Jully Black
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Jully Black

Barrie, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | SELF

Barrie, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2009
Solo R&B Pop




"Q&A with Jully Black Local soul singer drops Dropping W(8)"

Toronto R&B mainstay Jully Black has just released a free mixtape in advance of her upcoming fourth album (8)ight. The Juno award winning singer has more than paid her dues in the local scene, and collaborated with some of the best in the business. You can download the mixtape for free here, or pick up a physical copy at DJ Blackcat's gay-friendly Urban Jungle Caribana party this Sunday at Fly. See listing.
We caught up with the singer over email about mixtape culture, the state of the music industry, and changing attitudes towards homophobia in hip-hop.
Looking at the official lineup of OVO Fest, it was strange to notice that the three official opening acts have only released free mixtapes so far. Could this type of release eventually replace the album?
I don't think the album will ever be fully replaced, however the mixtape era that we're in can be very empowering for an artist, especially those who have no way to be seen or heard by a label, or for those artists who may been stuck in the music Industry web. The only downside is that NO other genres are giving their music away for free. You won't see Kelly Clarkson doing a mixtape anytime soon...
Should fans expect the upcoming album to have much in common with this mixtape?
Oh yes, in fact 3 of the 11 songs on the DROPPING W(8) will be on (8)IHGHT! My soul is the common denominator so you are guaranteed to hear that on every song.
Why did you choose Blackcat's Urban Jungle party to release the physical disc?
Blackcat has been a friend since 1994 when we were both participants in the Fresh Arts program. He has had my back since the beginning of time so it only made sense to do it there. I'm so proud of him!
Somewhat related to the last question, was Frank Ocean's coming out letter as historic as it seemed, or has homophobia in the urban scene been exaggerated?
The letter in my opinion was poetic. Is he living gay? Doesn't matter to me. Will gay people in Jamaica be free to hold hands in public anytime soon because of it? Probably not. But was he brave in his actions? Hell ya! Whatever makes him happy is all I care about. Whether you love a man or woman isn't my business. I just care that you can love, period.
You've done countless collaborations with other artists - is that still something you're interested in, or are you focussing more on your own songs these days?
I'm always down to collaborate! In fact on a hip hop level I'd love to do a song with Wiz Khalifa, Lupe, or Drake. As for singers, too many to name, but Tina Turner is at the top!
Are we going to get to see you perform on a Toronto stage anytime soon?
We are planning to head out soon. Follow me on twitter @jullyblack or check my website for upcoming dates jullyblack.com.

• Aug 5, 2012 at 10:03 AM - BENJAMIN BOLES - nowtoronto.com

"Sound Advice: Dropping (W8) by Jully Black"

.:: Sound Advice: Dropping (W8) by Jully Black ::.

R&B singer incorporates more club-friendly sounds.

Local R&B veteran Jully Black has spent the last decade pushing the boundaries of her genre, first threading hip hop and reggae into her music, then flirting with rock on 2009's The Black Book. On her new album, Dropping (W8), she’s started to flirt with dance music.

“Pushin’ ” is a straight-up, hands-above-your-head-dancing, pop-house club anthem. “Feel So Good” is similarly pulsing, and feels like something Avicii could have produced. “Lies” sounds like traditional R&B at first, but the unusual breakbeat has definite echoes of drum and bass. (You can listen to “Lies” by clicking on the sample.) Most vocalists who work with modern dance music artists lack emotion and require extensive autotuning, but Black is almost a throwback to the vocal house of the late ’80s and early ’90s, with her big, soulful vocals accentuating the heavy beats. She may have made her name singing hooks for local rappers, but she also makes a hell of a dance-floor diva.

Dropping (W8) features club-friendly beats, but that doesn’t mean Black has dropped her other influences entirely. “Money Jane” fans will dig “Set it Off,” a collaboration with Kardinal Offishall that borrows from both hip hop and dancehall, while reggae beats form the backbone of “Hustling.”

The reason Black is able to blend other sounds into her style so adeptly is that her R&B foundation is so strong. She’s a gifted vocalist, able to both belt it out and play with nuances on tracks like the jazzy “Rebound.”

While she’s never received the sort of crossover success that she deserves, Jully Black has managed to stay relevant for over a decade, which is no small feat. Dropping (W8) is just another instance of her adapting in order to remain ahead of the curve. - CHRIS DART - torontoist.com

"Behind The Scenes w/ Jully Black - Concrete Loop"

As she puts the finishing touches on her soon to be released album ‘8ight’ with ATL Producer Young Pete Alexander, Jully talks about what it was like being hand picked to perform for the Queen of England, penning hits for Destiny’s Child and Nas – and why Canada is the home to music’s hottest commodities. - Concrete Loop

"Luminato Divas!"

