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Meet Julia Sage

Today we’d like to introduce you to Julia Sage.

Julia, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was born in Chile and started writing when I was a young child. The exact age escapes me, but I’m gonna venture a guess and say I must have been around seven years old when I started making up songs and stories. Then, at around 13, my dad gifted me a guitar, one that would stay at my side for many years. That instrument went with me everywhere, and followed me to the US when I moved here at the age of 19.

But let me backtrack just a bit.

Right after high school, while still living in Chile, I was presented with the opportunity of fronting an all-female band called “Venus.” This band got a lot of attention during that year. We got to open shows for very known artists, were on national TV several times, including a variety show called “Sábados Gigantes”, which, if you are a Latin(x), you probably know that back then being on that show was a huge deal. I loved it. The shy little girl that I was growing up turned into a completely different person when she got on stage. It was fun and exhilarating. But then, the summer break was over, and I had to put on my nerd cap once again and tackle college because that’s what you do when you have the chance to go and get a higher education. So, I left the rockstar dream behind, and off I went to make something of myself. But I kept writing songs all along because, spiritually and mentally, I just had to.

Now, fast forward to the USA. I did the college thing, the work thing, the marriage thing, the divorce thing, the dating thing, the (unfortunately) losing many loved ones thing. Thankfully, I always had my guitar and any time life proved to be a little too much for me, it was there waiting for me to pick it up and protect my sanity, even through long periods of brutal writer’s block and many months of depression.

Let’s fast forward one more time…

I have had many bands throughout the past and I can truthfully say, I have never enjoyed playing in one and performing at shows as much as I am loving it nowadays with my latest project. It may be age and maturity, maybe more wisdom and confidence, or perhaps it’s just the complete freedom to do what I want to do… but “Julia Sage and The Bad Hombres” is by far the best band I’ve ever fronted. We’ve known each other for a few years and have been playing together as a formal band for about a year and a half now, and we are lucky to be doing very well in San Diego.

A few months ago, one of my bandmates sent me a text telling me that we had been nominated for Best New Artist by the San Diego Music Awards. I thought he was pulling my leg, but it turned out to be true. We didn’t win the award, but just being nominated was such an awesome thing, and a great confidence booster. Our first single made it to some of the radio stations, and hopefully our second and third will too (crossing my fingers). We are in the process of recording, and I’m expecting to have a full album done by the end of this year. Musical life is good.

In fact, music is my lifesaver. If it wasn’t for the creative release that it has brought to my life throughout the years, I don’t know where I would be, or if I would be at all.

Hell, most of the time I still feel like that shy, awkward, quiet little girl… but just hand me a guitar and put me on a stage, and I’ll make sure to do my best to put on a great show for those sitting in the audience.

Has it been a smooth road?
It’s been a very long road, full of bumps, loss, and struggles, but also full of gains, personal accomplishments and spiritual rewards.  The most important elements have always been there for me: mi familia, my close friends, and the inspiration and strength to keep going forward.

Please tell us more about what you do, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I’m a singer/songwriter, artist, and visual storyteller. I play solo and also front my band “Julia Sage and The Bad Hombres”, comprised of Matthew Strachota (Keys, guitar, banjo, background vocals), Drew Douglas (saw, bouzouki, harmonica,background vocals), Natasha Cruz (cajón, bongos and congas), Tom Peart (drums), and Chad Pittman (bass).

We play what we ended up calling “SouthAmericana™” (Thanks, Chad, and someone else I can’t remember, who said it jokingly), because it is shorter than trying to explain our music is a combination of Spanish, bluegrass, Americana, folk, country, soul, and blues… but then, I end up having to explain it anyway. Ha!

I write the songs and all my band members give them the extra oomph they need to sound amazing.  I am very proud of what we have accomplished so far, and look forward to more growth. We play shows mostly in central San Diego at the time, but we are planning to expand to other areas soon.

If you see our band’s name listed at any venues, please come to one of our shows! (or if you’d like to keep an eye on us proactively, you can always follow our Instagram account, @thejuliasage).

We look forward to meeting new audiences and gaining new fans.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love having everything so close. The ocean and the mountains, the desert, the city, so much nature and things to do, places to see… even Mexico just a few exits away.

I’m really hating the rent increases around here, though… it is making it quite difficult to stay where I live, especially considering how small the place is.  I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels that way in this city.  But, we are still lucky to have such a beautiful place to call home.

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