Collective 021: Julian Perretta

Collective 021: Julian Perretta

Welcome back to the twenty-first feature from the Collective Series by The Idle Man. Where we meet up with interesting men who either work in the creative industry, or we just admire the work they do. Styled in our most recent collections, drops, and photographed by our Editor Cal McIntyre, read the full feature below as we believe it's more about what we do, rather than what we wear. To shop the products Julian is wearing simply click the images.

Meet the British-born singer/songwriter Julian Perretta, with several European hits Perretta has teamed up Lil Baby for his latest release ‘Pony’. Perretta has been on the scene for a few years starting out in 2011 when he released his first debut album “Stitch Me Up”, since then he has released a few familiar songs such as “Wonder Why”, “Miracle” and “Tied Up”. Now collaborating with Lil Baby, he is really showing off his depth of ability from pop to hip hop.

Originally from North London, music was something he always had a passion for listening to The Kinks and David Bowie throughout school he first had a go at creating his own records from the age of 15. Always amazed at the recording and production process of creating music, he knew when he left school he wanted to give it a proper go for himself. The “Miracle” singer gained a following quickly with people all over Europe enjoying his songs, racking up millions of streams on Spotify, including “Miracle” which has over 51 million alone.

Teaming up with one of America’s rapidly growing names Lil Baby is whole other direction than what he is originally used to. Previous collaborations have seen him work with big names such as Mark Ronson and has even toured with Beyoncé and Ed Sheeran. This time around Perretta is broadening his horizon and embarking on a hip-hop/trap vibe with their reworked version of ‘Pony’.

The latest track is a reimagining of Ginuwine and Timberland’s huge hit ‘Pony’. Perretta had had this in the pipeline after repeatedly performing it with Ed Sheeran whilst they were on tour together. Their track differs from the original from the get-go, with its merge between pop and trap as it has a unique trap flow whilst also keeping to the old standard of pop shown from the familiar lyrics into Lil Baby’s solo verse. The single came out in the middle of May and is already proving to be a popular revival of a great tune. The music video now available and you can check it out at the end of Perretta's interview.

You always had an interest in music from a young age, what was the first musical instrument you learned how to play?

I started playing guitar when I was about 5. I have really early memories of my dad showing me how to play Eric Clapton’s ‘tears in heaven’ when was super young. 

Who have you always looked up to in the music industry?

George Michael was the first artist I started listening to. My mum used to play his albums, and I immediately wanted to sing because of him. My mum introduced me to so much good music as a child. I was devastated when he died. He went through so much to become the icon his was. 

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you’re on tour with the likes of Ed Sheeran and Beyoncé?

Excitement. Being on tour with Ed was just like being on a lads holiday. We were friends since we were 17 so we just used to get drunk, watch movies, write songs and explore the cities we were in. I watched Ed first hand become a superstar day by day, so it was inspiring. Touring with Beyoncé was different, as it was so professional and you had to be always on time, ready for whatever. She was super kind to me. I’d have dinner with her and Jay Z and watch them talk like normal couples do, about normal stuff everyone talks about, then she would go onstage and become this queen, it was a crazy couple months. 

Where did your inspiration come from to rerelease ‘Pony’?

Ed introduced me to RnB in my teens. And one night on the bus years ago he played it to me on the guitar and I just loved it. We were talking earlier this year and he was like, man you gotta bring that record back. 

How was it collaborating with Lil Baby, did you find you worked well creatively together?

I met baby in Atlanta. He’s talks what he has lived. He’s come from real hard ship, and unlike a lot of rappers today who portray an image of being street or ‘gangster’; he’s the real thing. He liked the fact I wanted to mix guitars with trap; and we talked about ways to make pony feel fresh and modern, and he brought that to the record. 

You have quite a strong fashion sense, who would you say you look to for fashion inspiration?

I love Mick Jagger. Since I was a kid I used to emulate his style, I loved how he stood out. You’ll never catch me without a leather jacket or boots. 

What advice would you give to someone who’s reading this and is thinking that they want to get into the music industry?

Be prepared. It’s not easy. Every day is a fight. It’s a fight against the actual mechanism of how the music industry works today. It’s never one way is the right way. You need to know how it all works as well as knowing how to be a great singer or writer or producer. Being aware of what people like and knowing how to make it your own. 

How has life changed for you since you have racked up millions of streams of Spotify?

Life’s totally different to when I started out at 16. Ive options that I didn’t have when I was hustling to get heard. I’ve a really reactive fan base and know a lot of producers and artists, so if i have ideas or plans, it’s easier for me to put them into play now. 

What other interests do you have besides music?

People ask me this a lot , but I live and breathe music. Sounds strange but my daily life revolves around either making music or listening to it. 

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not working?

Being with my friends or family. Having a beer with a mate I haven’t seen in a while, or taking my family out for a meal. 

Where’s the best place to drink in London?

One of my best friends Ryan owns a club in London called cirque. So I’m there most nights if I’m not staying in and behaving. 

Where’s the place you have always wanted to perform?

The Royal Albert hall. I was there with Ed a few years back and just thought it was magical. 

What was it like on set filming the music video for ‘Pony’?

It was like an all day all night party. We shot in south west Atlanta. We drank, smoked and laughed all day. The girls on the video were super fun. We all had a great time. I had friends from LA and London over for the shoot, so it was just a good vibe. 

What does the future have in store for Perretta fans? Do you have any new releases this year?

I’ve some crazy collaborations coming out this year. People I always wanted to work with, producers I always wanted to work with. I’m excited.

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