Toronto’s own, JULLY BLACK got things started with her “touch the stratosphere” energy! Younge/Dundas Square was jammed to capacity, with row upon row of overflow filling the sidewalk in front of the Eaton Center. “I see you over there by H&M,” she assured the people across the street.

Her set was fun, mesmerizing, and inspiring. The theme of her performance was about spreading love, believing in self, and being good to each other. “Never listen to anyone tell you, ‘you can’t.’” Listening to Jully sing “Seven Day Fool” “Until I stay” “Queen” & “Running,” will get you moving, yet, seeing her perform these songs live is an experience everybody should have once in life.

Vocally her range is wide and flawless. The emotion behind every word is felt. Her sincerity and interaction with the crowd makes you forget you are in a sea of people. The band and back up vocalists were flawless. Jully was perfection as she brought her set to a close punching “through the Glass Ceiling,” while an estimated 1500 – 2000 people joined with fists in the air. “When I say peace, you say love…” “…Peace ~ Love” over and over, is the chant that filled the downtown core as Black surrendered the stage. - The Thought Vox

"July Black & Tweet Live!"

As she began to sing, she hypnotized the crowd with her strong, sharp voice as she made eye contact with each audience member as if she were singing her songs personally to us. She blew the crowd away as we swayed, bounced, two stepped (you name it) along with her. Catching the reaction to the crowd, as well as my own with her performance of 'Glass Ceiling,' you felt the emotion and saw the passion behind this inspirational song. This was truly a mesmerising performance. - T.Dot Exposed

"Hope Rising! At Toronto's Sony Centre"

Jully Black’s powerful voice and soulful performance of Glass Ceiling was the first number to bring up the energy; she got the all-ages crowd on their feet and pumping their fists in the elegant concert hall while singing the phrase, “Break through the glass ceiling.” - National Post

"Jully Black is Fresh, Fearless and Ferocious"

One would be hard pressed to find a musician in Canada with more heart that Jully Black. The Toronto R&B singer has a generous spirit—a willingness to be real, to give of herself completely—that infuses each and every song that she sings with gravitas.

Black, it must be pointed out, has had her fair share of tribulations in life, growing up in one of the country’s most impoverished neighbourhoods with a mom that laboured at a factory job to support nine kids. She had a dad that wasn’t around, lost a twin brother at birth, and an older sister later on. Despite that level of pain—and the ability to be honest about it, as anyone who has seen her interviewed can attest—Black also possesses an enormous capacity for joy. Her rich, moody voice embraces the highs and lows of life, at once sounding strong and vulnerable, uplifting and heartbreaking.

JB’s Juno-winning sophomore release Revival drew heavily on autobiographical material, but with her third outing, The Black Book, she digs even deeper, moving beyond experience to pure emotion, and pulling up a completely new aspect of her voice: fierceness. Stretched by her willingness to explore new genres—check out the guitar-heavy soundscapes of “I’ll Rock It” and “Recalculate,” the pop-dance beats of “What Is This”, the melancholy acoustic jam “Time Of Your Life”, and the gentle piano of “The Plan”—Black’s vocals come up fresh, fearless and, at times, even ferocious.

The singer has said on her Web site that her motto for the project was “if it doesn’t give you chills, it’s not in the will,” and it was not for naught—her voice produces goose bumps from start to finish. - Vancouver

"Jully Black Wows 'Em at The Grand"

If you caught the 2008 Juno Awards, you saw Toronto’s Jully Black steal the show with the broadcast-ending rendition of her hit Seven Day Fool. Black returned to Calgary on May 13th with an intimate, sold out show at the Grand Theatre, and anyone who saw the Juno’s knew they were in for a treat.

Backed up by four talented musicians and two singers, Black marched onto stage looking astounding in a pink dress and got the crowd into the show with Queen, off of her current album, Revival. The show contained many songs from the CD including DJ Play My Song, Temporary Insanity, and Until I Stay. Most of her songs are high-tempo and the energy she brought to the room had the audience clapping and singing along.

She slowed things down with the beautiful Catch Me When I Fall, which she wrote for her sister who died in 1991 at the age of 24 (when Black was 11). The song is absolutely incredible and left many in the audience in tears not only from the lyrical content but the passion in which she delivered the song.

