Getting To Know... Otherwoman

After spending the last few months building and developing her sound, Canadian artist Julia Be aka Otherwoman has now introduced herself to the world with her glittering debut single 'FINE'.

Channelling a smooth and dreamy aesthetic from start to finish, 'FINE' makes for a wonderfully warm introduction to her sound. Filled with shimmering textures, a soaring atmosphere, and her own silky voice at the helm, this feels like an extremely strong opening from a name, brimming with potential.

So with the new single available now, we sat down with her to find out more about her background and what has inspired her most over the years.


What was the first instrument you fell in love with?

I fell in love with piano when my brother started playing at age 6, so I would have been 4. My parents got us an antique piano, and I started playing by ear! I believe the first song I learned was Oh Canada!

What kind of music did you love when you were younger?

I was raised in a pretty sheltered, strict Christian environment, so I wasn’t allowed to listen to anything but what our parents exposed us to until I was a teenager. We must have been listening to Christmas music on some oldies station around the New Year when they would start to switch back to everyday easy rock because I remember taking the radio into the bathroom and that was the first time I heard “I Can’t Help Myself” by The Four Tops while sitting in a warm bath! I guess that’s the first time I didn’t feel guilty listening to music, and when I came to understand that music could be fun. I still have this ritual, actually!

What was the first album you remember owning?

The first album I ever owned was from a gift bag at a Children’s Aid Society party in 2005; Canadian Idol High Notes 2003!

What is the one song you wished you could have written yourself?

Oh, so many! I think “Coma” by Adrienne Lenker, though… that song is magic.

Do you have any habits or rituals you go through when trying to write new music?

I let the words come to me over a period of time, and I almost never force it to organize into a song, and then Tim and I sit together and the words and lines form with bits and pieces of his musical eye… ear? It’s really a collaborative effort, Otherwoman songs. I make the space cozy, which begins with lighting, and he plays around with instruments while I get my environment just right and settle in. He plays, I listen, then I sing. After that, the words that have been coming to me over however long begin to form something resembling a song.

Who are your favourite artists you find yourself listening to at the moment?

Chad VanGaalen, Adrienne Lenker, the Marias, Lianne La Havas, and H.E.R!

If you could open a show for anyone in the world, who would it be?

Janelle Monae would be unreal.

What do you find is the most rewarding part about being a musician?

That moment you realize that you might even like this song you’re making!

And what is the most frustrating part?

When I get in my head about how I should sound, or what I should look like when I’m singing, or how other people will perceive me… sometimes the hardest thing to do is get out of your own way.

And what is the best piece of advice you have received as a musician?

As Kiran Singh (musician, friend, and former high school music teacher) would say, “just fucking do it!”


Otherwoman's new single 'FINE' is available to stream now. Check it out in the player below.