Julia Huie-Martin Talks International Music Conference, Inspiration Behind It + Living Out Your Passion
Julia Huie-Martin was born and raised in London, England. She is the founder of The Bridge Entertainment, a multi-divisional firm that helps leading and independent music and entertainment brands bridge the gap between the UK and other parts of the world. Though she grew up with a passion for fashion and journalism, she produced the annual International Music Conference, which has not only done publicity work for leading entertainment and lifestyle brands but has expanded into television production.
Julia spoke about her inspiration to create the International Music Conference. She moved to Atlanta not knowing anything about the place. She’d heard of Atlanta, Georgia before but admits she thought it would be “a derelict town with tumbleweeds and cow and sheep on the side of the road.” When she visited a friend out there she saw how “city like” it was, and she fell in love with it immediately.
“I made it my mission to find a job , and I did and that was with Devyne Stephens, he was an entertainment executive out here at the time. He was managing Akon’s career and he was looking for an in house publicist and he offered me a job and I took. Having delved into the industry under Devyne, obviously, I was introduced to a lot of entertainment people. I was exposed to a side of the music industry that I was never exposed to before.”
She goes on to say she felt that people there weren’t aware of things going on anywhere outside of the US, and that’s where the idea of the conference came from. “I just felt like it was imperative to educate some of the young musicians, artists, producers, etc. on the opportunities that are available to them outside the US, and educate them on the music scene other than what’s on their doorstep. It wasn’t ideal and I really didn’t have a plan.” She began asking a few producers if they could participate as panelists and judges, and from there the conference grew out of love and passion, and turned into something bigger than what she initially started out to do.
Julia is essentially bridging the gaps in music and she thinks that’s an important thing to do because she feels that music become “a bit one note” when you’re consistently working with the same sound or the same type of individual. She knows there are so many creative people in Atlanta, Georgia and so many creative people where she’s from in the United Kingdom.
“We have our respective sounds and I just figured if I could get these two markets together and have them meet and collaborate who knows what magic can happen musically, and that’s what spurred me, and it’s working. A lot of talent that has come to the conference has met with people who started out in the UK and they’re continuing those relationships and they’re working with each other and they’re exploring opportunities together, and making money. That’s what’s important, being creative and getting paid.”
Who could argue with that?
Julia admitted that she is not inspired by any artists in the music industry today, but she is driven. She’s also kind of waiting for a new Lauryn Hill album, or new Usher Confessions album to drop. “When those albums came out it just changed the face of music and I don’t feel like there’s anyone now who’s doing that.” She was stumped when asked about naming a song that would be the theme or soundtrack to her life. “That’s like the hardest question in the world. That’s like a million dollar question you’re asking me. I cannot give you one soundtrack because there are so many great ones. I’m a huge Luther Vandross fan, I’m a huge Lauryn Hill fan, I love Lucy Pearl. I love my soul and my R&B, my classics. A soundtrack? I couldn’t even answer that.” I’ll admit, I’m not sure I could answer that question myself.
Julia has a background in fashion and journalism, and didn’t just decide to get involved with music. Music chose her. She really wanted to be a fashion stylist/editor for one of the major publications like Vogue or Marie Claire. When she was in London getting her degree, she was interning at some fashion publications, but started interning at a new music magazine who needed a fashion writer. she started doing things for them fashion wise, but when they got let down on a few events for some of their freelance writers for some of the music related events that were going on in the city, she covered them. “I kept getting pulled in to do music related events and when it came to the point where I had to make a decision between if I was going to pursue fashion or music, I was getting more gigs in the music industry. So that’s kind of how it happened. I didn’t go out seeking to work in the music industry. It kind of found me.” That’s great because it’s not very often that someone’s career chooses them.
Speaking of careers, Julia thinks it’s very important for one to truly pursue what they are passionate about. We all know there comes a time where we have to think about whether or not we’re cut out for what it is that we’re passionate about.
“When I was a kid I wanted to be a model and a singer and an actor, and I was awful at all three. I was really passionate about that and I did it throughout my teens. I would take dancing lessons, singing lessons, I sang in the choir, but the reality of it all is that I really just can’t sing and I really can’t dance compared to the professionals.”
We also know, like Julia states, there comes a point where we have to accept that our passion doesn’t weigh up to our talent and we need to give it up. “I know it’s awful to say that but there are some people in the industry who are wasting their time wanting to be a singer or an entertainer. If you’re not good at it, it’s never going to happen. Just try to find out what your niche is.” I agree. Sadly, advice hurts sometimes, but in the long run it’ll be helpful in finding what one truly wants to do.
While we’re on the topic of advice, Julia tells us that she’s received advice that helped her get to this point in her career.
“It wasn’t done in a way where they’re actually giving me advice. It’s more like it’s a natural conversation that I might have with someone and I will pick up on what they say. Sometimes people don’t know that they’re giving me advice. They don’t have this conversation like ‘let me give you some advice,’ it’s just a conversation. I surround myself by like minded people, people who are incredibly successful with regards to what they do and it could be anything. If their attitude to work, their work ethic, is of a high level no matter what industry it’s in I gravitate towards that. I try to find out what worked for them and what didn’t work, and try not to make the same mistakes.”
No one can blame her for that.
Julia’s favorite part of working with music is discovering talent; to see when someone has great potential and just know that if they stay on the right path they’re going to make it. She tell us that it’s a good and a bad thing, however. “It’s a good thing just to know that it’s there and it’s a bad thing when the individual just doesn’t realize their talent and they give up. I think some people, some real talented individuals, life kind of gets in the way and they have to start making money and they have to give up their dream.”
Julia reveals that she would like a lot of people to attend the conference. They’ve had a lot of great analysts like Bryan Michael Cox, Drummerboy, Chuck Harmony, Claude Kelly, and a lot more talented people. Overall, she would love to have other talents come in and share their thoughts and experiences within the industry. She would also love to have Rick Rubin. “He’s just phenomenal. The way he is to music is like a Clint Eastwood film director type, like he’s on that kind of level. He can do any genre, he’s just phenomenal.”
What’s next for Julia Huie-Martin?
“The process continues to grow and it takes place in the United Kingdom, and we’ve touched the United States. We’re really looking to tap into another continent and that will be Africa. Those are the things I’m really looking forward to; seeing it grow in another country.”
One last thing that Julia wants people to know is although there are a lot of music conferences out there, the great thing about the International Music Conference and why you should attend is because “we offer real opportunities, real direct contact with people, we offer trips to London, England where we set you up with major record labels in another country. That’s what makes us stand out. We care to expose people to other cultures.”
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