Black is engaging and charming, stating early in the show that as the youngest of 9 children she always had to fight for attention, so she would be talking a lot. She regaled the audience with stories of her childhood as well as experiences working with R&B heavy hitters like Nas, Missy Elliott, Choclair, Kardinal Offishall, Destiny’s Child, and Sean Paul. Although she obviously enjoyed working with them, as she said during the show, it is definitely Jully time now.

One of the advantages of seeing an artist in concert at an intimate venue like the Grand is how close you get to them. She invited two kids wearing her t-shirt on stage for a group hug, high fived members of the audience, and brought a woman from the front row on stage to dance with her. The downside with a theatre however, is that people just don’t seem comfortable with getting up and dancing, despite Black’s music making you want to do just that. It wasn’t until finale Seven Day Fool that the audience finally rose to its feet to dance and clap and sing along the way they should have the entire show. Just like at the Juno’s, this number was fantastic.

After the show, Black signed autographs and took pictures with fans. She may be experiencing a surge of popularity, but she certainly has not forgotten where she came from, and made a point of taking time to speak to everyone individually and spend a few moments with them, making them feel special.

If you didn’t make it to The Grand that night, you are likely kicking yourself that you didn’t or couldn’t see it. If this performance is any indication, Jully Black’s career is about to blossom and this will probably be the last time to see her in a smaller venue. I’m willing to predict that it is only a matter of time before she is once again gracing the Saddledome stage, this time with her own tour.

In the meantime, there is another chance to see her perform at the Calgary Stampede this year on July 11th, and Edmonton’s CapitalEx on July 21st. - Calgary/Edminton

"Discovering Harmony Bazaar’s R&B Queen; Jully Black"

She may be the R&B queen of Canada but Jully Black, named one of the top 25 singers in Canada has never forgotten her roots.

She first began singing gospel or inspirational music at her church at the age of six.

“I am a vessel,” said Black. “The stage is my pulpit…music brings me to a place that is spiritual.”

Black will be taking centre stage at Harmony Bazaar’s Festival of Women and song on July 26 at 9 p.m.

Her songs, including her big hit Seven Day Fool, are full of energy but Black said her energy on stage surpasses that, all in a five-inch heel.

She said she is excited to play Lockeport Saturday and loved the idea of women in music being supported at the festival.

“Set your intentions,” she advised for women trying to break into the music scene. “Figure out why you want to do it and whether you would still do it if you had to do it for free.”

She said when she was young her mother would instruct Black and her eight siblings to work and study hard and to treat yourself like royalty.

“I wasn’t comfortable at first when I was called the R&B queen or diva of Canada,” said Black, but now she understands it is not a negative connotation to be called a diva and wears it with pride, reflecting the strong woman she is.

“I used to see myself going the obvious places,” said Black. “Juno’s…Grammy’s, but now I just focus on one step ahead. I stopped focusing on the event and instead on the journey.”

She said since embracing that philosophy she has begun enjoying the journey that much more.

“It brings me back to being that six year old girl, singing at church,” said Black. - The Coast Guard

"Jully Black’s July hitting the high notes"

R&B musician talks about her upcoming gig at Shelburne’s Harmony Bazaar

July will go down as a memorable month for Jully Black.

It began on Canada Day in Ottawa, where the R&B siren co-hosted the festivities on Parliament Hill — taking a selfie with Prime Minster Stephen Harper in front of thousands of people — and it wraps up on the shore of Shelburne County, at this weekend’s Harmony Bazaar Festival of Women and Song in the peninsula town of Lockeport.

Both events mean a lot to Black, for different reasons, as a Canadian born to Jamaican immigrant parents and as a female musician and entrepreneur.

“(Canada Day) was amazing, and I was super happy to get the call,” says Black from her home in Toronto. “I performed there two years ago, but for them to call me to host was really special, especially for my mother and father, because it solidified their choice to come to Canada.

“I really appreciate that Canada trusts me to speak to the nation, you know what I mean? I have a very comedic personality, so I was happy that they chose me.”

Speaking to the nation also means getting on the road, with her next album Made in Canada due out later this year. An event like Harmony Bazaar affords Black the opportunity to play for an audience that for the most part hasn’t had the chance to experience her vivacious soul vibe in person and hear the live version of her mix of classic R&B and modern dance-pop.

“Absolutely! This is an example of where I get to live by my mandate that music is a universal language — it’s the one language we all speak — so I have to send a special shout-out to the organizers of Harmony Bazaar,” she says. “A lot of times, people might hear Jully Black and think of dance or rap, after working with Kardinal Offishall, which is great; he’s my brother and I’ve done a lot with hip hop.

