Julia Knight’s newest single “Like I Used To” was made for emo Summer nights
Julia Knight described her latest single perhaps the way we’d describe ourselves on most days: “Not sad, but emotional” (which, considering the artist drew some inspiration from Drake for the project, is not entirely surprising— we kid, we joke).
On the real, the 21 year-old artist makes music we can all identify with. This latest work of hers is about looking back at relationships months after the fact and seeing things in a new light.
Julia’s been doing her thing in the music scene since she was thirteen. But in September of last year, she came out with her debut single, “Ghost of You”, and won over the hearts and ears of many with her unique sound. Because of how young she still is, even she has trouble stopping and looking back at how far she’s come. But upon reflecting on her newest single “Like I Used To” off her upcoming LOVE IS A HOAX EP, the artist fully recognizes the progress she’s made since her last single and how much she’s since grown as an artist.
Knight attributes this growth to a medley of things, namely the people she surrounds herself with and her ability to comfortably grow into who she is as an artist.
Her growth definitely shows: we asked Knight all about “Like I Used To”, and everything else she’s been up to. You’ll find the exclusive interview and photos with Julia below, as a link to her newest single.
What is “Like I Used To” really about? What inspired the lyrics?
“Like I Used To” is months after the relationship has ended and you can finally look back and appreciate your memories with another person for what they were. It’s allowing yourself to even miss certain parts about yourself or about another person but knowing how to separate that. It’s about looking back but moving forward, and I think that was a really important healing process for me.
How do you want listeners to feel when they hear this song for the first time?
Ah. I hope the people listening can listen in the car with the windows rolled down and reminisce an old Summer love. The song isn’t necessarily sad, but I think it’s very emotional. I hope they let themselves feel whatever emotion comes with those feelings I suppose.
As a songwriter, what does the process of writing a song like this look like? How long did it take?
This song actually came together very quickly: I came into the studio with that very simple beat stuck in my head. I think I had it stuck in my head from a Drake song or something?
I knew sonically what I was going for. As soon as Stephen (the producer on this song) started outlining a track for me it all sort of fell in my lap. I remember the first thing I started singing was the melody of the chorus: at first all I was singing was “oh nah nah nah nah”, and then suddenly just from singing those I knew exactly what I needed to write about.
How does “Like I Used To” differ from your other single, “Ghost of You”? How do they represent different things to you as an artist?
I’d say “Ghost of You” was definitely the time of my life: I was trying to discover who I was and who I wanted to be as an artist. I’m so thankful for that song, and for the time I’ve had between releases to do a lot of self discovery and reflection over the last couple of years. To me, “Like I Used To” represents me feeling comfortable with the skin I’m in. I feel confidence like I haven’t ever before— not only in myself, but in the music I’m making as well.
How does it feel to get your break so early? What’s your secret and how do you manage to stay true to yourself?
I started doing music when I was about 13, so I think I definitely forget how young I am.
I think it’s important to constantly surround yourself with people you trust, people that believe in you, and people that will tell you the things you don’t want to hear. Thankfully, i’m surrounded by people who’ve stayed with me over the years and have also kept me accountable for working hard and never giving up on making music. It’s important to keep friends who remind you who you are. It’s also important to believe in yourself if you want anyone to believe in you.
Have you faced obstacles on your way to getting to where you are today?
Definitely— life is really messy. One of my biggest obstacles in the last couple years has been myself, so I’m really proud of where I am today and how I’ve learned to grow in my personal life and, in turn, in my creativity.
What made you feel that the time was now for your next single?
“Like I Used To” is a song I’m so proud of. It feels like I really gave a huge part of who I am in creating it. I’ve written 50-100 songs since ”Ghost of You”, but I feel confident that this is the song people need to hear from me right now. It feels the most “me.”
How does your music help you cope with heartache and other trauma you may face?
Not only does making music allow me to connect with other people who share like experiences, it allows me to connect with a deeper part of myself. sometimes when I finish a song, I’ll have to ask myself what it’s about. My songs have oftentimes turned into a mirror and reflected emotions or feelings I didn’t know were there. It’s easier to heal when you are comfortable with who is in the mirror.
Photographer: Cobey Arner
Any upcoming projects you’re excited about?
I’m honestly just really excited to release more music this year and get on the road. i’m excited to start performing these songs for a room of people.
CLICK HERE TO HEAR JULIA KNIGHT’S “LIKE I USED TO”.