Not many have the chance to use their voices for influencing people. And not many who have the chance, use it positively. But as we speak to Jules, we see how remarkable and passionate her ideas are, and how she chooses to make a difference every day by taking a stand for our environment.
Tell us about your music journey: How has the experience been so far?
From early on, I felt that I could communicate much better when using music as my “language” to express myself. So as a kid I would take my guitar with me anywhere I went. While living in the US in my teens, I started writing songs and realized this was exactly where I feel at home. No matter where I was, writing songs has been my safe place and gives me peace of mind.
Choosing music as my path has been a great experience but I am not going to lie, it has been exhausting at the same time. It’s both a blessing and a curse being a fulltime musician. But such roller coaster-rides turn out to be pieces of art at the end. This last year has been particularly hard on us as musicians but also on the entire music industry. We are all anxious to see where things are headed.
You just released the Tree Song and and the protest Song Kaleidoscope, and started the #plantatreesong project. What got you started with this?
Well, trees, their waving treetops and dancing leaves in the wind are just fascinating and amazing, aren’t they? So they keep appearing in my lyrics. Forests are burning and it breaks my heart to see what we humans do to nature. The frustration regarding deforestation made me write the “Tree Song” as well as my newest Single “Kaleidoscope.” I wrote these songs as I felt an inner urge to do something about the situation.
The thing is, if we want to do something about the climate crisis we can’t just lean back and just plant trees. While I’ve been into green banking, vegan food, less plastic usage, green energy and such things for years, I still have a long way to go to be climate neutral, but I decided to use my voice as a musician to draw attention and raise awareness to the climate emergency. I became part of Music Declares Emergency and with the release of the “Tree Song” I started the project called #PLANTATREESONG where we appeal for donations to plant trees together with the organisation Eco Project Wane, to help tackle climate change and support biodiversity.
Tell us more about the EcoProjectWane and how you got involved with it?
As a person, I really enjoy exchanging thoughts, listening to what others are working on and talking things through with my close environment and circle until I find a promising approach. I had already been researching a fitting tree planting organization for some time, when a dear musician and activist friend of mine recommended Eco Project Wane. Many brainstorming and heartwarming phone calls and zoom sessions later we started the fundraising. Eco Project Wane is a young team with a holistic approach to implement sustainable agriculture, reforestation / nature conservation programs and ecological education within the local community in the region called Wane in Sumbawa, Indonesia.
How have your fans reacted? Did you receive encouragement on choosing this very important topic?
They are very encouraging and interested. Most of them. I guess, especially when it comes to topics like sustainability and such, people are more critical because you can’t do it perfectly in every way, you know? Interestingly, I had the feeling people are more critical than in other regards. But yes, most fans are very positive and supportive.
In the future, do you want to continue working for sustainability and climate action through your music?
Definitely. Right now I am crowdfunding my upcoming EP. Instead of a Vinyl or CD we will print a climate neutral Posterzine at the Umweltdruckerei - 5€ of every sold EP (Posterzine) goes directly into reforestation. For now I am happy to be part of “Music Declares Emergency” and I am excited about what other projects will come up.
Can music truly change the world?
Yes, I am sure about this. Music is everywhere and influences our subconsciousness, happy hormones and our mood. Music can spread the word, reach people and thereby create awareness.
Mannheim is one of the most sustainable German cities. How much does this play a role in how you think and see the world?
Mannheim is a good fit for me for sure, but the way I think and feel about the ecological part of sustainability is mostly influenced by the way I grew up with my father being a biologist and the people I am surrounded with. I think Germany still has a long way to go.
Is there someone in this field that you look at for inspiration?
Jack Johnson is doing an amazing job connecting music and environmental-/social work. He is definitely someone who can inspire other musicians and touring artists. Sadly we don’t have a Hawaiian beach to clean up, but we can start with the river Rhein ;)
How important is it for young artists to engage in topics like environment and sustainability?
Well, I think it is important for everyone to do anything that leads to a more
sustainable direction. Though our work doesn’t have the biggest ecological footprint, we still have to acknowledge the environmental impact of our industry practices and commit to taking urgent action. Also artists have an audience and the chance to create awareness and also put pressure on politics for an immediate governmental response to protect all life on earth. In my opinion it is very important to USE your voice, if you have the chance. Too many people don’t have that opportunity.
Which other topics interest you?
I am also part of “Music Women Germany” and board member of “musicBWwomen”. We are an association of people from Baden-Württemberg who work for equal opportunities, accessibility and the visibility of diversity in the music industry. So this topic is very present and has already influenced my team and therefore my music in the long run.
What is your message for our readers?
- Let your favourite and local artists know that their art is still needed and support them by spreading their art or crowdfundings.
- Plant trees and/or donate to www.listentojules.de/plantatreesong
- Committing to vegan lifestyle, or vegan food, one day a week to begin with, can be a great step in the right direction.
- Simple and quickly implementable hacks : using green banking, green energy and Ecosia instead of google
And most importantly, it takes an infinite number of people who implement sustainability imperfectly and not a few who do it perfectly. So I would like to encourage you to leave your comfort zone a little bit, step by step, and move towards sustainability, as long as you have the privilege and resources to do so.
This was an incredibly inspiring interview for the Seventeen Goals Magazin team, and we hope you are encouraged by this young artist as well!
Pictures: © Listentojules