Friday, July 8, 2011

And Where do You "Where To?": Julie Dexter

Her aura is as sweet as honey, her voice, as smooth as silk. Filled with rich melodies, warm tones and intricate arrangements, her soul-infused jazz music is the perfect backdrop for life – for chilled-out summer cookouts, for lazy Sunday afternoons… for a day alone, for an adventurous night filled with friends.

If you don’t know about singer/songwriter Julie Dexter, the self-proclaimed “soul sista from England with Jamaican roots who loves jazz,” you need to find out about her quickly! This Birmingham, UK-native who now resides in Atlanta has brought an element of sophisticated refinement to the neo-soul genre. With six albums under belt, a new album entitled New Again and an international tour underway, she has demonstrated her steadfastness in the music game with every move she makes.

I recently interviewed her for a special Nu-Soul Mag exclusive. I love having the chance to speak one-on-one with artists because it gives us the chance to get to know them more personally.

On an evening call between tour rehearsals, Dexter opened up about everything with me, from how the current state of the music industry can actually benefit independent artists (“I’m very grateful that the industry enables me to basically make the music that I make the way I want to make it and more importantly, reach the fans and reach people who want to hear the music that I make,” she said), to her songwriting process (“I have different formats of coming up with songs,” she explained. “Some of them are what I call poetry put to music later on. Sometimes I just hear the track and start the song from scratch.”)

And of course, she talked about her favorite places to go in Los Angeles – and also in Atlanta! After hearing what she had to say, I already packed my beach towel and will be booking a flight to Atlanta in the very near future. Read on:

Miss Wilson: Are you going to be in Los Angeles anytime soon?
Julie Dexter: I’m trying to get to L.A., girl! I’m definitely working on my L.A. game again, because it’s definitely a place where I like to be. The scene is so vibrant. It’s just so graceful. I feel like myself. Every time I’ve come, I’ve had a great experience and great shows. It’s just where all the happening people are. A lot of people are friends of people I know and who respect me and I respect their songs. So I’m definitely trying to get back to LA soon. Keep your ears to the ground and keep your eyes on the website, and hopefully it will be sooner than later.

Miss Wilson: We’re actually based in Los Angeles and I have a blog on where to eat, drink and be merry in LA, so do you have a favorite place when you’re out here, where you like to dine or hang out – a place where you just have to go see?
Julie Dexter: Oh yes. Temple Bar is my favorite spot. It really is. Love Temple Bar. Love Santa Monica, Venice Beach, that area, love all of that. It’s like, it’s just great – I have to stay here. Every time I come I have the best, best time of my life. I love the vibe. I love the weather. It’s a cool place to be. And it’s beautiful too. All of that, from Santa Monica, from Venice Beach…


Miss Wilson: What about in Atlanta, do you have a favorite place there?
Julie Dexter: You know what I like about Atlanta? I like that even though they’ve changed somewhat over the years, they have a lot of the best free jazz festivals. You see some amazing people for free in the park, with a picnic and your family. You bring out food and drinks, and you sit there and you watch performers like Esperanza Spaulding, Dianne Reeves. I mean you name it; they have some amazing people and festivals, and you can bring your whole family. I love that. There aren’t too many events like that in England. They have those events, but they’re not free. It’s a whole other experience when it’s free because one, more people come, and two, you could bring your kids and expose them to artists that you might not ever get to see because buying tickets for your whole family would be like, ‘oh no, we can’t afford it.’ Atlanta’s got the free live festivals going on and I just love the fact that I’m able to take my family to these kind of events.


Check out her music, buy New Again and scope more information about
Julie Dexter at www.juliedexter.com!