ROCKIN MOMS FEATURED ARTIST INTERVIEW
ON BEING A ROCKIN’ MOM...
RM: How many children do your have and what are their ages?
Julianne: I have three children. My son is 22 (how can that be?) and my daughters are 13 and 15.
RM: Did you perform and write music before you were a mom?
Julianne: Actually no. I didn't start doing either until the children were past first grade. My first gig was performing the National Anthem for the local IHL hockey team. I've been a performer now for only 5 years.
RM: How has motherhood enriched your music and affected your career?
Julianne: Motherhood reminds me that I have a responsibility to not only myself, but also my children to do my best every time I go out. I'm setting a standard of work ethics and teaching them how to go out and achieve what sometimes seems like impossible goals. I’ve surprised both of us at times with what I’ve been able to accomplish in such a short time.
RM: Do you bring your children to see you perform?
Julianne: Often. They like to go with me and it makes it fun for me as well. To me it’s no different than when I rode along in the tractors with my dad while he farmed. My daughters are often my wardrobe consultants. Ha ha.
They keep me young.
RM: How have you made time to balance both careers?
Julianne: Well it’s a constantly changing balance, and there have been times when I’ve hit the wall of exhaustion. That’s when I just stop, regroup, and prioritize things. Sometimes it’s not so pretty, but my children know most of all, that I love them, and they come first. Of course none of it would be possible without the love and help of my family friends (mom, dad, brothers and sister in law). I’m also a single mom, so that adds some additional challenges at times. I do have an amazing family though. Through them, it's all possible. Oh, and I've practically given up my social life for now. That and the house cleaning gets low priority at times. Hey, something had to go!
RM: Any challenges (i.e. practice time, touring, babysitting, budget) you’d like to share?
Julianne: Being a single mom brings an umbrella of challenges that unfortunately many woman can relate to. If I could be two people, that may still not be enough. I inevitably burn the candle at both ends more often than I should. Having a career in music is like being bitten by a vampire to me, though. Now that I’ve done it, I cannot imagine my life without some sort of music career attached to it. I waited for such a long time to take it on, and I feel such happiness when I'm writing or performing. Everyone should feel that about something they do. There's nothing like seeing how one of my songs can touch the heart of someone else, or help them find a common bond we both can relate to. Music makes us feel connected to one another. That's what makes me feel like I can overcome those challenges. Staying hungry with my eye on the prize (which is the acceptance of my songs).
RM: When did you become interested in music?
Julianne: I think when I was born. Ha ha. I don’t remember life without music. I sing everywhere I go.
RM: Was there anyone who inspired or influenced you?
Julianne: My dad was my first musical influence. He always came home from work and played the piano. He would teach me chords and want to hear what I taught myself during the day. He is a true "traditional" country music lover. My mom always had the radio on in the kitchen and had stacks of Beatles and Motown albums when we were young.
Women with strong voices have always had an impact on me. I would always sing along with them on the radio. There are so many influences though,both male and female, from Billy Halliday to Dolly Parton and everyone in between. Brandi Carlile, Martina McBride, Sara Evans, Loretta Lynn, Sugarland, Sheryl Crow, Jill Jack, Bonnie Raitt, Winona Judd, Gretchen Wilson, Brooks & Dunn, Johnny Cash, Elvis, Keith Urban, Tom Petty, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Dianna Ross, Marvin Gaye, Bruce Springsteen, U2, Frank Sinatra, Mary J. Blige, Aerosmith, and the Beatles.
RM: What project are you most proud of?
Julianne: I’m very proud of my first solo project "It Ain't Over", released in 2009. One of the songs and my video for "No Place For A Lullabye" is being used by HomeAid of America to raise donations to build temporary housing for the homeless across America. I sat up at my kitchen table late one night after attempting to pay the bills, and put my worse fears on paper. I cried after I wrote it, because the subject was too close to home. It was very difficult to write because I had to get in touch with feelings that are not easy to face. I’m very glad I did though, because now it’s doing good for others, including mothers and children who are out there struggling to survive.
RM: What do you love about your career?
Julianne: Gosh, do I have to pick one thing? I guess it would be when I receive an email or have someone tell me that one of my songs has had some sort of positive impact on them. It’s that connectivity thing again that I was talking about earlier.
RM: Do you have any advice or tips for other Moms trying to pursue a career and raising children at the same time?
Julianne: I have a wrinkled, faded, Xeroxed piece of paper held on to my refrigerator by a magnet that has the poem called “Don’t Quit” on it. I’m not sure who the author is, but that piece of paper has caught my eye just when I needed it to and helped me through. Don’t let someone take you down and tell you that you’re too young, too pretty, or too smart to make music your career. You just need to ask yourself “How bad do I want this and what are my steps to make this happen? “ AND never compromise your values. Ever.
RM: Where do you see yourself a year from now?
Julianne: Touring nationally with my band on short hops, writing for others, and watching my children continue to grow.
RM: Thank you for sharing your story with Rockin' Moms!
Julianne: Thank you so much, Tiffany. I really enjoyed doing this!
Tiffany: Your welcome. I always enjoy these interviews and learn so much each time!
To listen to her music and buy her CD visit her websites at: www.julianneankley.com
Interviewed by: Tiffany Petrossi (the mother of four, and Founder of the companies, Rockin' Moms and Rockin' Kidz. www.tiffanypetrossi.com)