Swedish newcomer Juliander is starting to make a serious mark in the music industry. On his rapidly growing CV, the 20 year-old Stockholm native ticks off featuring vocals on Alan Walker’s popular track ‘All Falls Down’ (with over 150 million streams); support for Zara Larsson on her 2017 European tour; a Coachella performance with Walker amongst the likes of Cardi and Queen Bee; and his February-released debut EP ‘Afterglow’. Already boasting an impressive 3.5 million streams, the five-track EP flaunts popular singles ‘Same Moon’ and ‘The One’ as well as its title track ‘Afterglow’.
His sound already being likened to “James Blake inspired pop minimalism,” Juliander offers a creative take on traditional pop music which showcases his vocal prowess and lyrical capability. While the lyrical content is heavily focused on common pop music narratives, the way in which these are expressed feature an originality which blends conventional pop with R&B and electronic/house undertones. The single ‘Same Moon’ presents a more classic R&B ballad, a melancholic tribute to long-distance love. The title track ‘Afterglow’ delivers the starry-eyed romance of fairytale love through its mellifluous vocal and charmingly candy-coated lyrics, while ‘The One’ ups the tempo. The concluding track ‘Everything I Know’ offers something more personal, an expression of emotion following his grandfather’s passing with a rich vocal performance. It offers genuine sentimentality which ties the EP together nicely, adding authenticity to the intimate nature of this project.
With the stream-count for ‘Afterglow’ rapidly surpassing the 3 million mark, Juliander’s popularity is evident. He has recently been voted ‘Best New Artist’ by readers of the Scandinavian music blog Scandipop, demonstrating his significant fanbase back in the Scandinavian region. This popularity, although well-earned, is also fairly new for the young artist. Although first being signed to Sony Music Sweden at 16, Juliander only began releasing singles late last year. Last month he told Scandipop that the beginning stages of his career were dominated by sessions and co-writes; despite enjoying the initial buzz of creating music, Juliander admits that these sessions were not for him. With a particular preference for songwriting, Juliander moved away from sent demos and co-writing to find his own niche.
This gradual shift to singular work allowed Juliander the lyrical freedom to express himself through his craft. A guitarist as well as a singer-songwriter, Juliander told Scandipop how he was able to translate guitar riffs to the piano, adding another string to his bow with the self-taught ability to write songs on the piano. It’s clear that the ‘Afterglow’ EP is very much a representation of Juliander himself, a manifestation of his ability to sing, write, and produce. Each track is written and produced by Juliander with additional credits going to Johan Wetterberg and fellow Swedish artist Christian Walz.
Juliander certainly keeps good company, with co-producer Walz holding the accolade of a Grammy award, while Grammy nominee Noah Agemo directed the music video for the title track ‘Afterglow’. Having previously worked with Swedish artists Erik Lundin and Oskar Linnros as well as shooting for Yeezy himself, Agemo and Juliander deliver a moody visual to accompany the EP, already racking up thousands of views since its late-March release.
With a catalogue of multiple demos and potential songs behind him, Juliander has a lot to be optimistic about for 2018. With his recent Coachella performance under his belt, the singer is already planning on the next songs to release as his follow-up to ‘Afterglow’. Having already been on tour twice as support for Zara Larsson and Alan Walker, Juliander can now set his sights on his own tour and the ability to take his music worldwide. The afterglow of his recent flush of success clearly has not made this newcomer content, cementing Juliander as one to watch in 2018.