In our current social and music climates, both fans and music critics would argue that there has never been a better time for artists to effectively deliver meaningful messages within the genre of hip-hop – especially on subjects that remain challenging to speak on.
For those reasons, this new release is one that we fully support and feel is particularly important to our readers at D’ARCC. Toronto-born emcee Julian Thomas recently dropped his first release of 2019, “Taking Care of Business (Bruises).” Impactful and insightful, Thomas conveys the complicated dynamics of love and relationships in 2019 while directly addressing the consequences of domestic violence from the perspective of a bystander.
Thomas, who holds a record 10 years of experience songwriting, lets his talent for storytelling shine through in the honest lyrics of this single. Produced by Grammy-nominated and Toronto-based Jordon Manswell (credits including Mariah Carey, Joyner Lucas, and Daniel Caesar), this is a release you won’t want to miss.
Listen to “Taking Care of Business (Bruises)” and read our interview with Julian Thomas below.
Q&A: Julian Thomas
D’ARCC: Congratulations on the release of “Taking Care Of Business,” and thank you for speaking with us. How does it feel to be releasing this single, let alone one with such an important message?
Julian: It feels good to be releasing the single. It’s about such a daily thing that people face and people are around, and I feel like it’s important to acknowledge it because a lot of people are affected by it on a large and small scale.
D’ARCC: What inspired the creation of this song, and how did it come to fruition?
Julian: I think I just got to a boiling point with the amount of domestic disputes that I’ve witnessed and had to step in between, so writing this song was my way of venting. The venting came with a message at the end of the day, so that’s what the song was inspired by.
D’ARCC: What was the creative process like writing this song, and was it a difficult message to convey?
Julian: No message for me is really difficult to convey. I definitely drank and smoked during the creative process for this one, much like the ritual that I do for every track. Then I just searched within for the immediate memories and situations that I’ve been involved in. That’s kinda where it came from.
D’ARCC: The single features production from Jordon Manswell, another highly respected producer/musician from Toronto. How did that collaboration come about?
Julian: I was introduced to him by the label actually, we pretty much met up to see how we would mesh and create. It was cool, when we got together, we immediately vibed. I finished recording the song at a different studio, but we kept sending it back and forth to make sure it sounded right. Me and Jordon have a lot of vibes together so everyone’s gonna see and feel those soon. We recorded a lot of music.
D’ARCC: I feel as though many new listeners will be interested to know that you have nearly two decades of experience song-writing. How have you evolved as a songwriter throughout this time?
Julian: Just being around music as much as possible, and experiencing life. When I get downtime that’s when I’m able to write it and put it in a song. That’s my formula I guess, I need to live to have things to write about. I don’t write about things in order to live, if that makes sense. That’s always been my formula. You have to experience something to really write about it. I don’t want to write about something to alter my future in any way, I let things take their course and then write about what’s happened.
D’ARCC: What kind of experiences have helped shape you to be the artist you are today, and the music you create?
Julian: My writing is all about the good, the bad and the ugly at the end of the day. We experience stuff every day that you can place into any of those categories. That’s really the driving force behind anything that I write or record.
D’ARCC: With an extensive background in music, do you feel like you’ve solidified your sound or identity as an artist?
Julian: My identity is always gonna be there, it’s always gonna stay the same no matter what I appear to be on the outside. But I know that the music is always going to evolve.
D’ARCC: What do you want fans to take away from this release, or hope will resonate with new audiences?
Julian: I don’t know, however the song triggers you to feel I hope that you just find a safe place within it. The song is just made for people to feel something. At the end of the day, whether that’s protective or whether it’s triggering – then don’t ever listen to it again obviously. The song is made with the intention of ending cyclical violence and domestic abuse, because it really is cyclical at the end of the day. It trickles down and affects everyone.