Continuing with our build up to DIME’s first Live & Lyrical songwriting showcase, which is taking place this Friday, October 19th, we are putting the student spotlight on first-year songwriter, Julia Shuren!
Since starting at DIME in August, Julia has quickly made a splash in the DIME community, accompanying Grammy-nominated artist Alessia Cara on the DIME stage, performing with other DIME students on WDIV’s Live in the D, and being selected to play at the Live and Lyrical showcase! We chatted with Julia about her first few months at DIME and what she’s learned so far.
You recently were given the opportunity to perform for Grammy Award-winning artist Alessia Cara! Can you describe this experience?
It was surreal! The whole time I was playing, I was smiling from ear to ear, especially when she joined us on stage. It was awesome to see Alessia Cara have such a great time with us and it really made our day. It’s amazing that it’s only my first year here at DIME and that I’ve already been given this opportunity. Looking back on the other colleges that I got accepted to, I selected DIME because I knew it was going to be a family community. Everyone helps each other out here. When I compare this to my other college experiences, it’s really refreshing to have this feeling in an academic setting.
How has your experience been as a first-year student here at DIME?
The proof is in the pudding! (laughs) Everything that I have been able to be a part of so far shows it to be true. Within my first few weeks here, I already had a band together. I reached out to some students, and since the atmosphere is super friendly and close-knit it was really easy to get a band together. We already have a few shows booked, and its only been what maybe a month? DIME has made all of this really easy for me.
You recently performed on WDIV/Channel 4 “Live and The D” for the first time, with the same song you played with Alessia Cara. How did you prepare for this performance?
We were informed very quickly about it, which was exciting! I had seen the older students perform before, so getting a chance to do the same as a first-year was amazing and I’m really grateful for that. As far as preparing for it, we did a lot of preparation for the show with Alessia Cara. We met with our Musical Director, Kern Brantley, only 24 hours before the performance, but we all thought it was really great that everybody came together and was able to jam out and nail the performance so quickly!
Has DIME Detroit strengthened you as a songwriter?
Hmmmm… Oh yeah! I wasn’t even going to apply for a songwriting degree because I thought, “either you are a good songwriter or you’re not.” Then, I told myself I would apply at DIME and give it a shot! After seeing the classes and learning all the new exercises and perspectives that I would have never thought of before, it’s become so clear that the tools that they give you are super useful. I’ve already written so many more songs using the tools the instructors have given me, and it’s really nice to have a different outlook on things.
Who has inspired you musically?
I have a lot of artists that I look up to, and I take from each artist and add my own style to it. I would definitely have to say, Stevie Wonder, as he has a large variety of music from happy songs to love songs and that best summarizes my music as well.
You are performing at the Live and Lyrical Songwriter Showcase featuring Thornetta Davis and Aplus. Can you tell us how you will be contributing to the show?
I am really looking forward to this opportunity because this will be the first time I will be performing my own original songs here at DIME. My own songs, my own voice, my band. I’m really excited, as my music is really upbeat and happy, feel-good music, and this will give me the chance to show the DIME community who I am as an artist.
RSVP to our Live and Lyrical Showcase on Facebook!
Interested in learning more about the Commercial Songwriting Program offered at MSU Denver at DIME Detroit? Find out more about all of our programs and how to apply HERE: