MUSIC FEATURE: Five Minutes With…KULICK
Today (30th April 2021) marks the release of KULICK‘s new EP, Sitting In A Quiet Coffeehouse. The EP shows a different side to the alt-rock/pop artist, featuring stripped-down versions of fan-favourites from his 2020 album, Yelling In A Quiet Neighborhood. We caught up with KULICK (aka Jacob Kulick) to discuss his journey as an artist, his first musical memory, his influences, ambitions and more.
Firstly, tell us a bit about yourself.
In a mouthful, I am an androgynous, born half deaf musician, producer, engineer, and painter based on the East Coast. I am full of anxiety and ambition, and I use my music as a way to escape all the internal voices and noise. I also use it as a way to keep track of what I am going through in my life. I love running, painting, and playing video games with my brothers, but I would say 85% of my time is working behind a laptop and in a recording studio.
How long have you been releasing music and how did your pathway as an artist come about?
I started writing music when I was about 13 years old due to feeling completely alone, bullied, and wanting a greater purpose in life. After leaving my high school cover band Story of Another, I started to play solo shows in Philadelphia whenever I could. I have always written music, even in the years that I was “trying to be a grown up” and looking for a full time job. It was actually during that time that I started working at CBS Radio in NYC as an engineer and met a few people in the music industry who liked the music I was making whenever I wasn’t working. I started officially releasing music as KULICK with RCA Records in 2018. Since then I have self-produced my first album with ENCI Records and continue to produce for many other artists. That feeling of loneliness comes and goes throughout life, and when it strikes, I write and feel that same feeling again.
Can you remember the first time you realised you wanted to make music?
I started playing drums very early, maybe eight, and I was singing while playing them. I knew that the feeling of singing would never be replaceable. I always explain it as feeling like you are yelling it out, good or bad emotions, only with control. I felt like I wasn’t able to be an emotional child, so music was immediately my outlet.
Who and what are your main influences?
When I was younger, I was listening to all kinds of music (Britney Spears, Ricky Martin, The Eagles, Tom Petty to name a few) as loud as I could in headphones, imagining what space they must have recorded in, the vocal layers, the guitar work, and so on. It was a fantasy world in headphones, and being half deaf probably made it more impactful to me. I imagined myself doing that and being on stage and on radio. That has always been the dream and still is to this day. Any day that I am on stage or my music is being broadcasted is a dream come true. I am influenced every day by so many styles of music and artists, but that big pop sound of Max Martin and Ryan Tedder is still a favourite of mine.
What do you aim to achieve?
That question changes from time to time depending on where I am in my career, and I have a lot of goals. I want to be able to make art, be financially stable, and have the freedom to wake up and create. I want to live every day knowing that what I am creating matters and will be heard by many. I want to help people sort themselves out mentally. I want to be a touring musician. I want to produce and write for other artists and use my skills for other media such as movies, television, and so on. Lastly, I would like to share what I have learned from my continued journey through the jungle called the music industry with people who are eager to learn about it.
For those who are yet to see you live, what can they expect from a KULICK show?
You can expect to see a tall, lanky, skinny boy in light makeup singing at the top of his lungs, purging his insecurities and struggles in real time with a band who has played together for the past 3+ years. Then you can expect to see us at the merch table to meet and take photos :)
What’s next for you?
In this current time, I honestly don’t know and that scares the shit out of me. I know I am always writing and producing. I’m working on a new album, working on myself and my mental health, producing a few new artists singles and albums, such as my partner and keyboard player April Rose Gabrielli, and making songs for television and film. I hope to be back on the road in late 2021 with the band, playing some of my new album Yelling in a Quiet Neighborhood, as well as some stripped versions from Sitting in a Quiet Coffeehouse.
All I know is that I will continue forward. The fire in me to be a better human and to be heard is always burning. Life is up and down, especially as an artist. I am trying to get through with good intentions, a positive mind, and a clean slate. I’m sure my music will reflect that, and I can only hope to be better than I was yesterday, and that tomorrow comes.
KULICK‘s new EP Sitting In A Quiet Coffeehouse is out now via ENCI Records, available to stream or purchase HERE.
To celebrate the release of the EP KULICK is hosting a live stream listening party via his YouTube channel HERE, taking place at 1am BST on 1st May 2021.
KULICK recently released a re-recorded version of H, in remembrance of Alexandria Sienkiewicz who lost her struggle with heroin addiction five years ago. The 23-year old wrote a poem about her struggles with heroin, shortly before she accidentally overdosed on Fentanyl on 2nd April 2016. KULICK then turned her poem into a song he called H, which was originally released on YouTube in 2017. Now, H has been re-recorded by KULICK to commemorate the five-year anniversary of Sienkiewicz’s death. Find out more HERE.