with some buddies as the vocalist. I didn’t start playing guitar until my freshman year of high school, and it was around that time that I started writing music and getting into the production side of things.

Q: What are your influences?
A: I’m really into 80s stuff like Toto, Tears For Fears and YES. Some more contemporary influences are Relient K, Bleachers, and Young The Giant.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about performing?
A: My favorite thing about performing is feeling the give and take with the audience. Some of my greatest memories are attending shows where I felt like the band on stage was singing a song written for me. There’s nothing like that. My goal on stage is to always be aware of the vibe of the room, and to run with that to create an unforgettable night.

Q: What’s next for Chasing Ella?
A: We have a single called Jet Lag dropping on January 26th (I think it should be out at the time this is released). There are more new songs around the corner, so stay tuned!

I would like to thank Jason for so graciously answering my questions and sending me a pre-released version of his new single, Jet Lag! I came across Chasing Ella on Instagram and starting listening. I dig his sound, so I reached out to him for a chat. Jet Lag is very reminiscent of bands like The Cure and Bright Eyes to my ears. Let me know what you think in the comments!

Listen to Jet Lag on YouTube:


A S*xy Playlist (Only God Can Judge Me)


This is my workout playlist. Get your mind out of the gutter.

Champagne Clouds – Malia Civetz
Heavy as a Heartbreak (feat. Lanks) – Just A Gent
Drive (feat. Chain Gang of 1974) – Jai Wolf
Sun Models (feat. Madelyn Grant) – ODESZA
Hostage – Danrell x Småland
It’s All on U (feat. Liam O’Donnell) – Illenium
Kings of Summer (feat. Quinn XCII) – ayokay
Collapse (feat. Memorecks) – Zeds Dead
Line of Sight (feat. WYNNE & Mansionair) – ODESZA
Say a Prayer for Me – RÜFÜS DU SOL
Devil Eyes – Hippie Sabotage
All We Need (feat. Shy Girls) – ODESZA
The Otherside – Ghost Loft
Indian Summer – Jai Wolf
Being Honest (feat. Straight Face) – ayokay

Happy listening! Let me know what you think in the comments.
What do you listen to when you hit the gym? 😉
XX Jules




Now Playing: January 2018


I have welcomed 2018 with open arms and it welcomed me with a baseball bat to the heart. Not literally but some serious changes just took place in my life and things will never be the same. My Grampy passed away last week and just hours after the funeral, my dad ended up in the hospital with chest pains. A surgery was scheduled for Monday (it went very smoothly). So with a heavy heart and a pair of headphones, I sit in waiting rooms and hotel rooms. Waiting.

A friend of mine has been sending me music, which has been helping my relax in the midst of this fucking shitstorm. I have no other words for it. This whole business royally sucks. So, here’s what I’m listening to January 2018:

Most Played:

Frightened Rabbit
I fell in love with this band in 2012 when I was on my way to London. I was trying to find a song that empathized with my recent heartbreak. The song I found was “Good Arms vs Bad Arms” and I’ve been dabbling in their music ever since.
Start with: Woke Up Hurting

I’m gonna be honest right now and say that I’m pretty much always listening to HAIM. Especially with heart ache, I love to fill my soul with pure, raw music.
Start with: Something To Tell You

The Greatest Showman Soundtrack
Judge me if you want but this movie is so feel-good that I can’t even believe it. If you don’t like musicals, you probably won’t like this soundtrack but definitely give it a go!
Start with: The Other Side (Zac Efron + Hugh Jackman)

Honorable Mentions:

  • No Roots – Alice Merton
  • Chasing Ella *review of their new single + interview with Jason coming this week!
  • Not In Love (feat. Robert Smith) by Crystal Castles
  • Blue Foundation – Eyes on Fire (Zeds Dead Remix)
  • Fiona Apple (always)
  • Pretty Lights
  • Jai Wolf
  • Flume
  • Frank Sinatra

Let me know what you’ve been listening to in the comments.
Happy listening, ya’ll!

XX Jules