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Written byKerryn Hopkinson

An interview with the lover girl of the Mother City.

How does one summarise the force of nature that is the extraordinary giuliette price? An absolute badass? A kind soul? A gentle spirit? A mind-blowing talent? Perhaps all of the above? I think her essence is undefinable and that’s part of what makes her such a phenomenal performer and person. I had the absolute privilege of sitting down with Cape Town’s rising star for an in-depth interview a few weeks ago. Chatting on Main Road, we ate sushi and poke bowls, watched Cape Town go past and spoke about everything we possibly could – too much to try and fit in one article (but we’re gonna try!)

It is obvious from the start that giuliette is where they’re meant to be. Despite being born and raised in Joburg, she seems made for Cape Town. They encompass what the Cape Town music scene is all about – creative, unique, filled with things to say and overflowing with life and love. Her vibe and her music are like walking through Town or Obz or Muizenberg, dipping into dimly lit jazz clubs, hearing the various local musicians and experiencing the artistry that spills into all areas of the Mother City.

“It is obvious from the start that giuliette is where they’re meant to be. Despite being born and raised in Joburg, she seems made for Cape Town. They encompass what the Cape Town music scene is all about – creative, unique, filled with things to say and overflowing with life and love.”

Their entire essence reflects Cape Town and it’s hard to picture them anywhere else. Similarly, it’s difficult to picture her not being a musician. A sentiment of which giuliette seems to agree, “I could do photography or graphic design, but I know that I won’t love it as much as I love being on stage, writing music and speaking my truth.” giuliette’s love and passion for their music is part of what makes their sound truly special. Music is in their heart and soul. Their childhood was spent surrounded by musicians; following their mom – a worship leader – around to her performances at church. “ I think being in that space when I was young, it was obvious that I was bound to come into this career.” And giuliette is abundantly grateful for her mom as an influence,  “Seeing my mom and how she does it and being inspired by her was a big reason for why I am here today.”  Even now, she is surrounded by people that inspire and motivate her. “I am so grateful to stand on the shoulders of greats”, she says, recognizing the South African Jazz legends that surround her in her studies and career. That said, they take inspiration from various musicians outside of jazz. This includes Hiatus Kaiyote, Erykah Badu, Amy Winehouse, Frank Ocean, Esperanza Spalding, Samara Joy, Ella Fitzgerald, and so many more. And this is evident within their music. They are not limited to any one genre, they are not simply a Jazz or R&B or Pop musician. Instead, they allow their music to be fluid and genre-defying. Much like themselves. Throughout the interview, it is abundantly clear that giuliette is full of love and cares about others immensely. They are a self-proclaimed lover girl – and that shines through in all aspects of their being. 

Even when writing her music, the impact the message will have on fans is on her mind. “I’m realising how important it is to give your audience a message that is positive and that can change the world. If you release a song about loving yourself and it reaches an audience of beautiful strong women wherever in the world – you are not only showing your audience that you believe in yourself but you’re also giving someone else the power to do that for themselves with your music, which is amazing.” For Giuliette, music holds an incredible power. And what one can do with that power is extraordinary. Giuliette recently used the power of her voice in a concert at the Kaya cafe to raise money for the Gift of the Givers humanitarian relief efforts in Gaza. They understand how important it is as a musician to use their music to influence the world positively.  “I know that I can’t just expect to get something because I have a voice,” she explained, “ What do I have to say? What do I stand for? What are my ethics as a human being? Those are things that the audience wants to see. What is their message? What is their philosophy? I don’t think I would have figured all of that out if I had gotten famous really quickly, really young and I don’t think I would have had the character and the life experience to have to make the music that I do today.” Giuliette is not one for standing around and letting the world fall apart – she wants to do things to change it. And that is the kind of artist the world needs to support. 

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She has so much to say and a voice that needs to be heard.  This came to par recently in the debut of their first EP, RATHER LIE. Her EP contains a blend of emotive vocals, compelling lyrics and beautiful melodies that captivate listeners.  price’s voice is the centrepiece, delivering each lyric with raw emotion and authenticity, drawing listeners into her world with every note. RATHER LIE was the result of a concert performed by giuliette and an ensemble made up of some of her very talented peers at the SACM last year. Surrounded by gifted musicians, giuliette saw this as an opportunity for something special. They decided to record the performance – later mixing the live recording and using the songs to tell a story.  “I chose the best of a long list of like, 20” giuliette  tells me, “there were so many songs I wanted to put on it.” The EP was a long time coming and man, was it worth it. What manifested was something beautiful and is a testament to giuliette’s talent as well as their growth as a musician.

She views the album as a sort of landmark of her journey. Looking back at the time of recording, giuliette recognizes how much she has grown as an artist since then with regards to vocal range and technique. And she is very proud of that.  giuliette seems to look back on all of their growth with a sort of tenderness and pride. When asked about what advice they would give to their younger self, they responded with a lot of compassion for their past self, “I would say to past giuliette that, you need to be patient, you need to be kind to yourself, and you need to believe in yourself. Oh and just keep working hard. Those are the secret ingredients to making it in anything.”

And what about the future, you ask? Well giuliette seems strangely ready for it. Being in her final year of varsity, the full plunge into SA’s music industry awaits. But they are not afraid of what’s to come. I’m not scared at all. I believe in myself. I know what I’m capable of. And, yeah, I’m not trying to put too many expectations on it. I’m just going to let my journey run its course. There will definitely be more music, definitely more writing. I want to do tours, you know, I want to go do shows in Joburg and Durban and then come back here. And then if it’s successful, maybe try overseas!  I’m working slowly and surely towards those things. Continuously growing..”  I know their fanbase is excited to see how they will continuously grow and emerge into the market. When asked about their future music, they allude to singles that they want to release. But don’t think it will be a copy of RATHER LIE, instead she says that she will be leaning into pop – truly harnessing their “bad bitch energy”.

And until those singles are released, their fanbase still has a lot to look forward to. This includes their performance at the Journey to Jazz festival this May! The Journey to Jazz festival is an event that takes place in Prince Albert from the 1st to the 5th of May.  Here, giuliette will be leading her own band and I’m sure that fans of giuliette (as well as jazz fans in general) will delight in this festival. Tickets can be bought here. In the rhythmic heartbeat of South Africa’s creative landscape, guliette emerges as a poignant melody. giuliette represents a new wave of musicians taking the world by storm – imbued with the desire to change the world and a voice that can do that. They are continuing to grow and learn about what they want to say and the type of music that they want to produce.  Everyday the hard work they put in is bringing them closer and closer to the person they are meant to be. Who knows where they will go and what they will do, but whatever it is, it will be phenomenal. 

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