One of the UAE’S most successful bands, Juliana Down, is celebrating a successful decade of music with double the fireworks.
In addition to launching a new single Love Tomorrow, it’s celebration part two that is decidedly more unique. Lead singer Dia Hassan, 27, talks us through The Garage Tour which could be coming to an office, garden or front room near you soon.
Q. Tell us about the Garage Tour? How does it work?
A. It’s a concept we thought of to connect with our fans on a new and personal level, and to just say thank you for supporting us throughout the years. We’ve teamed up with Ray Ban to make the visions of fans come to life. They submit pictures of the space they envision us playing and we select a new winner every week.
Q. What are some of the weirdest, most interesting spots you’ve had requests for so far?
A. So far we’ve got pictures of offices, front yards and different living rooms. Next Friday we’re playing for a fan who is celebrating a birthday in his front yard, so turning it into a bit of a live concert and pool party.
Q. As a band, what’s the weirdest gig you’ve ever played?
A. It must be one show that we played years ago in a city very close to Dubai where some guy started provoking fellow residents via a mega phone to protest against what we were doing ,“Playing a music festival in a park,” he shouted, before the police had to deal with him.
Q. Tell us about the new single?
A. Love Tomorrow is a song we wrote after coming back from the US last year, so it’s been on the back burner for some time. It was inspired by the musical exposure we got playing Hollywood but soon developed. It reflects the idea of a potential opportunity between two people, be it love or anything else, one that’s not lived due to it being at the wrong time.
Q. How did the launch of the single go?
A. Feedback is an essential part of growth. The reaction we’ve been getting on the new single has been very positive, less than a week from its release it got picked up by six radio stations across the region.
Q. How has making music changed for you guys over the years?
A. When we were younger I think showing off our skills was a big part of the music writing process and wasn’t always the best thing for a song. But in time we learnt less is more with making music.
Q. What’s the next big hope for Juliana Down?
A. We had a great year in 2012, from playing shows in the US to being commissioned to write the official Rugby Seven’s anthem and working as brand ambassadors for Audi. In 2013, we are focused on writing more music and reaching out to new territories –– Australia, England and the US are on the horizon.
Q. Biggest gig you played last year and how do you plan to top it?
A. One of the most important shows we did was at the Musexpo in Hollywood hosted by Larry King. Many industry heavyweights were present. This year we’re planning on a few big shows in the country and a focus on introducing our music to new territories.
Q. How do people get involved and send ideas for gigs?
A. They just have to send us a picture of the space with a quick 30 words saying what it means to them having us there. Submissions can be made on the Ray Ban Envision website which anyone can find a link to on facebook.com/julianadown
For more on the band, go to julianadown.net