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Juliana Schnee



Juliana is a 22-year-old retro-jazz singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. A self-taught musician, Juliana plays piano and ukulele. She wrote her first song at age eleven and released her debut album, Dance in the Rain, at the young age of 16. Juliana’s music has been recognized in national and international voice and songwriting competitions. In 2015, she created a buzz with her single "Diamonds" co-written with Jimmy Needham. Her acoustic version of "Blue" hit #1 on the FAB Chart in England where she was runner-up for Artist of the Year, right behind Connie Talbot. "Blue" was officially released in October 2018. Currently, Juliana is back in the studio recording her EP, VANITY.

Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.

As a young teenager, when my two siblings were both going through serious health issues, a lot of people labeled me “the healthy kid”. I felt guilty for a long time about that. While we were staying at the Ronald McDonald House, I started playing around on this light-up keyboard they had there. I had a total blast with it... so much so, that my parents surprised me that Christmas with my very own light-up keyboard. I taught myself to play piano, and started writing all these songs about what my family had gone through. It was very healing for me. I realized that I didn’t want to keep these songs to myself anymore. I wanted to help other people who were experiencing the same things.

Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career?

When I was sixteen, I was in the middle of recording my first studio album, Dance in the Rain. Before I even released the album, my song “Expectations” got picked up on the radio!

What has been the high point of your music path?

Back in 2013, I had the opportunity to take songwriting lessons from one of my favorite Christian artists, Jimmy Needham. It’s crazy just how much I learned! I even got to co-write a song with Jimmy called “Diamonds” which I released in 2015. “Diamonds” will also appear on my upcoming EP, VANITY.

So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like?

Songwriting is like musical journaling for me. Every experience, every lesson that I learn, every emotion that I feel… I just have to write it down. It’s my way of processing life. If I go long enough without writing music, I can feel it. It’s like I have all of these thoughts running around in my head that won’t stop until I put it on paper. It’s all very therapeutic. I usually compose my songs in one sitting, writing the lyrics and the music at the same time.

Check out Juliana's video about her song "Blue."


What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be?'

In an age of digital streaming, you can turn on your phone and listen to any song you want, wherever you are. Starting out as an indie artist, you pretty much have to give your song away for free to gain any exposure. You don’t always earn back what you’ve spent, unless you become wildly successful. So not only do you have to work hard at improving your musical skills, you also have to be your own business manager, marketer, photographer, etc. Music is my passion, but I have to dabble in a lot of other skills to really make strides in my career as an independent artist.

If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why?

I would love to sing with Michael Bublé! His music has such a timeless feel to it. Both modern jazz singers and classic crooners like Sinatra, have been such a huge inspiration to me.

What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?

Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!

When preparing for a show, I choose all the songs I want to perform and order them in a way that connects me the most to the audience. I strive to create something far beyond just singing fun songs in a concert. I really want to connect with people, share my story, and share the hope that I have in Jesus. That’s where my heart is… my songwriting allows me to do just that.

Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!

That’s one of the fun things about songwriting… I have some songs that take me 40 minutes to write, some that take a couple hours, and some songs that even take a couple years. I always find myself revisiting old notebooks and taking little bits I wrote down years ago, and turning it into an entirely new piece of music. I never disregard an idea. Write down everything! You never know when it’ll be the perfect basis for what you’re trying to compose now.

What's coming up in the future?

I’m so excited for 2019! I’ll be releasing my jazz EP, VANITY, and I’m getting married in June to my wonderful fiancé, Josh! I feel so blessed, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Tell us where fans can access your music?

My music is available on iTunes, Spotify, and everywhere else you can buy music online. I try to post videos every week on my youtube channel . Interested in having me sing at your venue? I’d love to hear from you! Contact me via my website.

#JulianaSchnee #Blue #Vanity #IndieMusicInterview

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