“However, I’m a soul singer and a storyteller, and it means a lot to go to places that aren’t typical tour stops. We always go to Montreal, or Toronto, or out west, but we rarely get out east and I’m so excited to come. To me, people on the East Coast are like Jamaicans; everyone is just cool.

‘OK, no sweat off our back, let’s just do it and have a good time.’”

Black’s most recent releases have been modern pop singles like Set It Off, Can U Feel It and Pushin’, the kind of propulsive beats that are perfect for a dance floor or fitness regime, but she says the upcoming Made in Canada returns to the neo-soul of her 2007 hit Seven Day Fool, “like if Etta James and Tina Turner had a baby, it’s like Seven Day Fool on steroids,” says Black of upcoming tracks like Fever, Here to Love You and Missing the Way.

She calls Made in Canada “a love record” in the classic sense. “It’s about that ‘ain’t nobody gonna stop me from loving you’ kind of all-consuming love,” inspired by the soul tunes she grew up on.

Although Black still enjoys current pop music, she feels it’s more about production than passion. “It’s like sweet cotton candy,” she says, but she doesn’t get much spiritual nourishment from it. “That’s why I had to go back and dig in the crates.

“I’ve been writing this album since The Black Book came out (in 2009), but officially it’s been three years since I started, and we recorded 76 songs that we had to narrow down to 14.

“Y’know, I just needed to live and experience life a little bit more, because I’m an actual songwriter, unlike some artists that have the machinery to pump out their songs. I call it ‘the outfit,’ like they’re just handed an outfit and they put it on, wear it well and go walk the runway.

“I’m not that type of artist.”

Besides sharing her music, Black is also eager to share her stories of surviving in the music business since she started singing professionally in the 1990s.

In May, she appeared on a panel at Canadian Music Week, addressing the topic of trying to tackle it all in a music career that’s earned her gold records and two Juno Awards, and a heavy workload to keep it all going.

“The business has changed, so much,” she says. “I came into the business at 14 years old; I’ve been doing this for a long time. Even the concept of recording your own music, having a home studio and putting songs out when you feel like it is all new. Songs like Set It Off, Pushin’ and Can U Feel It were just fun songs to do, and we put them out there without asking permission.

“And that kept us on the road, while we were getting ready for the next actual mainstream release. It was nice to share my experiences, share my challenges and the fact that 15 or 20 years into a music career there are still many challenges. Especially for the genre of R&B in Canada, the music that I was born to make. Even with Canadian Idol and eTalk and so on I still have many challenges at radio and so on. But it was refreshing to express that and vent about it, but also to think about the solutions for charting your own course.”

The biggest challenge is trying to figure out why, in an age when American R&B and hip-hop stars are some of the most popular on the Canadian airwaves, homegrown acts in the same genre continue to face an uphill battle when it comes to getting airplay and selling music.

Black feels the industry still has a ways to go when it comes to promoting its own, “but if you’re passionate, you love what you do and you set your intentions. If you know the reasons why you’re doing it, then you just keep doing it and your number will be called.

“My mama always said that to fail is to quit, basically, so I just keep going. Music is the love of my life, R&B and soul music, there’s just no stopping this.”

To keep up with the latest on Jully Black, visit and follow @JullyBlack on Twitter. - The Herald

"Canada’s “Queen of R&B” bringing new music to Maclab"

For Jully Black, changes in the music industry and the proliferation of social media have led to a new approach to recording and releasing an album.
Black’s new record, Made in Canada, is due for release in spring 2015, though a date hasn’t been set.
The album is a fusion of Motown and contemporary R&B, which Black calls “the new Motown sound.”
“We’re not doing it the conventional way,” said the Toronto native, who will appear at the Maclab Centre for the Performing Arts on Oct. 10.
“Before, you would set a release date and count backwards. [Now] it’s about engaging your fans and having enough music available to be able to release two three, four songs beforehand and then see what body of work you want to put out,” she said.
Black, who was influenced by artists like Tina Turner and Etta James, said she recorded 77 tracks for the album in the last two years.
“It’s beautiful to be in this position where you have the option to say ‘let’s try this and if that catches a spark then we’ll continue down that lane because we have more where that came from,’” she said.
The album’s first single, Here 2 Love U, was released on iTunes in September.
Black plans to release two more singles before the album’s release.
The video for the upcoming single, Do You Love Me?, was shot on Sept. 28, she said.
A social media contest was used to find dancers for the video.
“It’s very dance driven, so we got 60 dancers to reply and [used] full choreography,” she said. “It’s going to be an amazing video, my strongest video to date.”
Black said fans at the Leduc show could expect to get a taste of her upcoming album, as well as an assortment of material from her 15-year career.
She will be backed by a four-piece band and dancers.
“[It’ll be] high energy,” said Black, who along with her successful solo career has collaborated and written for hip-hop artists like Nas, Choclair and Saukrates.
“I’m extremely excited to come to Leduc. This is the whole concept of Made in Canada. There are parts of this country that I’m getting blessed to come and play and to experience.” - The Leduc Rep


