Bursting onto the scene, alongside her brother Angus back in 2006— Julia Stone has been in the spotlight for well over a decade. In that time she has released four studio albums as one half of Angus & Julia Stone, a string of EPs, three solo albums and collaborated with the likes of Jarryd James, St. Vincent, The Flaming Lips and Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros.
Her latest project, as brand ambassador for ethical hair care brand weDo/ Professional comes off the back of the release of her latest solo album Sixty Summers; a reflection of musical and personal growth during her time in the industry and as a result, her changing intentions in life.
“They’re eco-ethical with the way their products are made, being vegan, cruelty free, clean, sustainable and with natural ingredients…but they also work on my hair,” Julia explains. Growing up on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, it’s also no surprise the brand’s mission (in partnership with Plastic Bank) to remove eight plastic bottles from the ocean for every single weDo product sold, aligned with what Julia believes in. Plus, with Sixty Summers inspired by the idea of time passing and life being finite, Julia explains her priorities have shifted in a major way towards ethical consumption and sustainability.
“Having a deep sense that life is very short for us as individuals made me want to live my life in a way that felt affecting and affective to me. I’m not perfect and I never will be in the way that I live, but my intentions have changed over time and I try to be more and more conscious of my choices,” she explains— a mentality she acknowledges is far removed from the younger generation, a generation that has grown up with climate anxiety at the forefront. “I feel a lot of empathy for Gen Z born into a world that is in an atrocious way because of the lack of insight of those who came before. It’s a lot to take on…inheriting climate” Julia says.
Of her advice for the younger generation, she says “Whilst understanding the bigger picture, try to find time to do the things you can control. Take time to look after [and recognise the state of] your own mental health.”
Since the release of her and her brother’s breakout album A Book Like This in 2007, she says she has come a long way, musically but also personally. “I listen back to that record and can hear the newness of the experience in the writing, the singing and the music. It’s really sweet…but there’s a comfort that comes with experience. I feel a lot more self-assured about my choices. I used to ask other people, a lot, what they thought about me, to make sure I was doing okay. I do that a lot less. I am more connected to my thoughts, feelings and motivations behind why I choose this or why I choose that,” she explains. Sound advice for both young people trying to find their way, creatively and personally, as well as solidifying her intentions to partner with weDo as an ethical beauty brand even further.
“There’s freedom…but also a sense of responsibility. When you’re just blindly following the path in front of you, you don’t reflect a lot on whether something is actually the thing you want or don’t want. Now, I take slower steps and consider which way I’ll move,” she says.
Ever self-aware, Julia’s learnings extend into social media. In 2021, where your person and your product are so closely tied, self promotion is no longer an option but a given, especially when it comes to the music industry. While Julia has become accustomed to using social platforms to grow her audience, she sees both the pros and the cons clearly. “It’s great in the sense that you can talk directly with fans, they can ask questions or find out about new music coming out immediately,” she says. But the flip side can present problems, “the inability not to compare my life to others” is something Julia is still working on. “There is a strange impulse when you regularly view the fantastic lives of others to feel that somehow yours is lacking. That isn’t healthy or helpful.” Her solution, as with most difficult thing is easier said than done: “I follow people I know and love, to see what they’re up to,” or other creatives to stay inspired, “That makes it a little smoother for me,” she says.
As for advice she would give her younger self, “life goes quickly. There’s no end moment where it all makes sense or you feel great because you got everything you dreamed of. Enjoy the ordinary moments because that’s all of it.”