2005: This Is Me
2007: Revival (Gold)
2009: The Black Book
2012/2013: (8)IGHT

Recognitions & Achievements

2008: CRIA Certified Gold, Revival
2004: CRIA Certified Platinum ‘Women & Song 7”
2003: RIAA Certified Platinum “God’s Son” Nas.
2001: CRIA Certified Platinum, “All Stars 2001”.
2001: CRIA Certified Double Platinum, Sugar Jones “Sugar Jones”.
2001: CRIA Certified Gold, Baby Blue Sound Crew Private party Vol. 2.
2000: CRIA Certified Gold, Baby Blue Sound Crew Private party Vol. 1.
2000: CRIA Certified Triple Platinum, “All Stars 2000”.
1999: CRIA Certified Gold, Choclair’s “Ice Cold”.
1999: CRIA Certified Double Platinum, “Dance Hits”.



At the age of 21 Jully was discovered by Warner/Chappel Publishing who immediately signed her and shortly after that she was courted by Universal Music Canada where she was offered a deal to help propel her career. Jully capitalized on these opportunities, which saw her garnish her first Juno nomination in 1997 and continue to be nominated almost every year thereafter as well as having the opportunities to collaborate with and/or write for other well-known artists such as Nas, Destinys Child, Sean Paul, Kardinal Official, and many others.

Jullys first release, This Is Me, included the hit singles Sweat Of Your Brow and 5x Love and solidified Jully as an artist in high demand. In 2008, Jully planted her feet even more firmly within the Canadian music industry becoming a household name with her Top 10 single Seven Day Fool, a modern take on the Etta James classic. Her sophomore album this single was housed in, Revival, would go on to win Best R&B/Soul Recording of the Year at the 2008 Juno awards alongside the nomination for Single of the Year. 2009 saw Jully exercising and perfecting her live performance as well as the release of her next collection of recorded material, entitled The Black Book, which included the hit single Running. Jully is now in the final stages of her highly anticipated fourth album, entitled Made In Canada.  has been described as "The New Motown Sound," combining Jullys unique and endearing vocals with the rhythmic and eclectic musical stylings of the albums sole producer YoungPete Alexander from Atlanta, GA. The songs that reside on this album span the music genre spectrum, incorporating elements of Soul, R&B and Pop.

Jully is thankful for the opportunities she has had, and continues to experience she has performed around the globe in areas such as Bangkok, England, Jamaica, Mexico, and Germany and has opened for powerhouses such as Celine Dion, Alicia Keys and Kanye West. She has headlined Canada Day in London, Englands Trafalgar Square, was hand picked to perform at private event for The Queen, received extraordinary reviews from critics and fans alike at the SXSW conference in Austin, TX, packed the house at the MIDEM conference in Cannes, France, and kicked off the FIFA world cup concert series and the annual Pride Festival, both held in Toronto. She has toured as the opening act for The Black Eyed Peas as well as her own successful solo heading tours across Canada and the United States. Whether its a private event of 100 or a worldwide promoted festival of 50,000, Jully delivers a top tier performances challenged by few.

Jully Black sets herself apart due to continuously exploring and perfectly executing various extension of her brand, which includes charismatically hosting prestigious events (P&G Beauty and Fashion Awards, Toronto Fashion Show 25th Anniversary), delivering engaging motivational speeches (TEDx, public and high schools), fashion and beauty endeavors (Heart Truth Fashion Show with Gene Simmons) among many, many other initiatives.


2013: Juno Award for R&B/Soul Recording of the Year "Set It Off" (NOMINATION)

2012: Juno Award for R&B/Soul Recording of the Year "Fugitive" (NOMINATION)

2010: Juno Award for R&B/Soul Recording of the Year "The Black Book" (NOMINATION)

2008: Single of the Year, "Seven Day Fool" (NOMINATION)

2008: R&B/Soul Recording of the Year, "Revival" (WINNER)

2006: Juno Award for R&B/Soul Recording of the Year, "Sweat of Your Brow" (NOMINATION)

Band Members